The Jenny Scherer Interview with tips4running.com

Jenny Scherer Leading the Pack

Welcome to the Jenny Scherer Interview. Jenny is a talented collegiate runner for St. Norbert, a Division III school located near Green Bay, WI. Her Senior year for Cross Country is fast approaching and she is preparing diligently.

She has placed in the top ten the last two years at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Meet. Including Track and Field, Jenny is an eight time All American.

Some of her personal records include a 5k time of 17:05, a blistering 35:21 in the 10k, and 21:16 in the 6k for Cross Country.

David Tiefenthaler - When did you start running?

Jenny Scherer - I started running cross country my freshman year of high school, so I guess at around age 15.

DT - Is anyone else in your family a runner?

JS - Nope, absolutely not! Both my brothers played football and my parents both dabbled in a few sports in high school but definitely never ran.

DT - I can tell you absolutely love running. Why do you enjoy running so much?

JS - That’s a tough answer to really put in to words! It’s the “runner’s high,” it’s the constant improvement and goal setting that can be made, it’s the connections made with other runners who share the same passion for the sport…. I think I could go on and on. Basically, I feel that running, along with God, family, and friends, fulfills me as a person!

DT - Your blog was actually hosted by the NCAA last year. Why did the NCAA stop this program where student-athletes blog about their academics and athletics?

JS - I have continually asked this question for an entire year. I have no idea why they would’ve stopped sponsoring the program. It couldn’t have cost them much of anything to do it and I thought it provided a wide variety of content from all sorts of different NCAA athletes. I really enjoyed blogging for them and was very disappointed to receive an e-mail one day simply saying the program ended – with no explanation why! Hopefully they’ll bring it back in the future.

DT - In high school at Delavan-Darien in Wisconsin, you were a good runner, but not necessarily a stand out. Now at St. Norbert, you have been an All American multiple times. How were you able to improve so much over the past four years?

JS - Mainly, my improvements were due to a newfound dedication and commitment to running once I started at St. Norbert. I started out playing basketball at SNC and sat the bench my entire freshman year, which was incredibly frustrating. I began running as a way to release some of this frustration, and eventually found my way on to the track team after basketball ended.

After I medaled at our Conference meet, all of a sudden my eyes were opened to the potential I had in the sport. It was at this time I made the decision to truly commit to the sport of running to continue to see how far it could take me! My improvements since freshman year have been a direct result of hard work and excellent coaching. My coach has helped me improve so much physically, but even more importantly, mentally. He’s helped me gain a lot of confidence in my abilities as a runner.

DT - You are big on quotes, and I have a whole section at tips4running.com dedicated to quotes. Do you have any quotes that you repeat to yourself when running gets tough?

JS - Oh, definitely! Quotes, for me, are a crucial part of staying positive through tough stretches with running. A couple of my favorite get-through-the-tough-times quotes are: “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” (Confucious) and a simple quote from Bill Dellinger, "Good things come slow - especially in distance running." (helps me remember to keep a perspective!)

DT - In track you have run some great 5k and 10k times. What is your favorite distance to race?

JS - The 10K! I don’t have a whole lot of what you would call “pure” speed, so the longer, the better for me. I like to go out hard and keep that pace for a while – and the 10K certainly gives me a better opportunity to do that than any other distance in collegiate racing! I enjoy the 5K as well, but that’s a race where a “kick” can factor in a lot more, so I feel that the 10K suits my personal running style and abilities better.

DT - Recently you won the inaugural Green Bay Packers 5K Run with a quick time of 17:33. How does it feel to be the first champion and now the women’s course record holder for this race?

JS - It feels great! It was a very fun race – a nice way to gauge how my summer training has gone. The best part was having the chance to run it with about 10 of my teammates!

DT - Did you get to run on Lambeau Field?

JS - We sure did! Well, I guess not technically on the field, but we ran an entire lap on the rubbery surface surrounding the field and were able to see/watch ourselves on the Jumbotron!

DT - In your blog, you said you had been battling some injuries, but had an injury assessment, which helped you identify your problems and strengthen your body so you are running pain-free. The interesting part was, you said sometimes other runners get strength exercises and other training programs to aide their running, but they don’t follow through. Why do you think that is, and how has this supplementary training helped you?

JS - I think it all comes down to dedication. After all, with running, you get out of it what you put in to it. It takes a certain type of person to do the little extra things every single day. The inner-motivation and passion for running has to be present. There are a lot of runners who are content with running miles. It’s those runners with the “get better each and every day” mentality that will stick with strength exercises and really see improvements in their running in due time.

The supplementary training has, as I mentioned on my blog, rejuvenated me as a runner. I can’t even explain it very well in words; all I can really say is that it has left me feeling more energized than ever before and provided me with a renewed confidence in my running.

DT - It’s your Senior year coming up. Are you nervous at all about your last cross country and track seasons?

JS - I actually only have one season of cross country remaining, since I played basketball my freshman year at St. Norbert and didn’t go out for XC that fall. I will graduate in December of 2010. I am much more excited than nervous about the upcoming season! I feel I’m ready to make my last season my best one yet!

DT - Do you plan on running competitively after your graduate from college?

JS - Yes, I would really like to pursue running post-collegiately. I feel like I’ve still got a lot of improving left to do! 4 years has gone by fast, but I’ve really only taken running seriously for about that long, so competing and training still seems quite new/fresh to me. I will continue to run competitively as long as it’s still a passion and a lot of fun for me, and right now, running is more fun and a bigger passion than ever before! So, thus I plan to continue to “enjoy the ride” that is the sport of running for as long as possible!

DT - What are you going to school for, and what would be your dream job coming out of college?

JS - I will graduate in December with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a minor in Communication Studies. My ultimate “dream job” is to be a professional runner, but I know I need to be realistic as well, so if that doesn’t work out, I plan to go to graduate school for Sports Management with the eventual goal of becoming a collegiate athletic director or athletic conference commissioner. I also think I’d like to enter in to the world of coaching cross country/track and field at some point!

DT - When does practice begin for the cross country season?

JS - We report for camp on Sunday, August 22nd. First meet is September 4th - one of two home meets we’ll have this season. Fall is finally about to arrive!

DT - Thank you for your time Jenny. I can tell you are ready for a great season.

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