Jenny Seo

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On who you are…

@sennyjeo from @parkdaleroadrunners. Born and raised in Toronto, I like to run, surf, travel... and eat a lot.


On running…

I started running cross country and track when I was about 8yo. I was smaller than the others and totally unfounded but I think it got me used to a high turnover so I could keep up. I stopped running when I hit 16 and didn’t really pick it up again until my late 20s. I thought I would run one marathon to check that off my bucket list and here I am 10+ later and still going. It gives me time to clear my head. Sometimes my body feels completely mechanized and I zone out the noise from the day. 
 
 

On your First Run...

I can't really remember my first run but I remember that first marathon. I ran the ScotiaBank Waterfront marathon in 2011 and despite the crappy weather I felt strong. I high-fived kids the whole way and I sang to myself when I got bored. There was even one industrial stretch that was horrible so I closed my eyes for a bit there but I fall pretty frequently so I didn’t keep that up for long. I didn’t have a watch at the time but once I crossed the finish line, I found out I qualified for Boston. 
 
 
On Street culture…

It’s interesting to witness this convergence of street and running culture but I generally do my own thing. You’ll regularly see me rolling around Parkdale in flip flops or uggs and the pdrr fam loves to tease me about that! I ran the 2013 Chicago marathon and that was really the first time I met runners from other crews and then I went to NYC for the BTG anniversary the following summer and my head exploded. I barely slept but it was so much fun just taking over the streets. 
 
 
On running culture…

PDRR has become so much more than a running crew. Parkdale is a neighbourhood in Toronto where many of us live so even when we’re not running, we bump into each other every day. We’ve been at it for a few years too so we’ve built up this family and community that extends beyond running and beyond our city. Running has given me the opportunity to connect with runners from other cities and I’ve become friends with some of the most wonderful people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. 
 
 
On gadgets…

I didn't have a watch until my third marathon and still forget it half the time. I like being free and not getting preoccupied by pace or whatever. Sometimes I just want to run and it doesn't matter what the stats say. Take in your surroundings, enjoy the view. 
 

On injury…

I've had back issues most of my adult life but it seized up summer 2014. I couldn't walk, I couldn't stand, I was in crazy pain. I was already signed up for the Amsterdam marathon so I did a couple of long runs to get my legs ready and told myself to listen to my body and run how I felt that day. Luckily it was a good day and I requalified for Boston. I took more than a year off and paced a couple of races but gave myself time to heal. I saw 11 consultants and some said the pain would never go away and I might never run again.

It still flares up and gets completely locked up but it's taught me to not to get too concerned with the outcome of things. It’s about the journey not the destination right hahhahaha

On achievements…

After so much time off, I didn't know what kind of running form I would be in but 2016 has become the most epic running year:

Speed Project 2.0 (relay from LA to Vegas with a PDRR team)

Tiny PB in Boston

Cabot trail relay (east coast of Canada with 16 other PDRR ladies)

Hood 2 Coast later this month; and

Berlin in September
 
 

On future goals…

I’d like to run all the majors and Comrades (2018). I jumped straight into marathons and never really raced a half so I’d like to get a few of those in as well. Recommendations welcome.
 

On your social media…

It features me and my friends - running, surfing and trips where I’ve had a chance to do one or both. I’m mostly focused on having fun so hopefully people catch that vibe from my posts. I don’t want to have it super curated because I’m not the best photographer/I’m not that cool.
 
 
On Pink…
 
It’s a colour. Don’t let anything it represents define you.

On Pain…

I already spoke on physical pain so I'm gonna take this opportunity to speak on emotional trauma here. I ran My first Boston marathon in 2013 - the year of the bombing. After I finished the race, I was supposed to meet friends at Prudential Center. I walked along Boylston so I could cheer people on as they finished. The first bomb went off behind me and I thought it was some kind of cannon to celebrate Patriots Day but the second bomb went off in front of me and I knew. People were running every which way and I froze. Everything was in slow mo and I didn't know where to go. All I felt was fear and panic.

Boston Marathon is a goal that so many runners strive for and for a while, I thought of it as pretty much the worst day of my life. Running with PDRR and so many others, helped me get past that and I was literally running the whole thing with a smile on my face this year.

On women’s running…

It’s like when Serena Williams was asked about being "one of the greatest female athletes of all time" and replied "I prefer... 'one of the greatest athletes of all time'". I hope we get past a point of why women should do anything. I understand that I’m lucky to be from a place that allows me this privilege of opinion but I hope people can simply choose to do what makes them happy.
 
 
On the Past you...

Take care of yourself. I had a tumour when I was 24 and I had to have a surgery that cut across my core. At that age, I didn't know anything about physio or whatever so I never did any proper rehab. My weakened core caused the strain on my back and sometimes I'm all creaky and it just makes me feel old.

When I die…

To be honest, I don’t think about it too much. I just hope I don’t live too long and become one of those miserable old birds. 
 
 
 
#RunRevolution


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