By: Jessica Fragola
Can you tell us a little about yourself? How did you get interested in running? What do you do in real life?
I am originally from Jersey City, NJ, however grew up for the most part in Long Island, NY. I was obsessed with all sports growing up, especially soccer. I initially started running just to stay in shape and eventually decided to do it full time. Since my first Penn Relays at age 14, I was obsessed with Franklin Field and the University of Pennsylvania and was lucky enough to be able to go there for college. Besides school and track, I worked at a sleep lab there with my only (very irritating I’m sure) role being to keep people awake for days. I eventually went to medical school in Brookyn, and residency at Jefferson Hospital. I am currently in fellowship at Lankenau Hospital training to be an oncologist.
So I google stalked you and found out you were 5th at steeplechase in the US in high school. That’s awesome! How have you evolved as a runner since then? Do you still do steeplechase or focus on different distances now?
I steepled early in college, but eventually transitioned into a miler up to 5k runner. It has been 9 years since I’ve cleared a steeple and wiped out in a water pit… so will probably will just stick to the dry events moving forward. These days, I’m just trying to have fun with it and have enjoyed having a group of people to train with.
If you could go on a run with one person who would it be and why?
I would probably pick my high school coach, Coach J. He is still killing it at age 50ish and has always a big inspiration to me.
What are your current running goals?
I think the big goal this year will be to run the OD 10k at Penn Relays.
Do you have any favorite quotes, or favorite books that inspire you?
Hmm… I wish I was more cultured, but most of my reading these days is about medicine. I do attempt a crossword puzzle every night before bed…which means I have a whole stack of half finished crossword puzzles.
I see you are from Long Island. Are you a mets or a yankees fan? (hint: this may be a trick question)
Hm… can I answer this with go Giants!!! Sorry not a huge baseball fan, but grew up in a die hard NY Giants household. Sorry, I know I am not making many friends with that answer.
You are one of the many doctors/medical professionals in PRTC. In fact, I think most of the women are doctors or nurses of some sort. Other than needing to be slightly crazy to do either and especially both, what do you think draws people in the medical field to running?
There is definitely a certain personality and certain traits that both share. My fellow PRTC + medical professional ladies are incredibly disciplined, motivated, and hard working. I think for me, running has always been a passion of mine, but it has also been a great outlet for me as well. There is nothing like (struggling through) a 6m tempo run to help you put aside the physical and emotional challenges of the hospital.
Anything else you’d like to add/tell everyone about yourself?
Other than when I am running, I pretty much try to spend any free time I have outside. I love playing tennis, soccer, and recently picked up surfing… which I realize I very difficult… especially when you live in Philadelphia.