Westmont Magazine Marathon Woman
Jessica goulder ’06 set Westmont and NAIA records in May
Jessica Goulder ’06 ran the first marathon of her career at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships in Fresno last May with spectacular results. Not only did she finish with a Westmont school record, but she blew away the field, capturing the NAIA national championship and tying the NAIA marathon record set in 1992.
To get ready for the 26-mile race, Jessica put in long hours training. But she thinks her mental preparation played an even more important role in her surprising victory in the endurance event.
During her first year at Westmont, Jessica competed with both the cross country and track teams. But she soon realized she no longer enjoyed competitive running,so she walked away from the track. Three years passed before she returned.
“I really missed it,” she says. “I really missed training. I really missed the team. I really missed competition. So my senior year, I decided to go back out for cross country.
“Actually I didn’t intend on running track, but I had a strong cross country season, and I still wanted to keep going, so I ended up running track as well.”
She realizes now that mental fatigue kept her from competing for most of her college career. “I needed to step away from it to realize why I was doing it in the first place,” she says. “I realized I missed it and that I had a really awesome opportunity and there was still time to take advantage of it. As a result, I approached running with a lot more motivation and a really good attitude. That made a huge difference. Sports are so mental.”
The experience has made a lasting impact on her life. She says she’s now inspired to go to graduate school and get her master’s degree in sports psychology to complement her undergraduate degree in kinesiology.
Jessica says she has learned something very important. “Attitude is so much a part of life,” she explains.