Dim and I have been buddies with Jill Parker, a 47-year-old mother of three, since writing Run Like a Mother. This Denver-based running coach and marathon-junkie even gave us training tips for the book, telling us how much training she recommends for 5Ks, 10Ks, and the like.
Favorite marathon: I have many which I hold dear to my heart, and each and every one has a different reason why, but I guess my favorite of all would be St. George in Utah. It was my very first Boston Qualifier. It was the first race I worked my tail off to get in excellent shape. In the months leading up to it, I ate clean, I weight trained three times a week, and my running kept getting faster and faster. Come race day, I had a plan and I executed that plan perfectly by not straying away from it and dying at the end, like I tend to do. I not only BQ'd but I surpassed my wildest expectations by having a spare15 minutes to qualify.
Girl power! I love things which scream girl, yet I don’t like to go over-the-top excessive. I don’t wear much, if any, make-up; I don’t like high heels; but I do love the color pink, lace things, longer hair so I can do “stuff” with it (mostly pull it back in a ponytail), sundresses, skirts, and flowers. I just like how this stuff makes me feel feminine and empowers me. I feel free and full of life when I don something girly.
Recovery effort: I run a lot of races, but the majority of them serve a purpose--prep for a major marathon. The races help me gage where my fitness level is and they are excellent speedwork--I can’t seem to hit faster paces when I run on my own. After racing a marathon, I take a mandatory week off of all activity. The following week, I resume running and weight training, but I do not push it this week. I just run some easy miles to build the base up and lift some easy weights to get the muscles ready to train again. The third week after a marathon, I will get back on a plan but if I feel fatigued, I will back off another week. During this recovery time, it’s important for me to sleep and get my nutrition back on track--these two factors really do help speed up the recovery. For shorter races, I always give myself a couple days to ease back into training. The body definitely needs to rest to recover better and I’ve been known to get injured if I jump back in too quickly. Oh, and I do take L-Glutamine for about a week after a marathon, I feel it truly helps speed up recovery. (I also take it for a couple days after a long run.)
Soul train: Running is a detox for my soul: It’s my reset button when I need to think or am feeling awful or the kids are cranky and I’m screaming inside. Running makes me a better “me.” Honestly, I am just a better person because I run. I am not a good runner because I am me, I am a good me because I run.
Post-run treat: This varies a lot, depending on my mood, finances, or how I feel I performed. I do believe there should be a reward for the sacrifices made and all the hard work performed, especially for marathon training. After I first qualified for Boston, I bought a bracelet that reads, “Embrace the Journey.”" I bought another bracelet at an expo that reads, “persevere,” and I wear it when I feel I need an extra mental push. I have a necklace from this year’s Boston Marathon, which has my name and the date, to remind me of that amazing day. The materialistic rewards I’ve given myself bring back fond memories and allow me to go to that “special place” when I have a rough workout or a bad day.
Follow this mother at: http://runwithjill.blogspot.com/