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Follow This Mother!

Jen, hubby, and one of the kiddos out for a warm weather run

Spend a few minutes on the blog of Jennifer Boudreau, a mom of two in Gardiner, Maine, and chances are good you’ll get bitten by the racing-bug: This mother runner doesn’t let Maine’s wintery weather stand in her way of running a race. (Although she will let a fever sideline her if that happens again…) Jen has been an avid racer for nearly three years, although she admits to still learning how to push herself in them. Tests this year: her first relay race, her first tri, and marathon #2. Find out about the gals that fuel her giddy-up, and join us in wishing Jen an early happy birthday: She turns 35 next week.

Best recent run: was today. I’m a teacher, it’s February break, and best of all, daycare is still open. I was able to get outside for a midday run on a sunny day. I was smiling from ear to ear the entire run.

Beach to Beacon transformation: The racing bug hit me during the summer of 2009. In a month’s time, I ran the L.L. Bean 10K then the Beach to Beacon 10K. I was still fairly new to running and didn’t really know how to push myself yet (I’m actually still learning). In that month, I took 7 minutes off my 10K time. Thinking back, I remember running the L.L. Bean with two friends, chatting for most of the race. Then with about a mile left, I apologized and took off for the finish line. It was then I realized I had more left in me in a race. The next month, I ran the Beach to Beacon without any friends and a much larger pool of runners (organized by the ever-incredible Joan Benoit Samuelson), which meant no chatting. I was more focused and determined to do my best. Race day for me now means pushing for that PR.

Jen at the January Thaw (a race!) clearly not a warm spell...

Fit man: Since I met my husband, Ward, more than a dozen years ago, he has been fit and athletic. He has also been a runner for at least 24 years as well. I, on the other hand, have not always been a fit person and became quite overweight with my first pregnancy. It was Ward’s personal commitment to running and telling me that I was capable of more that got me out the door and to the gym.  He is, and will always be, my inspiration and support for running.

Slowed down by snot: The morning of my most recent race, the Mid-Winter 10 Mile Classic, I didn’t feel horrible but had a fever. I didn’t even consider not doing the race. I had already gotten my shirt and had plans to run, so being the stubborn person that I am, I ran it.  While running, I actually felt pretty good. Little did I know pushing myself the way I did would lead to a horrible bout of pneumonia. The combination of a fever + chest cold + history of pneumonia + asthma + no rest (all moms know this!) = 5 days on the couch. Next time I’ll think twice about running when sick. It’s really not worth it.

Same race, different year: For a while there I really only did the same races year after year mostly because there weren’t a lot of races to choose from in Maine. Same course + another year of training = a great feeling when I saw my times decreasing.  This year I’ll be doing some of my favorite local races but I’ll be starting to venture out to some newer races, like the Reach the Beach Relay in May, Mount Desert Island Marathon in October, and my first tri in there somewhere, too.

Rail Trail Chicks: Running with the girls, a.k.a. the Rail Trail Chicks, has been one of my most favorite components to running. Getting time to spend with friends and running is one of my favorite ways to start off a Sunday morning. We get together on Sunday mornings for our runs on the Rail Trail. We are all moms with kids ranging from 18 months to 9 years old and four of the six of us are teachers. The six of us have not done a race together at this point, but there have been races where we’ve had some some Rail Trail Chick representation--the Jingle Bell 5K in December, January Thaw, and most recently the Mid-winter Classic. Looking ahead to the 2012 race schedule, I see many opportunities for Rail Trail Chick racing.

Can’t run without: Gum. I need to have some kind of moisture in my mouth. Running dries me out, and gum has become an absolute necessity for me.

Jen + gal pals braving the cold

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15 responses to “Follow This Mother!

  1. So nice to see another mother runner from Maine and a bada** one, running in all our great State has to offer for Wintery weather!!! 🙂

  2. Way to go Jen! I have a very fit husband, too – tho I have inspired HIM to run. And he is on the verge of catching me! I also have to have gum in my mouth – I carry extra pieces for my long runs. Happy Birthday and happy racing!

  3. Hurray – and ayuh! Another Maine runner who understands the extremes of weather and daylight (or lack thereof). I’ll see you at the MDI marathon; I’ve done the MDI half 3 times and have picked the MDI marathon for my first marathon. It’s a hilly one but I’m willing to tackle hills if it means sleeping in my own bed the night before the race and having my family on the course.

  4. For MDI, be sure to get your hill training on, since you live in the flat part of Maine! MDI is my hometown marathon (family is still there, and my brother’s restaurant is 50 yards or so from the finish) and the hills still killed me, even though I thought I knew them well… It’s an incredible run to savor.

  5. You should do the Mainiac Tri/Duathlon in Biddeford. It’s in September and the course is beautiful! I did the duathlon last year (my first) and it was great. Nice, small, well organized race. Giddy up!!

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