Last week in part one of my interview with Jackie Dunleavy we covered running, working out, and 80s music. Today we cover her training and inspiration for the Disney Princess Half Marathon.
MDC: OK, let’s be serious again. What was your motivation for running the Disney Princess Half Marathon?
JD: I have complete amnesia about how much I hated running and all the “pain” associated with it when I first started. Once I ran a 5K and realized that I liked running I needed a bigger goal to keep me going. I thought – Half Marathon! But the idea seemed so scary. I heard about the half at Disney and thought it was the perfect fit.
MDC: What was your training schedule like?
JD: Training for the half really included a long “ramping up” from 5K, 8K, 10 Miler and then 13.1. I ran a bunch of 5Ks over the summer and fall, ran the 8K in November, and the 10 Miler in December. These races were beneficial as mental benchmarks. Once I did the 10 Miler, I felt much more confident that the 13.1 miles of the Half Marathon was within my grasp. Christmas and New Year’s presented much more of a challenge to me than I had anticipated, so most of the training I had “planned” to do didn’t happen. I ended up doing little-to-no running for about 3 weeks after the 10 Miler, then did an accelerated 6-week training prior to the half. Each week consisted of one long, slow run, 2-3 shorter runs (including one Tempo run where I try to do one or two middle miles at 5K pace), and 1-2 boot camp classes.
MDC: How did boot camp help with your race prep?
JD: That’s really easy! It really helped with endurance and core strength. You run with your core, and as you get tired your form deteriorates. The stronger your core the more you’re able to maintain form.
Boot camp makes you physically and mentally strong…boot camp definitely helps.
MDC: What races are on your to do list?
JD: The Philly Rock and Roll Half. I’d love to go to Ireland and do the Dublin Rock and Roll Half Marathon.
MDC: As sappy as it sounds, I always tell people that fitness and weight loss are an ongoing journey Some what’s are “easy”; complete no brainers. Others are downright craptastic – filled with constant struggle and devil-on-your-shoulder moments. Have you experienced that?
JD: Sure. I don’t really feel that I’ve been as successful as I could have been in the last 3 months. I’ve eaten more crap than I’d like to admit and haven’t stuck to working out, but I have recommitted myself. I’ve started eating clean and holding myself accountable again. [editor’s note: Since doing that Jackie has lost 4 more pounds, talking her total weight loss to 45 pounds!]
MDC: What are your current goals?
JD: 1. Become a better runner. The fitter and leaner I am, the better runner I can be.
2. Do a 5K in under 30 minutes and do a half marathon in 2:30. Someday I’d like to do a full marathon.
3. Lose 15 more pounds.
4. Look like [fellow boot camper], Elise Miller.
5. Learn how to balance working out, diet, and family life.
MDC: You’ve already done amazing things in terms of improving your health. Do people ask you about your transformation? If so, what do you tell them and how do you feel?
JD: I tell them “You’re not going to like my answer. Diet and exercise. Accountability to yourself and to others.”
I feel like I can be a positive influence in the lives of others…
Thanks for your time Jackie. I know your story will help inspire others.