Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thumbs Up Thursday...Jill Ellingson

This week's spotlight is on Jill of Running to Sanity. Stop on over to her blog and say hello!!

Jodi: How long have you been running?
Jill: It seems like runnning has always been a part of my life, here and there, but nothing for a consistent period of time. Since having kids it has become part of my life, FULL TIME. The last 2 years running has become a lot more serious than it ever was before. It started mostly in 2005 and has slowly gotten to be a bigger part of my life each year and the last 2 years it has become MAJOR.

Jodi Why did start running?
Jill: I always felt like I was fighting against my own body, so that's when it became a challenge to try and overcome it. I ran track in Jr. high...I was NO good, no really I wasn't! I could barely run around the track once without huffing and puffing. I mostly did it for social reasons because I hated running! If you know know I do things for social reasons and ask questions later. Then came the birth of my first child, Max and with him a TON of extra wegiht. I started walking daily with him in the baby bjorn and then switched to pushing the jogging stroller and slowly started was HARD! But every time I finished I felt AMAZING, like I had just overcome something really BIG! It was great for Max to get out in the fresh air and it was awesome for me to strive to get a run in each day with a new baby and NURSING. Being a new mom and having ONE goal each day was so important and what better goal then running! I was running to be healthy and to lose the baby weight, but also to set an example for him. I lost all the baby weight! I only ran 3 miles a day and a few 5 miles, which seemed like a LONG distance. Boy have things changed. Having kids really changed my reason and my NEED to run and to keep it up. The need was not the same before kids...I am a better mom because I run.

Jodi: How many years have you been racing?
Jill: I ran my first race in June 2006 with my dear friend Megan, Race for the Cure 5K and fell in love with racing! I was on a total high and was hooked from then on! That would be my last race until June 2009 when I ran my first Half Marathon. Getting pregnant with my 2nd baby boy made it hard to keep it up. I realized I had to commit by signing up for an actual race or I would never really do it. Running races make you a better gets you so excited to keep running.

Jodi: What is your favorite distance to race and why?
Jill: I haven't run many races besides half marathons. My marathon training kept me pretty focused, I'm not a good multitasker. I really enjoy HALF marathons because you have to keep up the long runs each week and the 13.1 distance is enough to push you past the easy point. The last 3 miles are always the hardest and never come easy. Plus halfs are so much easier to train for. Maybe if I ran more distances I would have a different answer...but right now...that's how I roll.

Jodi: What is your favorite race memory?
Jill: My first HALF was so amazing and felt amazing the whole 13.1 miles, but because that was not my BIG dream like a full marathon I would havge to say my MARATHON. When I finished my first half I told my best riend that I would never run a full...little did I know a year later I would be at the same race doing it. I never dreamed I would ever run a FULL was always one of those things so far off and unachievable that when I actually trained and did was pretty amazing. I still have the MARATHON high from that. It was not the most fun run because I felt sick to my stomach the entire last half, but having the support of my family and friends throughout the entire race and seeing them as I ran through the chute at the finish will always be a memory I hold forever. The picture of me on my blog banner is of me waving to them...BEST MOMENT, pls the fact that I was done running 26.66 miles...yes I ran futher than a marathon...does that make me an ultra marathoner?

Jodi: What is your least favorite race memory?
Jill: Mercer Island Half! That was the first day I met a lot of the local bloggers...that part was a blast, but the run...not so fun. Once you have run a half you think you got it the next, no! Running is humbling...ALWAYS! It was a really hilly course and I ran way to fast in the first 5 miles and by mile 6 I was tired and there were major hills at mile 7 and 11 and I mentally was done and I was only at mile 6. I started run/walking earlier than I would have liked. I realized at mile 12 that if I had not stopped to walk...I would have PR'd. That was really frustrating.

Jodi: What is your proudest runnign moment to date?
Jill: Running a FULL MARATHON...I totally overcame something that I thought was impossible. Marathon training changes you and not in the way that you would think. The actual day is truly a VICTORY LAP! I honestly feel like now I can do a lot more, if I set my mind to it. It really helped me overcome major WALLS that I had put up.

Jodi: What one item do you absolutely have to have with you on a training run?
Jill: The amazing headbands everyone is making now! I am in LOVE with them...more like ADDICTED! Garmin, Glide and my ipod...most of the time.

Jodi: What is your favorite fuel during a race?
Jill: You would think I would have this figured out by now, but I don't. Most everything that is race fuel makes me sick. I recently tried honey sticks and they seem to be working. They are small servings and natural...I think I might have found my fuel. For my long training runs I did eat pretzels and oranges halfway and those really helped!

Jodi: What is your favorite post race snack?
Jill: After my long runs...CHOCOLATE MILK with ice from Starbucks but with a few less pumps of chocolate! Wowzer they put a lot of chocolate in there. String cheese is great too. It's always hard for me to eat after long runs but I know it's extremely important to muscle recovery. Oh and Grape G2 is a must.

Jodi: Who do you admire most and why?
Jill: Kara Goucher, Ryan Hall, and Meb Keflezighi. I love how Ryan and Meb are very open about their faith. I'm so thankful that God allows me to run and it's exciting to see two Elite runners sharing their faith in their running. God has gifted them with an amazing ability and I love that they honor Him while doing it. Kara is just amazing. I really appreciated her honesty in the Runners World article about all the mind games that get in the way. I don't know of a runner who couldn't relate with the mental aspect of running. She has some great tips in that article that I use a lot.

Jodi: Do you have a favorite quote?
Jill: Yes...for sure. Last year while I was preparing for my half marathon I memorized an amazing verse and used it during my first half and my first full.

Hebrew 12:1-4

…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

And another great one from a NIKE ad…goes something like this…

Running Never took more than it gave, ENJOY the RUN!...

I read the above for the first time before my last, longest training run…it was just what I needed for 25 miles. I kept repeating it to myself during the last few, tough miles.

Another fave…

You will never regret a run, but you will regret not running!

Jodi: Finish this statement, when I run I feel ___________.
Jill: AMAZING, Focused, at peace, like a GOOD MOM!

Jodi: What is your current goal?
Jill: To stay “HALF-READY” at all TIMES! I want to keep up my weekly, long runs and stay in shape.
To start strength training so that I can build more muscle.
To lose more weight so I can get FASTER and run a sub-2 hour half.
I hope to run another MARATHON and feel good, the entire way.

And now for the photo part of Thumbs Up Thursday!!!

Max and Cole--the reason Jill started running and the reason she keeps running!!

Jill and Megan at Jill's first race, Race for the Cure June 2006

Jill after her first half, June 2009

Mel (here) congratulating Jill on her first marathon

Jill's support crew at the end of her marathon

Thank you for the opportunity to spotlight you Jill! Congratulations on your recent 1/2 Marathon PR. Best of luck with your goals!

Keep running, you're simply the best, and Jill YOU inpsire ME!!


  1. Hey Jodi, this is cool! I think I may try this with some of my older followers. It is a great chance to get these stories out!

  2. Love love it!! Thanks for highlighting my buddy Jodi!!

  3. Oh I love your post!! And Jill, I absolutely love that verse!! :D

  4. That girl is wakin' up my lazy bones!