1. Name: Jolene
2.Tell us about your race experience: I was a person who ran before I had children. It helped me to cope with severe depression and PTSD. Then I had children and stopped running for many years. 2 1/2 years ago it came back into my life though after losing my father to an aggressive primary brain cancer. I started back to running and it took on a new meaning. As a Registered Nurse I have worked with children who had cancer in the past and seen them leave this world. They were some of my most inspirational patients. So I knew my father would be proud of me for running in his honor to raise funds for childhood cancer research. I run my races for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
3. What race did you run? I ran the Inaugural NC 1/2 Marathon, which took place on March 25th around Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina!!
4. Why did you sign up for this race? I am Canadian born and raised. I was actually born in the hometown of Justin Bieber and raised there for a long while. My husband, however, is a North Carolina guy. He grew-up loving NASCAR. He is my best friend and my husband of 11 years. So I asked him if he would run this 1/2 with me. It was our first race together and it was amazing. He is my favorite person to run with.
5. What/who inspires you to run? Children out there who are fighting cancer inspire me to be out there running. They are full of life and fight. I figure if they can keep smiling while going through some of the treatments and tests they do, then I can be out there running for them. Their families also inspire me because as a mom of 2 I can not imagine what it is like to see your child have cancer. I figure if I can help bring some change or hope then I am going to. I think about runners like Terry Fox, my fellow Canadian, who ran for miles to raise funding for cancer. He did this all while fighting cancer himself. Then I think of Alex who ran a lemonade stand at the age of 4 so she could help other children who had cancer, all while she was fighting the battle herself. This selfless behavior inspires me to be out there.
6. What is your best training tip? Listen to your body!!! I am one who will listen carefully. If I am hurting in anyway I will slow down or take a day off, even though it may drive me crazy to do so. I understand injury though and want to be able to run for as many years as I can. So if I can help prevent injury I will. Strength training is also important!!!
7. Water or Sports Drink? nuun!!! I love nuun and have used it for 2 years now. It helps keep my sensitive belly happy. It is either nuun or plain water.
8. Tell us about the outcome of the race: IT WAS INCREDIBLE!! I did not get the sub-2 I wanted, but when I started out I realized I did not care about that. What I did care about was enjoying the moment with my husband. I got a 20 minute PR though. My finish time was 2:01:16 and I was 32nd out of 170 women who were in my age group, so I as pretty proud. I am 36, going to be 37 in June, and I am by far the healthiest I have ever been. Seeing that I have my parents lovely genetics and suffer from chronic hypertension being healthy is important. The best part of the race was crossing the finish line with my husband. Quite the metaphor for marriage really. There are many times in marriage you have to work together to achieve a common goal. The best way to do it is to smile and work hard.
9. Your favorite post-race indulgence? Honestly, I had a oatmeal raisin cookie. I have missed cookies. I am not a sweets kind of girl, but I do love cookies. I had one of those and was happy.
10. Favorite part of racing in a Sparkle Skirt? The feeling of being a super hero. Is there a better way to represent children with cancer?! They are my heroes and they shine. So in return I shine for them when I am out there running. Plus I wear a cape after my races that was hand painted by children at the outpatient oncology clinic at UNC hospitals. It represents them and their journeys. This was the inaugural race that I wore it at afterwards. So I was shining. Even better my attire won me best outfit. YEP!! I got to ride 3 laps around the speedway in one of Richard Petty’s Driving Experience cars. The driver took me around the track at 165 mph and it was AWESOME!!! So that skirt had some luck packed into it.
Blog: Journey of a Canuck Mom on the Run
Race recap HERE
Follow Jolene on Twitter at @bellatjadensmom
The Traveling Sparkle Skirts are a pair of Sparkle Athletic Running Skirts (one Hot Pink & one Turquoise) that travel the globe spreading the Sparkle Athletic love. Read more stories of the Traveling Sparkle Skirts HERE.