EBR Rock Star: Jennifer Gerlock
It’s EBR Rock Star time! Today we’re chatting with Jennifer Gerlock, who hopes to run her second New York Marathon this coming weekend, and is part of our Fall Fun Run. (Have you shared your run with us yet? You really should!) Welcome, Jennifer!
What is your blog is about and why everyone should click over after reading this awesome interview?
Hip As I Wanna Be is a lifestyle blog that focuses on my main passions – female empowerment, healthy living, inspiring messages, and fab finds. I’m a huge self help girl and have a definite obsession with running, technology, and social media.
Your upcoming race on November 4 is your fifth marathon and second New York Marathon. What inspires you to pursue these races and how do you keep the momentum going once you finish one of these incredible accomplishments?
Not everyone feels the draw of the marathon. I understand that. Most of my friends (and husband) think I’m crazy, and maybe I am. I’m not fast. I never win my age bracket. I have injuries that take their toll on my body.
So why do I keep doing it? Because I felt like something inside of me changed the minute I crossed that first finish line. In that moment I realized that I had done what millions of others would never even dare to dream. I felt invincible. And I have never been the same. That mindset has helped me face life’s challenges knowing full well that I have the inner strength to conquer anything.
The marathon, at least for me, represents so much more than a sport. It is a way for me as a (let’s face it) 40 year old mother of two to be a little badass and do something incredible for myself.
I keep the momentum going through my running partners and the running community in general. When I falter, they keep me going. They encourage me. They draw me back in. It is because of this incredible camaraderie that I never even consider taking a break. My ultimate goal is to run the Disney Marathon and maybe even earn the Goofy medal.
How are you feeling about your race, given the current condition of NYC?
I’m torn about this year’s race. On the one hand, it is one of the most exhilarating marathons in the world and it has been something I have been looking forward to for an entire year. On the other hand, I worry about the strain of pulling public service officials from their current task to help along the marathon route. I stand by the New York Road Runners whatever their decision may be and if they do decided to go forth with the marathon, I’ll be there to run it in full support of that amazing city!
What are your top recommendations for fueling up en route? What do you eat before a big race?
Over the years my nutrition has changed but I’ve always been a huge GU fan and have used it during all of my marathons. Usually I wait until around mile five to start supplementing. If it is a long run and I’m feeling less energetic than normal, I’ll go for the Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel (I always bring Roctane with me on marathon day). My favorite flavors are Cherry Lime, Chocolate Outrage, Peanut Butter and, of course, Expresso Love! I usually carry water with me and fuel up mid-run with Gatoraid.
Prior to a long training run or race I pull out the peanut butter and bagels. Sometimes I’ll add a banana into the mix or a little Nutella. (What is the point of running that far if you can’t have a little chocolate?) I also usually throw in a mixture of Chia seeds and Vanilla Almond milk before a marathon.
Tell us about your favorite running gear.
- Marathon must have? Hat! The brand doesn’t matter as long as it is lightweight and keeps my hair in check. Otherwise you’ll find me in a Sweaty Band because they are the best invention on the planet. (IMHO)
- I recently discovered the Spi Belt. Love, love, love this sucker! Oh how I wish I had tried it sooner. Holds my GU, my iPhone, my keys and never slips off.
- My go to shoes are Saucony and Mizuno. I pronate when I run and have a wide foot so both of these brands work really well for me.
- When weather permits, I am a huge fan of the running skirt. Because all of that sweating leaves me feeling a little less than feminine, if you know what I mean.
Are you inspired by any running bloggers? If so, who?
I adore Another Mother Runner’s Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea (also authors of Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother). Not only are they hilarious but also incredibly helpful. Their site is my “virtual aid station.” (I’m also a big fan of their podcast as well.)
Run Wifey Run is another great blog. Lorraine an inspiration and you just can’t help but smile when reading her blog.
I would be remiss if I didn’t list Renee Ross. Renee just ran her first marathon in DC and I am really proud of her journey to fitness. I love watching others experience their first marathon… magical!
What’s your top advice for new runners?
Believe in yourself! You CAN do this. A few short years ago I was convinced I couldn’t run more than three miles at a time until a girlfriend of mine tricked me into running five miles with her during my lunch break. It was the start of a beautiful (and healthy) new obsession. But if you would have told me back then that I would go on to run marathons, I would have laughed.
Start small. Find a running partner. Log your miles and set a goal. Don’t obsess about your mileage! A 5K is just as big an accomplishment as an ultra-marathon. Enjoy the process!
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Jennifer Gerlock is a marketing and communications specialist and publisher of the lifestyle blog Hip As I Wanna Be. She ran her first marathon in 2007, and in a moment of insanity even took part in the 182 mile Ragnar Relay in Washington, D.C. One day she hopes to grow up to be Lara Croft. You can follow her adventures on Hip As I Wanna Be, or via Twitter (@jennifergerlock) or Instagram (username: jennifergerlock).