Her name is Jennifer and she is a mom with two young children. She is also a runner, who recently completed the Disney World Half marathon AND full Marathon (yes, in the same weekend!), and the National Half Marathon.
She has a few more races on her plate this spring, (including the same one that Workout Mommy is running) and doesn’t let anything get in the way of her fitness plans, not even the fact that she is currently 18 weeks pregnant! (and before you start yelling at her, she has been fully cleared by her OB to continue her current exercise program.)
As you can tell, there are no excuses from Jennifer, she finds the time and makes fitness a priority.
She is definitely “One Fit Mommy”!
You can follow Jennifer’s race and life adventures over at her blog, Run Happy.
Before you read on for the full interview, here are a few key points that I’d like to highlight:
- Check with your OB and read research about exercising while pregnant. Everyone is different, so do what is right for YOU!
- Set small goals, learn proper form, and find friends to support you!
- She is another mommy who thinks running a marathon is harder than childbirth! Seriously gang, if you can have babies, you can run marathons! 🙂
Keep on reading…..
Q: You are 18 weeks pregnant (yet still running faster than Workout Mommy!) What is your secret to staying in shape while pregnant?
My secret has been to always be doing something. I have run throughout this pregnancy, and have been going to the gym. I worked with a trainer to develop a routine that took into account the limitations of pregnancy. If my legs cramp- I don’t give up, I just switch to an activity that doesn’t bother them. I know that there may come a point where running isn’t possible, and I will move on to walking or another cardio activity. I feel so good about myself after exercising, and realize that it is one of the most important parts of my daily routine. Making sure I fit it in is a priority. Also- reading the research out there about the benefits of exercise while pregnant and knowing how much faster I will recover after delivery motivate me to keep going!
Q: Has you always been so fit? What got you motivated to live the fit lifestyle?
I played sports growing up, but was not what I would consider athletic. I played because I was supposed to, not because I enjoyed it. After college I started doing more things for myself, which included getting into better shape. I started walking, eventually joined a gym, started running and never looked back. Now that I have the knowledge of the benefits of exercise and living a healthy lifestyle, it is really easy to stay motivated.
Q: What is your favorite exercise/workout and why?
I really enjoy running. I have an amazing group of friends I run with. This is time for me. I rarely feel rushed, and you really don’t have to think about running while you are doing it. I enjoy my routine at the gym, but there is more thought involved in keeping proper form, counting reps, and what comes next. Running allows me to be outdoors and I enjoy that. It is especially nice during the winter, because I hate the cold and would never be outside if I wasn’t running.
Q: How do you find the time to exercise with two small children?
I have two children, my son is 3 and my daughter is 2, and I have a third due the first week of September. It takes effort to get the workouts in. I get up at 5 or 5:30 most mornings to run or go to the gym early. On the weekends my husband gets up with the kids if we have long runs, which buys me time. I am lucky to have found a nice gym with child care both my kids and I like. Knowing I have someone dependable watching them while I workout and shower is a wonderful motivator.
Q: What advice do you have for someone who is brand new to exercise and feeling overwhelmed?
Don’t give up- try different things. You’ll find one you like. Work with a trainer, even if just for an hour, to find a routine that works for you, or to simply get advice. Knowing that your routine is well planned and beneficial to you will help you get through. Set small goals. Don’t start running by saying you are going to run a marathon, or even a 10k. Start by running to the stop sign, then a bit further. Then work towards that 5k, and aim to finish. From there- improve. Also- take care of yourself to prevent injuries. Proper form is important, and will benefit you in the long run. One of the best ways to stay motivated is to have a buddy to talk to or workout with. There are so many groups and websites out there for this purpose, and talking to someone else can help you get past those frustrating days. I have a great group of friends that I can talk to after a bad run or an injury, and their support gets me back out there.
Q: What is your favorite part about running races? What is your favorite distance to run?
I love the motivation of having all of the other runners around. That really gets me going, and helps me push myself a bit. Also, the crowds can be amazing, and the pride I have at the end of a race is something to look forward to. My favorite distance is the half marathon. I get a good workout, never get tired of running, and really don’t have to change my training distances. The shorter races are fun- I have won awards in smaller races, but the only time I would run 3 miles is at a 5k. Marathons are an amazing experience, but so much more prep goes into them. They can be hard on your body. My favorite race ever was the Goofy Challenge at Disney World, which is the half marathon and marathon two days in a row. Knowing I could do that was so empowering.
Q: How do you keep yourself fueled during and after races?
I usually run with water, especially now that I am pregnant. I eat a Genisoy Bar each morning before I run. On the longer runs I take diluted Powerade or Gatorade with me, and sometimes bring Clif Shot Bloks or Jelly Belly Sport Beans with me. I avoid Gu or similar things after a few bad digestive experiences. For the marathon distance I also like to have pretzels or a banana, those really made a difference during the Goofy Challenge at Disney. After a race I love a banana and lots of water. And I always treat myself to a Diet Coke.
Q: What type of running shoes do you wear?
I wear New Balance. I have had a number of foot surgeries for Morton’s Neuromas, which were unfortunately unsuccesful. I was basically told I would never be able to run much after the last surgery. Turns out it was my work shoes- now that I am a professional mom I have the ability to wear comfortable shoes that are still cute. New Balance makes a shoe, the 1122 (now the 1123) which does not bother my feet. They fit my feet so well that I have worn a new pair on race day, and have never once, not even during marathons, gotten a blister! Can’t beat that!
Q: Which was/is more difficult—running a marathon or childbirth?
For me, it was the marathon. I have been lucky to have had two easy deliveries, so I may not be the best person to answer that! Both have an amazing outcome, but childbirth is one of those things that is so amazing, you forget all of the pain and discomfort the minute you see that new baby.
Many thanks to Jennifer for taking the time to answer my questions. (and please forgive me if I swear at you when you pass me in our upcoming half marathon! It’s not personal.) 🙂
Now, what have you done to be active today? Get moving gang!