All About Laura
Loves to Run: 5k-Marathon
How has the Boston Marathon changed your life?
My daughter ran her first marathon when she was eighteen in three hours and fifty-seven minutes. Now she is twenty-four, running marathons in three hours and thirty-one minutes.
During the 2013 Boston Marathon, my daughter just crossed the finish-line minutes before the bombs went off. I was on the line too, and it changed my passion to qualify for Boston.
This year she ran the Boston Marathon for the first time since 2013. There were a lot of emotions, but it makes the passion even stronger.
Qualifying for the Boston Marathon is very special. When you set your mind to doing something, it is possible. This year, I hope to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I am only three minutes away.
How did you start running?
I started running when I was eighteen years old, to be fit and live a healthful lifestyle.
I started to run again when I was forty-six, and someone challenged me to the 2010 Chicago Marathon. At first I thought, “Are you crazy? I have not run a half-marathon yet!” Then, something clicked and I became addicted to running.
Running a marathon feels like when you love something and you just have to have it.
How was your first marathon experience?
In 2010 the Chicago Marathon was hot, I am pretty sure it was over 80 degrees.
I felt scared to death because it was so hard. Something kept me going, I stayed committed to my goal and finished strong.
What did it feel like to cross your first marathon finish-line?
It takes everything to cross the marathon finish-line. You put everything into it, and its funny because you think, “How do I do this?”
I felt emotional and broke down in tears. My daughter finished running two hours ahead of me, and waited at the finish-line. That was a great feeling, to see my daughter watching me finish the marathon.
Driving ten miles I think, “Oh My Gosh, I ran 26 miles!”
How do you balance running with life?
Time management! I plan my meetings, mileage and everything I am doing in advance.
We are a running family. My husband runs, my daughter runs and my twelve-year-old son runs! Having my daughter as my running partner makes me accountable for my training.
I love talking about aspects of running, every day!
What is it like running with your daughter?
We always work together! My daughter thinks I am amazing, but I think she is more amazing. We have a very close relationship, it is more than just being best friends.
I think that running has brought us closer together. Almost every single day we run together. Every year, we run the Chicago Marathon together!
What is a typical week of running for you?
During marathon season, I am running up to forty miles a week. Sometimes its weird, I feel like running after I run!
What do you like to eat for running?
Healthy nutrition for running is so important. Over four years, eating clean helped me cut two hours off of my marathon time.
I carry a water bottle, running. I always like to have water or Gatorade. Every five miles I eat my gels, even on training runs.
Where is your favorite place to run?
Honestly my favorite place to run is the coast of California. I was running so fast on the coast! It was so beautiful, I love the mountains and water.
We have scenic corn fields and trees, locally in Illinois. I love running along the lake front in Chicago.
Eventually, I would love to run a half-marathon in every state.
What is your favorite distance to run?
When I first started running, I loved 5k’s. Then, I moved up to the 10k, ten-milers, and half-marathons.
I love running ten miles, it is like boom! I can run it fast.
My favorite distance is the half-marathon.
What do you like to wear running?
I wore tie-dye leggings in a marathon just when they started to become popular. Everyone loved the tights.
I am the queen of crazy tights! There are so many running tights in my closet.
What type of sneakers do you wear running?
I wear Newton running shoes. When they wear out, I just get another pair. My new color is blue, last time they were pink. My sneakers are replaced every 400-500 miles. I run a lot of miles!
Do you have a motto?
Do not give up on yourself.
Never give up on your goals and dreams.
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Photography, courtesy of Laura Parks.
That Pretty Runner