I was so so excited to do this feature with Jill! She is such a kind, genuine soul. She has been so supportive of me during my stress fracture struggles and I cannot say how much it has meant. She recently overcame a totally freak accident/injury to KICK A$$ at Ironman Texas 70.3. With four sons and a husband, her training is so on point. She is a wonderful person & athlete. I’m so excited for you to get to know her! You can find here on Instagram, Facebook, and her Blog. Make sure you read the race recap posts – they made me tear up!
How did you get starting in running & triathlon?
I joined the track team in junior high and signed up for long distance. At our first meet there wasn’t a long distance run, so I just served in the role of team trainer. I was spectating the shot put competition when a participant released incorrectly and the shot put flew into the spectator area and I caught it in the head. I ended up having two brain surgeries and a long recovery. So that was the end of my track career. A part of me wishes I would have been encouraged to continue, but I know there was a lot of concern for my mental/emotional state as well as physical so everyone was a little scared to push me in any direction.
Throughout the years I ran off and on, but never got into a routine. I never trained or raced. I would drive past runners or see them out and always wish it was me.
Finally at 37 I started running. Within a year I ran my first marathon. I was hooked!!
What is your favorite race memory?
Wow this is a tough one! Out of all my races I think running to the finish line of my first triathlon which was a sprint. I ran hard and fast and I felt pretty good! I had just been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. A little over a week before race day I literally could not get out of bed. I could not take a single step without feeling like I was dying. But the doc put me on a strong dose of meds that got me moving!! Crossing that finish line was such an emotional moment. I cried for days! Honestly, even though I have done much longer races I still get choked up about that one!
When do you fit your training in?
As a mom of four very active boys ages 10, 8, 5, and 4 the answer is very simply whenever I can. My mornings already start pretty early, so I only occasionally do an early morning run. Sometimes it’s the treadmill or a quick run once hubby gets home. Sometimes I go out to some paved trails nearby and my four year old rides his bike (he’s been riding without training wheels since he was 3) with me while I run. That is a lot of fun! I am also fortunate my dad is retired so if I have a really long run to do my youngest goes and spends time with his Pappy so I can get it done. And they both love their special time together.
Do you do anything to supplement your running to stay injury free?
Yes! CROSS TRAINING!! I am prone to stress fractures and running as you know is high impact. This is what led me into triathlon. I love running and I want to continue running well into my golden years. So I knew I needed to find something with less impact to keep me going. So I learned how to swim and got up on a bike. Some runners can log hundreds of miles a month. I’m not one of them. So now with cross training I can continue to run strong and healthy!
What does your typical daily nutrition look like?
I’d have to say nutrition/hydration is my biggest area for improvement. I am a vegetarian and my oldest son has a severe peanut allergy in which he has had contact and inhalation reactions. So nuts are a no go and that is tough. Sometimes I have to be creative. I eat a ton of carbs!! 😁 Breads, pasta, you name it! Typically for breakfast I eat a bowl of oatmeal and an egg or sometimes veggie bacon or veggie sausage for my protein. I snack on a cheese stick and banana. For lunch it is usually a salad and/or pasta. Then for a snack it’s vanilla yogurt with chocolate protein powder and granola. A yummy treat! For dinner I usually have some meal with beans as my protein source, like a black bean patty, black bean salad, a Mexican dish, a bean soup, etc. And somewhere in there throughout the day is bound to be avocado in some form or fashion. And our little secret, just between us, I love to eat ice cream in bed!!
Sorry Jill – I couldn’t keep the ice cream a secret! You are way too cute and it made me smile way too much not to share hahaha! Your nutrition is way more on point than you think. I love that you are so balanced and truly fuel like an athlete (plus your bod is rockin)! Win win!
I hope you all enjoyed getting to know Jill as much as I have! Thank you Jill! You are truly Iron Jill 🙂