Running With The Girls was created by self proclaimed running addict and Undiscovered Kitchen Ambassador Jen – mother of two kids ages 6 and 11, wife to a marathoner, and a high school math teacher. Jen is also a 3 time marathoner (currently training for marathon #4!) who finds her happy place while running! Running With The Girls started out as a training log in February 2011 and has since morphed into a place where Jen shares all of her running adventures and her experiences balancing her (sometimes) hectic life as a mom, wife, teacher and runner!
Jen originally got into running because of her husband, who has been running ever since he attended Junior High (the same school she works at now) and now, while she doesn’t plan on training for the olympics anytime soon, she regularly runs for the fun of it with her girlfriends and family.
If you have a busy life (as we all do!) and don’t think you have time for fitness, you may find just the inspiration you need, for example, in her post “Workout Wednesday”, Jen writes about how her son was sick and the weather was bad, so she couldn’t go to the gym or go for a run much farther than her house, so instead, she did what any inventive mom would do and ran in front of her house for a total of four miles, checking up on her son every time she passed!
[Tweet “Meet marathoner Jen from Running With the Girls! #udkambassadors #fitness”]
Jen even has a running playlist for you to get you motivated!
In addition to sharing stories about her hectic life and fitness schedule Jen also shares her easy, no-fuss recipes!
When did you start your blog and what inspired you?
I started blogging in February 2011 (wow, has it really been 4 years?!). I was inspired by a local Maine mom and running teacher, One Mom In Maine, and wanted to find more blogs like hers. When I failed miserably in my search for one, I thought, “if she can do this, so can I!” And I did.
What’s the goal/mission of your blog?
It’s my place to get my thoughts down regarding my quest for fitness and my quest to have a fit family. It also serves as a place for me to hold myself accountable in this quest. My blog provides me with an opportunity to try new products and share those thoughts and experiences with others.
Personally, my mission is to take each day and make the best of what we have. There is no use dwelling on misfortunes. Trust me, if I did, I would never come out of that hole. Life knocks you down and you need to rise up against those hurdles and make your life worth living! For me, it’s taking time for myself through fitness – which makes me happier and my family happier. Whenever fitness can involve my pets or family as well (and friends too) – I’m even happier! Professionally, I’ll never stop growing. I challenge myself in the education world all of the time. This year I decided to take on the National Board. It’s a hard and difficult road, but when I come out on top, it will be worth it!
Is your blog your full time job? If not, how do you balance your time?
My blog is part time. I am a full time high school math teacher, summer track coach, (assistant/volunteer MS track coach right now), and Couch to 5k Coach, as well as a full time mom. Balancing my professional, personal life and blog life takes a considerable amount of time and focus. When life gets crazy, the blogging is generally the first thing to take a back seat. I don’t want it to feel like a burden to me and something I have to do – because that’s when I lose my drive to want to blog. But I love that I will always have my blog as a place to share my training and views.
Any funny/memorable rookie mistakes or lessons learned along the way?
Oh rookie mistakes? There have been many. Wrong hyperlinks, spelling errors…deleting photos from my Google photos which then leads to missing photos on blog posts!
Something only your best friends know about you?
I am seriously very shy. I don’t come across that way in social media, but I am. In social situations, I tend to hang with one person. I’m not one to go out and meet new people.
What’s THE weirdest thing about you (because weird = AWESOME!)
I cannot rest if the house is untidy. I don’t care too much about clean, but random stuff all over the place drives me insane.
Something you’ve been dying to master but still can’t get exactly right?
Racing marathons. They have been kicking my butt lately. It’s okay. There are more races. I will master it. Sometime. Soon, I hope!
How do you keep a healthy mind?
Running gives me that time to clear my mind. It’s that “me time” I crave and need as a busy mom/teacher/wife. When I run, all of my problems seem to get solved and I’m better able to deal with those issues.
How do you keep a healthy body?
Treating my body with the respect it deserves. Listening to aches and pains and taking rest days when needed are high up there on my list!
How do you keep a healthy spirit?
Laughing. Finding time to get in a great laugh and giggle with my family and kids. It’s the best way to keep my spirit and mood in a positive place.
What’s your secret to staying motivated?
My mom was a very unhealthy person. She smoked for over 30 years, never exercised and made unhealthy food choices. Sadly, she died from lung cancer over 8 years ago. Her loss changed my life and my families life forever. It had been the primary drive behind my motivation to keep moving and keep my family moving. I know my mom is always with me, cheering me on and keeping me moving.
Given all the time, tools and fresh ingredients, what would you try to make in the kitchen?
Fresh salsas of all types. Fruit salsas, tomato salsas. I love salsa and I love different twists. And slaws…I love slaws! But, I lack the ingredients and time to make up great ones and always revert back to the easy one. Would love to get creative with this!
Your favorite thing to do on the weekends?
Family time. That is all. Life has been crazy for us, but the kids and I are building our list of things to do this summer and it’s going to be awesome!
What are you excited to or hope to achieve in the next year?
This year I’ve already completed 2 marathons. By the end of this year I will complete my 3rd for the year and 6th overall. I’m also excited to take on the Mount Washington Road Race and my first Triathlon this summer!!!! Trying new things!
What are your favorite artisan food companies?
I love local stuff – from local farmers markets. I don’t necessarily have a favorite. I just love trying new things!
What are your favorite foodie blogs/sites?
Undiscovered Kitchen (of course!!!) and Oh She Glows!
The best blog comment/feedback you’ve ever received?
How inspiring I am. :) Love that!
What are 3-5 of your favorite fitness/health related products?
- Spandits – A Maine owned/made apparel company owned by my husband’s track coach and her good friend. These ladies have been running marathons forever and know what women want when it comes to running bottoms. I was the first blogger to review their bottoms 3 years ago and I’ve been in love with them since. I’ve also been lucky enough to represent their company for the past 1.5 years as their ambassador.
- Skechers – Everyone has their favorite shoes. I’ve tried so many shoes. The ones my feet feel happiest in are Skechers – light, cushy, supportive. They are perfect for me.
- Compression Socks – So many brands to choose from, but my favorite of all is Crazy Compression. They help my tired legs feel ready to take on those miles.
- Camelbak – My marathon training go-to. I love having my hydration on my back while I run. Camelbak made the best hydration backpack with plenty of space to carry my marathoning needs.
- FlipBelt – The first belt I’ve worn that has enough space to carry my necessities – EpiPen, phone, keys, fuel…and feels comfortable.
What are your favorite small batch food companies?
- Phenoh7.4: The ultimate hydration drink!
- Larabars: My go to snack bar. I always have a box in the cabinet and a box in my desk drawer at school.
- HoneyStinger: My go to marathon fuel. Always gentle on my stomach and the best flavors ever.
What are your favorite foodie blogs/sites for recipe inspiration?
What are some of your best or favorite posts of all time (your own or others’)?
Not always the healthiest….but these are my favorite!
Still Eating Like I’m Running – Apple Pie Muffins
What 3 items can’t you live without?
What recipe have you been dying to master but still can’t get exactly right?
Not really sure, I’m usually pretty inventive and just toss things together. Somehow it works out – perhaps a healthier mac and cheese for my family.
What’s your “secret ingredient” or what do you find yourself constantly using in the kitchen and why?
Coconut Oil. My favorite of all time. So versatile. So light. I cook with it all of the time!
What are you excited to or hope to achieve in 2015?
Completing marathon #4 and #5. Aiming to BQ next September for Boston 2017. A second year of Summer Track and running my own Couch to 5k program this spring!
Jen is a part of all these organizations:
- Undiscovered Kitchen Ambassador!
- Spandits Ambassador
- Fitfluential Ambassador
- Sweat Pink Ambassador
- PopSugar Select Blogger
- Influenster Blogger
- Gone for a Run Ambassador
- Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador
- Kindrunner Ambassador
- Bioskin Ambassador
- Diet-to-Go Ambassador
- Kickin’ Asphalt Community Member
- Headsweats Ambassador
- ProCompression Ambassador
CONNECT WITH JEN:
- Like her on Facebook
- Follow her on Twitter
- Follow her on Pinterest
- Follow her on Google+
- Follow her on Instagram
- Follow her on Sweaty Nation