When Dimity and I are in Raleigh and Chapel Hill, N.C., this weekend at the Ramblin’ Rose Triathlon, we get to meet this week’s profiled mom: Jolene Cannady. Yet I feel like I already know this 37-year-old mother of two, thanks to the comments she posts on our Facebook page and blog. She’s Canadian born and raised yet married to a “handsome Southern boy,” meaning now she lives 1,000+ miles from our neighbor to the north. Alas, Jolene is injured right now—a bum left hamstring—yet she has her eyes firmly set on a fall marathon. Check out how this mom keeps all the balls in the air.
Best recent run: Since I have been dealing with injury I have had to behave and watch my pace. I am also only allowed to do short distances, until my full marathon training starts. So my best recent was two miles in a little under 16 minutes. Not the slow pace I am supposed to be doing, but I needed a little speed and it was on a track. Sssssshhhh!!!
Hamstrung: My recent injury is, without a doubt, my fault. I ran a half-marathon on March 29 that was supposed to be fairly flat around Charlotte Motor Speedway. I ran it with my husband, and I didn’t push as hard as I could have. Two days later, I felt good and thought I would do speedwork and weights. Bad idea: I got a Grade 2 hamstring strain, my first big injury ever. It sucks. It has reminded me I’m getting older and have to adhere to a pre- and post-run stretching plan; before this, I rarely stretched. I went through the stages of grieving with the injury and fell in love with physical therapy. Lesson definitely learned.
Juggler extraordinaire: My juggling act includes being a mom of two, wife, full-time registered nurse, full-time student, and a runner. I just graduated with my bachelor in the science of nursing (BSN) degree after more than 13 years of being a diploma registered nurse; my next step is becoming a nurse practitioner. I only work weekend days on labor and delivery, which means I can juggle the full load with the help of my amazing hubby. However, it also means I miss out on all the races I would love to do. It also means my long runs take place during the week, and I have to manipulate my training schedule.
Stand for what you believe in: I am Stand Ambassador in North Carolina for an amazing foundation known as Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. I took on this role both as a runner and a registered nurse. I run my races for the foundation and raise both awareness and funds for childhood cancer research. I lost my father to cancer in 2007 and have worked with some of the oncology children in the past. Cancer sucks!! I run lemonade stands with family, friends, and a teen group that I mentor. We have a blast raising funds. I have a vivid green cape that I wear after my races, painted by pediatric oncology patients from the University of North Carolina hospital. I represent my heroes, those kids out there fighting.
On the horizon: I have three upcoming races. One is a 5K in my neighborhood at the beginning of June. An amazing family whose daughter has cystic fibrosis is putting it on. They are an inspirational family who I support whenever I can. However, since I am still healing, I am not supposed to “race” this 5K. Then I have the Ramblin’ Rose Half in Durham in October and a week later I am running the Marine Corps Marathon with my husband. We are running for Team Lemon, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundations group of athletes running for the cause.
Dancing fool: I can’t shout it loudly enough: “I LOVE MUSIC AND DANCING!” I am not afraid to break out in dance anywhere. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned life is too short to worry about what others think of you. So when a great tune comes on while I’m running and I feel like stopping and getting down, I do. In fact, a lady once approached me in the grocery store and asked if I was the lady she saw dancing at the side of the road one time. I blame these moments on a good Deadmau5 song.