Standing at the finish line of a race is a surefire way to catch instant inspiration. This week’s Women’s Running magazine Blogger On The Run went from race spectator to marathon runner after watching a friend complete an Ironman race just seven short years ago. Jamie from Running Diva Mom is a single mom working to set a healthy example for her children while fitting in an active social life. This fit chick uses her blog to prove all women can exercise every single day! Read on to find out how Jamie makes her health a priority:
Women’s Running: How would you describe yourself?
Jamie: I am a single mommy of two that loves running half marathons in my spare time. My running has become my me time and helps me occupy my time when I’m not with my children. It has also kept me social and has given me a therapeutic outlet, all while keep me active. Running has also given me confidence, provided me with leadership skills through coaching, and helped me set a good example for my children.
WR: How did you begin running?
J: I watched a friend compete in Ironman Wisconsin in 2005. I was so inspired by the athletes, who were so dedicated to endurance sports and the event. The next day I laced up my tennis shoes, looked up a Couch to 5K training program online and trained for a 5K over the next couple of months. I never looked back. Seven years later, I am now coaching new runners through similar couch to 5K sessions and running marathons myself. There is nothing more rewarding than watching someone become passionate about the sport that I love so much. It’s very moving to watch their bodies, their attitudes (and their wardrobe!) transform over nine short weeks.
WR: What keeps you running and training?
J: I love having several races on my calendar. These keep me committed and help me amp up my mileage, leading up to the event. I also enjoy planning running dates with my friends and boyfriend. Time passes quickly while we catch up. Having the support of other like-minded individuals really has kept me committed to my routine. I’m able to spend time with the people I care about, without the hassle of hurrying home to get in a workout.
WR: What type of run is your favorite?
J: I love my long training runs…especially when I am alone with my thoughts (sans tunes). I love listening to the sound of my running shoes out on my favorite crushed-gravel trail. I love getting my breathing under control and setting a comfortable tempo. I love planning my day and sorting through to-do lists in my head, over a twenty mile run.
WR: What’s your favorite race memory?
J: I have met some of the most fascinating people at the startline of my races. On several occasions I have struck up conversation with complete strangers at the startline. We’ve kept a similar pace throughout a half marathon or marathon and were able to get to know each other very well over two to four hours of running. We pushed each other past exhaustion and fatigue and met each other’s families at the finish line (after hearing all about them). It’s been a really great experience. I’ve enjoyed keeping in touch with these strangers who I am now fortunate to call friends.
WR: What do you hope your readers will get from reading your blog?
J: Time management. Whether you are a mother or don’t have children; or you are a single parent or live in a two parent household; everyone has a busy schedule. I love proving to other women and mothers that they can fit in exercise every single day. It eventually becomes a part of their life and their routine. Many of my activities with my children and friends are active or outdoor activities. These outings don’t even seem like a workout, because I’m fitting it all in. It’s a lifestyle.
WR: How do you reward yourself for accomplishing your training/running goals?
J: An entry fee to my next race!
WR: Best running advice you’ve received or given?
J: “Run your own pace; run your own race.” Push yourself when you want to and find your own comfort level with the sport. If you exhaust yourself and don’t enjoy the run, you aren’t going to want to continue doing it. For me, running has been all about enjoying the journey … every single step. I will never win a race and rarely age group at my events. But I love being able to cross the finish line with a smile on my face.
Want to read more? Head over to Running Diva Mom!
Jamie makes time to exercise by planning work-out dates with friends – what’s your go-to strategy for getting it done?
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 Monica’s story and you’ll be entered to win a one-year subscription to Women’s Running magazine.