Follow This Mother!

Start of a love affair: Julie was all smiles after her first Olympic-distance triathlon in 2010

Julie Marsh, a 40-year-old mom of three (plus an exchange student), is the business partner of Kristen Chase, another mother runner we profiled almost two years ago; they are the brilliant, sassy gals behind Cool Mom Picks and Cool Mom Tech. Julie lives in Denver, and I (SBS) am mighty fond of biz partners who live in the Mile High City. Julie also shares another similarity with Dimity: She's a triathlete training for a 70.3 race this summer. Unlike Dimity, Julie ran her first marathon a few weeks ago, and she's 18 months sober. (Check out special giveaway we're doing with Julie and Kristen. Some of our favorite goodies--with two of our favorite online gals.)

Best recent run: First, I must admit that cycling is my favorite event. But after starting an iron supplement nine months ago to combat anemia, I really began to enjoy running. While tapering before my marathon, I had a really tough 12-mile run, and I started to wonder if I was really ready. But then I ran an 8-miler that was simply incredible. I felt awesome throughout the whole run, and when I finished, every single mile was under 10 minutes. It was such a great confidence boost.

Summer sched: This summer I’m doing the Boulder Triathlon Series, which consists of a sprint in June, an Olympic in July, and a half Ironman in August. I’ve done the sprint every year since 2009, the Olympic the last two years, and this will be my first half Ironman. I love racing in Boulder--the scenery is gorgeous. I’m there to beat my own time, so I’m not discouraged by all the fierce competitors.

All wet: Julie and her fam (minus her middle child) after an open-water swim event

Tri’ing for those who can’t: My friend Heather was a middle-aged triathlete like me; she died of pancreatic cancer last fall. I was out running, wondering if there was anything of substance that I could do in her honor, when I recalled a Facebook exchange we’d had regarding the pipe dream of someday doing an Ironman. I wasn’t ready to take on that challenge yet, but I was up for a half Ironman. Her family designated the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, and I’ve set up a donations page at ChipIn, linked via PayPal to a separate savings account. I’ve dubbed my effort “Fit to Be Tried.”

Sobering times: I stopped drinking in November 2010 after it became increasingly clear that I could not control my alcohol consumption. I envy those who can drink in moderation; I cannot. It was not easy to admit that to myself or to commit to sobriety, but I’m glad I did (even though there are days when I would like to throw a toddler-style tantrum because I can’t have a margarita).

Rocky Mountain high: My first marathon was on May 6--the Colorado Marathon in Fort Collins. I’d done my 20-mile training run in just under four hours, so I was expecting to finish the marathon in five hours. It was an amazing surprise to see that I crossed the finish line at just over 4.5 hours. It was painful, but not unendurable, and I don’t think I ever hit the wall. (From what I understand, hitting the wall is like having an orgasm: You’ll know it when you feel it.) I’m not ready to sign up for another marathon yet, but this one gave me hope that someday I might tackle an Ironman.

Favorite running gadget: I’m a data geek; I love information. But I’m also cheap, so I don’t have too many fancy gadgets. I love the free Endomondo app, which tracks my path and pace via GPS. It reports my total time and last mile’s pace after each mile, and I’ve been really impressed by its accuracy whether I’m biking or running. I also took it skiing and clocked myself tearing down the green runs.

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3 responses to “Follow This Mother!

  1. Go Julie! I love reading about other post-motherhood athletes (like me) who are reaching their goals all while chasing after kiddos.

    And if you ever get a chance to run with Julie, she’s a fabulous running partner.

  2. What a great woman to profile! So inspiring. I feel like an ass with meaning to do the 70.3 here (CO) this year but it already sold out when I went to register a couple of weeks ago. I will definitely live vicariously through Julie.

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