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Follow This Mother!

Banner finish: Jacqi's now husband, Donovan, proposed to her at the finish line of her first half marathon, in 2006

Jacqi Almond, a 28-year-old mom of two, including a son with autism, caught my eye because she’s gunning to become a Half Fanatic (at a way more stratospheric level than I am, though). But it was tweets about semi-obscure candy that solidified our bond. Sound sweet? Read on…

Best recent run: For the first time since having my kids, I’ve brought speedwork back into my life. I recently did a “longer” speed workout that involved running a mile at 8:20 (faster than my race pace) followed by a half-mile at 9:30 (5K pace). I alternated this for a total of five miles (including half-mile warm-up). Before I started, I was terrified I wasn’t going to be able to do it. But once I got started, I turned up my favorite tunes and focused on my stride. By the third interval, I felt so strong. I was smoked by the end, but I felt amazing. I am excited to do that workout again.

Autism speaks: Autism has made life more challenging and finding time to run seems impossible. I’ve learned to let Caleb live life at his speed, and we celebrate each success. Each day comes with new challenges, yet running brings me to a place of peace and provides a stress outlet. Once I finish a run, I’m in a positive place where I can focus on providing Caleb with the support and love he needs.

Truly half crazy: My Half Fanatic and eight half-marathon goal is two part. 1. I’m addicted. I hear of a race, and I have to sign up for it. 2. This year has been a tough one. My father passed away suddenly followed by my son’s Autism diagnosis. I had a hard time coping with the emotions, and running helped me through. I love the race atmosphere, and I finish with my spirits lifted. It is my therapy.

Ba(b)y to Breakers: Jacqi, Donovan, and their two children after finishing the legendary San Francisco race this year

A goal-setting gal: I love setting goals and then marking them off. As a mom, I’m constantly referred to as “so and so’s mom,” conducting emails during naptime, and chasing endless housework. I can’t remember the last time I bought clothes that didn’t have a “T” [for toddler] on the tag. I decided I needed some “me” goals that would provide me with a personal hour each day. Things like read a book a month, try a new recipe a month, take a weekly nap, and even take a quarterly spa day.

26.2’er: I’m a MARATHONER! That never gets old. I knew Country Music Marathon would be my first full because it was my first half (I got engaged at the finish), and it fell one day after my daughter’s first birthday. Destiny. CMM was both humbling and empowering. I hoped for a faster time. It was definitely both mentally and physically challenging, but I finished! After the race I knew I would be a Half Fanatic this year!

Jacqi and her BFF ready to RnR in Nashville

Pop Rocks on the run: I ran CMM with my best friend/college roommate. We were in the same major with many of the same classes, and we used to eat Pop Rocks in class together. Since then we always have them when we get together (she lives in Maryland, I’m in California). I knew we had to have them for the race. I have a major sweet tooth and a weakness for fruity candy.

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7 responses to “Follow This Mother!

  1. what an inspiration! your speedwork run sounds amazing! i’m really intimidated by that workout, but your enthusiasm kinda has me thinking maybe i can do it.
    gorgeous family too 🙂 happy running!

  2. Super cute family! And I gotta say that I love your husband’s shirt: “I don’t do marathons….”
    Congrats on CMM and your speed work drill –speed work intimidates me. I need to take a page out of your book and just do it!

  3. Jacqi is one hot mommy! She humble, gracious, and make me a better man. I always feel blessed with her and my children by my side.

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