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Jillian is a Runner

April 11, 2011

This is a new series here at Beantown Momma.  People who run will be sharing their stories-why they run, how they became a runner, why they love it.  If you would like to contribute to the I Am A Runner Series, please email me.  I’d love to share your story!

Jillian was a senior on the swim team when I was a freshman.  She was wicked cool in my eyes (still is).  Now she’s the mom to 3 beautiful children, and still keeping fit.  Back in teh day, she commiserated with me and my hatred of running.  It’s amazing how things change!

mexico and new years 151

I was always a swimmer…From when I was little and took lessons to when I was in college and swam long distance, I was a swimmer.  Morgan and I were on the same college swim team and when Coach said to run I followed the same program she and the majority of swimmers followed – we walked to the nearest convenience store across from Kappy’s, hung out for 25 minutes and walked back, jogging when we got to the main gym!  I hated running, had no idea how to do it, swore I couldn’t run, the whole bit. 

After college, I got married and we moved out to sunny San Diego (my husband was in the Marine Corps.)  The weather in San Diego was ideal for just about anything.  Not too hot, not too cool, sun on your face, want to be outside kind of weather.  So with an old swimmer friend of mine who lived close by and was also "not a runner", we decided to give this running thing a try.  We started slow, we ran/walked around Lake Miramar, gorgeous views, and there was a trail marked for every 1/4 mile.  So we would walk one, run one, walk one, run one….pretty soon we were running two, walking one, running two, walking one…until we ended running pretty much the whole thing!  It took quite a while to do but with my friend, we did it together. 

After a year of running in beautiful San Diego, I had to move back home to Boston.  My husband was being sent to Kuwait for the start of the war and I wanted to be home with my family.  In order to take my mind off him being away I decided to sign up for a marathon.  The Bay State Marathon in October was my goal, I had a program to follow and I stuck to it.  I was in the best shape of my life, and now I felt like I was most certainly "a runner". I could run anywhere, I just had to have my sneakers, I had runner’s injuries, shin splints, sore feet…and so I felt like "a runner".  I followed the program basically up to the 20 mile run and that run knocked me on my a**.  I hurt during the last few miles and I limped home, discouraged about ever running 26.2.  I was most certainly not a runner if I couldn’t even follow the program.  My dad talked me through it and he decided to start running with me – now my dad had never run a mile in his life but if I would run the half marathon instead of the full, he would do it with me…so we started from scratch, together…and it was amazing.  We trained hard, not for speed but for distance, and we crossed the finish line together.  Now we were both runners and we were off and…running :) 

Fast forward 7 years and these 3 beauties later, and I would still call myself a runner.  I can run around my block, which is about 3 miles, without much trouble.  I’m no speed demon but I can get it done.  My dad is an amazing long distance runner, who runs at least 2/3 times a week with a long run on Saturday morning.  We hope to run the Bay State Marathon this October together, which means I need to get in gear and start a long distance program.  I have a little extra weight from those three darn kids and that makes it all that much harder.  It’s hard for me now to take time out for myself.  With three demanding wonderful kids, I can barely get a minute to myself before they go to bed at 7:00 and by then I am just too tired to think about taking off the pajama pants and putting on my shoes.  I try to sneak out at naptime or do an early morning workout on the treadmill but my priorities have shifted.  These days sleep is more precious to me than exercise but with the warmer weather coming, I hope to shift my attitude once again towards running outside.  My mom and I have started a couch to 5k program, using an iPhone app, which she thinks is cool, so that’s kind of fun.  My mom would most definitely not consider herself a runner but I know she smiles a little to herself when she tells my dad we are going out for a ‘run.’  I guess we’ve made running a family affair.

Even though I haven’t swam a lap in a pool in years, I would still call myself a swimmer…but I am also a runner.  

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 11, 2011 6:12 pm

    the mom friend i run with was a college swimmer too! i’m embarrased to say she took me on a 10 mile run yesterday and kicked my butt into the ground. must be something about you swimmers!! 😉

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