NOVA Featured Runner: Joyce Fendley

By | November 21, 2016

From Coach Jerry:
I’ve been extremely impressed by Joyce since she joined NOVA in 2015. Joyce recognized that getting faster on the track would help her succeed at the long distances which are her racing focus, and she’s been plugging away at Tuesday workouts religiously. Most runners are unwilling to get outside of their comfort zone to work on their weaknesses, and the fact that Joyce has been so dedicated to doing just that has been a great example to her teammates. I’m looking forward to seeing Joyce continue her excellent progress.

1) What are your PRs (5k, 10K, 10 Mile, Half, Full, any others?)
I don’t know what my PR’s are for 5K, 10 miler and Half because I never kept track. Marathon is 4:11, 50K is 5:45, 50 miler is 10:30, 100 miler is 35:20. I didn’t start running until my late 30’s. After about a year I discovered trail running. Spending a day in the forest or mountains is always wonderful.

2) Goal race(s) for this year? Other races planned? I don’t have a goal race right now. I am going to take a winter break so I don’t burn out.

3) What do you consider your best race performance to date?
My best performance was not about the time but more about the attitude. This spring was my second running of the Massanutten Mountain 100 (104 actually) Trail Race. The first time I did it in 2007 I had a whiny, complaining attitude and it was more something to check off a list. In May 2016 my time was almost exactly the same but I enjoyed and appreciated the beauty of the mountains.

4) How and when did you find NOVA, and what do you like best about the team?
I found NOVA at the NOVA 5K in the summer of 2015. Erin sounded so welcoming and nice that I decided to give it a try. Besides, as someone who flirts with time cut-offs at a long race, I figured it would also be a good idea to build a base of more disciplined speed work. It has been a very important part of my preparation. I am always inspired by all of you speedy talented runners and your great attitudes towards fitness and life.

5) What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from Coach Jerry?
The best advice I received from Coach Jerry was to rest and not come to track after an ultra. Heh, heh. But seriously, he reminds me to try to keep an even pace around the track. I find this difficult and this challenge gives me something to focus on Tuesday nights. Track work has definitely helped me to not fall apart on the trails.

6) What thoughts do you have on your performance at the Fire on the Mountain 50K,or other recent races?
I have finished many ultras, but I have also “DNF’d” more than a couple. I have enough perspective on where running fits into my life not to feel that a drop is a reflection of my whole character. It is just a race. As far as Fire on the Mountain 50K, well, I finished last, but it was one of the most fun and low-key ultras I have ever run. Today I ran the Piedmont 8 Hour. In a timed race you can stop anytime you want as there is no pressure to go the whole 8 hours or go a certain distance. I really had to dig deep today to not think of an excuse to stop, because my goal was to do 13 three mile loops, which I did. Now I can take a break for the winter knowing I reached my final goal.

7) What non-running fitness related (or other) activities do you enjoy?
Outside of running, I enjoy yoga, boot camp, hiking and basketball. I hope I will see some of my NOVA friends out on the trails!