This week we are delighted to be able to speak with Lauren Jones, trail running enthusiast and visionary behind the Denver-based Life’s 2 Short Fitness, an organization dedicated to inspiring and encouraging women to enjoy the great outdoors. We find out how Lauren developed her passion for trail running, how she connects with her joy, and learn more about her dreams for the future.
Can you give us an overview of your running history up to this point?
I would never have considered myself an “athlete.” I participated in a season of cross-country and track my freshman year of high school, and I was literally the slowest person on the team. The formal workouts and the pressure to perform just wasn’t for me. However, I have always enjoyed the outdoors and around that time I found myself exploring trails near my house, first hiking and then running. I attended the University of Colorado in Boulder, and it was there that my passion for trail running really began. I continued to explore new trails and the miles added up as my thirst to discover what was around the next bend grew.
I began competing in various triathlons and half marathons for fun. However, my drive to compete at a higher level didn’t happen until after having kids. I started competing in obstacle course races which entail a lot of technical trail running, and I placed well in a handful of trail races over the past few years.
What is it you love about trail running?
I love how peaceful and fulfilling it can be out on the trail alone. I love the feeling of adventure and curiosity when exploring a new trail and the challenge of a technical climb and descent. I love how trails can take you places you can’t see on a bike or car and the feeling of accomplishment after reaching the top of a peak or after a long, grueling run.
You have had some health challenges in recent years. How have you overcome these, and how are you now?
I had some complications with the birth of my second son and wasn’t able to run for over a year. Around the same time I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, so I never know how I am going to feel on any given day. I’ve learned to be patient and accept that following a set training plan will probably never work for me. I take each day as it comes, appreciate and take advantage of the good days, and try not to beat myself up so much on the bad ones. My diet has changed significantly and for now, I am just enjoying some leisurely trail runs and trying to focus on strength training. I am hoping to feel strong in 2017 and complete my first trail ultra!
You and your husband Scott put on a series of trail races. What do you love most about creating events like these?
We love creating laid back, small events that are all about the love of the trails and the community. We don’t do chip timing or age group awards, and our setup is super informal. For example, in our signature event, the Fear the Deer trail half marathon, the top male and female competitors win golden antlers and earn the right to come back the following year to defend their title (like the yellow jersey in the Tour de France).
You recently started Life’s 2 Short Fitness. Can you share more about the idea behind the name, and how things have developed so far?
The name actually stemmed from our parent company, Life’s 2 Short Events. It pretty much envelops our philosophy on life in general: get out there and experience life to its fullest, try new things, and test your limits. Trail running or hiking is a great place to start because it’s virtually free. You don’t need special equipment or skills. Just find a trail and start your own adventure…
What are your dreams for Life’s 2 Short Fitness?
My goal is for the website and programs to be a source of information and inspiration for women in Colorado and beyond to gain confidence, skills, and knowledge to try something new (like trail running). I am working on building L2S into a community where local women can share training tips and meet trail running buddies with whom they can share their new passion.
You will be a speaker on a women’s panel at the 2016 US Trail Running Conference on October 1. What are you looking forward to about the event, and why do you think it is important to have a women’s panel?
I was excited to learn about the women’s panel at the event. L2S Fitness started because a handful of women I know mentioned that they’d love to get into trail running but didn’t know how to start, where to go, how to navigate technical sections, and were nervous about the prospects of running into a rattlesnake on the trail. I believe that we need to empower and encourage women by providing the support, resources, and community so that women feel comfortable exploring the trails on their own.
Terry provides positive coaching sessions for clients, working with athletes to enable a positive focus on their status and goals. He can also create personalized guided imagery sessions for clients, delivered as an mp3 audio file that you can listen to on multiple devices.