June 21 2016
When planning her honeymoon, Elizabeth Heidal was able to get one step further to her goal of racing in every state.
Our latest Women’s Running magazine Blogger On The Run lives to smash her personal goals. Meet Jacqueline from Muscle Up Mom! She’s currently pregnant with her second child (who will arrive any day now!) and is counting down the days until she can line up at a race start once again. Read on to find out how this inspiring Mom made running a way of life:
WR: How would you describe yourself?
J: I’m a 31-year-old mother and writer who’s very into all aspects of fitness. I have a three year old daughter and I work from home as a freelance writer. I’m two weeks away from adding a second child, a son, to my family. I have a wonderful husband and live in a bucolic small town on Long Island that I love. Being a mother is probably the best thing that ever happened to me and I enjoy it every day, but I also appreciate the balance of working a little and exercising a lot! I used to work in advertising and before that I was a wannabe academic and was in graduate school for English literature. I want to write books, start businesses, jump out of airplanes, smash personal records, and never get old. I figure running forever will help with at least that last one. 🙂
WR: How did you begin running?
J: I didn’t play any sports in high school, in fact, I smoked cigarettes and was totally sedentary. In college I quit smoking and started tagging along with a friend to the YCMA to huff and puff on the Stairmaster. I eventually found the treadmill and pushed until I could do three miles straight. After that, I never really stopped running. I didn’t time myself or care about distance covered, I just used running as a way to stay in shape and a mental release. Everywhere I lived, every job I had, every relationship, I ran through it…I didn’t even track my miles when I ran! I used to run on the East Side greenway of Manhattan and categorize my runs as “To the Williamsburg Bridge (short)” “To the Manhattan Bridge (medium)” “To the Brooklyn Bridge (long)” and back.
When I first began running it never occurred to me to do a race. I figured I was just slow, so what was the point? After having my daughter at the age of 28, running became even more important to me as my favorite hobby and time for myself. I started playing with speed and miles to see what I could do…and then did my first race with a friend. The rest is history!
WR: What keeps you running and training?
J: Most importantly, I just love running. I’ve been working on a long essay this year that is basically a love song to running: what it means in our lives, why it’s so addictive and meaningful to so many of us. As for training and racing, I love being able to put hard work into something and see results. I never knew I could be athletic, even a tiny bit, so to see my own progress and passion grow has been one of the most exciting things in my recent life!
WR: What type of run is your favorite?
J: I’m probably a weirdo because I love speed work! I love track workout because I love running until I feel like I’m going to throw up…I even love mile repeats on the treadmill.
WR: What’s your favorite race memory?
J: It would have to be my first triathlon, which was a short sprint I signed up for on a whim. I joined a training program at my gym, with a coach and a group, and struggled so much with swimming. I had never really swam before. I panicked every time I tried to swim in open water, badly enough that I considered pulling out of the race. I was so proud of myself when I was able to complete the swim, and placed in my age group. It was only the second race I had ever done (the first was a 10k a few months before) and the first time it even occurred to me that I could WIN something (even if it was an age group medal in a small race). It changed the way I saw myself and my abilities and the possibilities that the future held. If I could do this, what else could I do? And not just in terms of races, but in terms of life, career, or anything. It made me re-evaluate how I perceived myself at the age of 31.
WR: Are you currently training for a race? If so, which one?
J: I’m finishing up my second pregnancy, and have been on my longest running hiatus in years due to problems with my feet. The more I can’t race, the more I want to. I have a growing list of races (everything from the New York City Marathon to a 1.5 mile underwear run is on there) I want to do and I hope to check them all off after I get back to running.
WR: How do you reward yourself for accomplishing your training/running goals?
J: Massages! And eating out. I get so sore, from weight training and running, that after a hard training month or race, I splurge on a really painful, deep tissue, death massage.
Want to read more? Head over to Muscle Up Mom!
We love our Women’s Running magazine Blogger On The Run so much that we want to inspire you to check her out! Simply leave a comment below telling us what you think about Jacqueline’s story and you’ll be entered to win a one-year subscription to Women’s Running magazine.