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Running Q&A with my mom – 74 years old and still running strong

My mom has been running for decades, and still runs weekly at 74! She’s amazing, so inspirational, and I’ve been asking her for years to do a Q&A about running and we finally made it happen. Great timing too since she’s in town for the next week! My mom is the reason I started running and she’s been my biggest supporter as I trained for so many races over the years.

She even surprised me at the finish line of my first marathon in 2009 when she flew to North Carolina from Utah to surprise me! And that was not an easy feat considering my marathon was in the middle of nowhere in the North Carolina mountains!

Running Q&A with my mom

I think the first race we ever ran together was the Moab Half Marathon in 2008!

Running Q&A with my mom

Then, we ran a 5K in my hometown in Utah later that summer.

5K marathon Utah

She continued to come to my races in Utah, and celebrated with me when I had a great race and wiped my tears when I crossed the finish line in tears from pain. When I moved to North Carolina, she flew out to run races with me.Mom and daughter marathon

When I ran my my first ever Boston Marathon, which happened to be in 2018, with the worst conditions on record, she stood out there for HOURS to watch me finish. She was shivering more than I was after the race.

first ever Boston Marathon

freezing Boston Marathon

 

And the last race we ran together was the American Fork Canyon Half Marathon (which was my husband’s first half marathon!). I hope we can do another race together SOON.

american fork half marathon finish

Running Q&A with My Mom

Suffice it to say: I am beyond grateful for her. I don’t tell her enough and probably don’t even have the right words to tell her how much I love her and appreciate her. And I am so grateful we get to share a love of running. She’s technically a senior runner but she runs faster and longer than most people my age, ha! She’s AMAZING.

Running Q&A with my mom

Okay, let’s get into some questions. If you have more for her, leave them in the comments!

How old are you and how long have you been running?

I just turned 74 and have been running for 42 years.

When did you start running?

I watched the 1979 Deseret News Marathon when my brother-in-law ran and was amazed at all the runners. They were all different sizes and speeds and it opened my eyes that really anyone can run any distance. I was really impressed with all of them. I got more into running when I watched you run Moab and saw the same thing, that the runners were all sizes, not just young or tall (ok, well, you are short 😉 and/or thin. And I was so taken with the older, heavier runners and impressed with their dedication.

Why did you start running?

I thought it would be a good thing to try to run. I didn’t take into account that I was 32 and 7 months pregnant with my 4th child. (That’s not recommended but we didn’t talk about running in pregnancy back then!!) And that it was August in Utah. And that I ran on a high school track. It was so hot. I did it several times and then on the roads and didn’t enjoy it but still did it once in awhile.Then I decided to get some “running” shoes and try it again in the spring after my baby was older. I really liked it then. It was so much easier.

What would you tell someone who is just starting to run?

Go to a running store, get the right shoes, right socks, right clothes made of the right fabric no matter what the season (hot, rainy or cold). If there is no running store within a reasonable distance, I would try to plan a special trip to get to one or if you can’t, call and talk to a specialist who can ask you questions and guide your shoe choice. Shoes are expensive but so much cheaper than surgery or PT after an injury.

Start very slowly – run past a house, walk past the next one, repeat. Or run 15 seconds, walk 30 seconds. Do whatever your body can handle and build slowly. It helps to follow a running plan.

What running plans have you used?

A very old Runner’s World plan and another one I found online. I subscribed to Runner’s World magazine and I would cut out articles about plans and fueling and recovery.

I’m currently doing Teri’s Half Marathon plan from the Rookie Runner Program to train for a half marathon in Draper, Utah. (Even though I’m not a rookie, I still love the lessons and the training plans and not just because she’s my daughter. 😉 )

When was your first race? What race was it?

I was 62 and it was a half marathon in Provo, Utah. I didn’t know anything about racing and wished I had asked a few questions but it went well.

What’s your favorite race distance?

At this time 10K but I want to do more halves and maybe one more marathon.

runners at moses cone | Running Q&A with my mom

How many marathons have you run?

I say 6 ½ because I was training for one when COVID hit but I’ve finished 6.

How many half marathons?

Oh gosh. I counted 18 medals but there may be a couple more.

Do you know how many total races you’ve run?

I’d say at least 42… but maybe over 50 if I count all the 5K’s, 10K’s, 15ks, 5 milers. I’m not exactly sure.

What’s your favorite race you’ve run?

Huntsville, Utah

What’s your bucket list race?

Boston!

american fork canyon half marathon start line photo

What’s your favorite distance to run on any given day?

5 miles right now due to a bit of a caregiver situation. I like 6 or 7 miles when time permits.

What do your workouts in a week look like now?

I am using the Run Across America app and it challenges me to get out and move every day, usually running, but sometimes a walk and then Crossfit after. I average 4 miles for now. That’s me in the burgundy top. I have a great group and an amazing coach, Hillari, at our CrossFit gym.

Running Q&A with my mom

Running Q&A with my mom

How has your running changed over the years?

Slower, although I was never fast. I didn’t realize speed was a “thing” until my first race. I don’t feel pressure right now because I often walk and I love looking at scenery. I’ll pick it up and regain my focus when I can start training again as my husband gets better.

Running 74 year old mom

What advice would you give someone who wants to be a lifelong runner?

Don’t stop. Find something to get you out the door – an app, a friend, a personal goal or challenge, even new clothes or shoes.

What do you wish you’d learned about running sooner? 

Nutrition! I still struggle with it in running distance and daily life. And I struggle taking a rest day. I wish I had known about speed because I think I could have been a much faster runner and speed workouts are hard for me even though I try to do something on every run. I’m just not consistent with it. I wish I’d known about running groups or even a friend. No one anywhere around my neighborhood ran for years and I had never heard of running groups.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not running?

I have a small job (actually, working part-time for Teri!) that is just enough to keep me busy in the winter and in the spring and summer I’m doing yard work, whether I like it or not! And I love CrossFit and I run less because I go to CrossFit. I kept reading how important strength becomes as I got older so when I did a WOD with you and Tommy I was hooked. I am in much better shape for sure.

Mom weightlifting

 

Mom, you are INCREDIBLE. I love you.

 

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3 Comments

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    Friday Favorites (And Not Favorites) - Peanut Butter Runner
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    […] adored this post from my friend Teri about her mom who is 74 years old and still running races and CrossFitting. 10/10 recommend reading if you need a dose of motivation and inspiration to keep moving! Had a […]

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    Maria
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    Your mom is amazing and such an inspiration! Wow!! I want to be like her when I’m in my 70’s!

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