Jonesin’ is heading into the Big City. Our next hot mom is the “O.R.G.” (the” Original Running Gangsta” and lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Out of all of my friends, she has probably been running the longest, was the first to do a marathon, and has beaten me at every race we have run together. (Which is ok – because she can be at the end taking pictures of me when I cross the finish line).
Starting out with a little intro- please tell us about your family, job, and community programs you are involved with.
My name is Jennifer Parkes. I am a paralegal and part-time business owner of Jennifer Parkes Photography. I am married with two beautiful girls, Addison (4) and Avery (1). We have dog too, Sophie, who is quite a handful. My photography business keeps me quite busy on the weekends so I am always on the go and balancing out the schedules of my girls activities and my husband’s non-traditional work hours. My husband is a sports conditioning coach – so fitness is very important in my family.
What are your favorite fitness activities?
I pretty much like any kind of physical/sporting activity. I love trying out new things and working hard to excel at them. My favorite activity is probably running. Something about being able to go anywhere you want on foot is exhilarating too me. Running lets me clear my head and get lost from all the craziness in my life.
Jen runs all over. And I mean, all over. Who goes on vacation to Mrytle Beach and runs 20 miles – that would be Jen. Who dominates the NCR Trail? She does. With a running stroller and diaper changes along the way. She runs those mean streets of Baltimore and kills those hills. Oh, you didn’t know Baltimore has hills? Well they do. And they are steep. And Jen doesn’t care because she will still run them, in the rain if she has too. She is almost like the female version of Chuck Norris when it comes to running.
How do you manage to fit in your workouts with your demanding work schedule?
Before my youngest was born I was able to go to the gym after work with my oldest, Addison and work out for an hour while she played in the daycare. Now that I have two kids it’s definitely harder to do that. As soon as I pick them up from daycare its dinner, bath, and bed, if I’m not running to ballet and soccer. So to be able to continue to go to the gym I had to adjust my schedule which consists of getting up at 4:30 a.m. It was, and still is, an adjustment – but morning workouts are the only way I could stay in shape and enjoy M&M’s (my addiction). It also helps to have great friends to motivate you to get up to go to the gym. I definitely couldn’t do it without them.
4:30 a.m. is no joke. You know you take your workouts seriously when you wake up an hour before the first bit of sun is coming through the clouds. Jen has probably finished her workout, showered, eaten breakfast, and dressed herself and her girls for the day before most people have managed to roll over and hit the snooze button. Now that is dedication.
How do you manage to stay so hot? That is, are there any tools such as fitness apps, equipment, etc that you absolutely cannot live without?
The only piece of equipment that I can’t live without is my phone. I don’t really have a favorite running app. I switch between Nike+ and RunKeeper to track my mileage. I also use FitRadio for my music. I know there are probably better music apps out there I just haven’t had a chance to try them all out yet. It is a necessity to have music whenever I am working out or I can’t/won’t do it. I also love group fitness classes.
Jen is part of an “exclusive” club at her gym. And by exclusive, I mean they wake up early and hold each other accountable to show up. Their leader, Mandi (who we will be highlighting in another post) creates lots of fun things for them to do. 10 minutes of straight burpees anyone? They are a Breakfast Club of sorts. And by breakfast, I mean, Mandi pushes them so hard in their workouts they want to throw-up their breakfast.
What’s next on your goal list for 2015? Signed up for any races or events?
Last year I did the Baltimore Marathon because I needed to lose the baby weight and there’s nothing better to do that than train for a marathon. This year I’m scaling it back to 1/2 marathons, 10k and 5ks. My first race will be the Baltimore St. Patty’s Day 5k. It’s always a great race and I enjoy dressing up and looking like a fool. I will also be doing the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in DC (my first year and I heard it’s a great race) and the Sole of the City 10k in Baltimore which I enjoyed last year and received an amazing Underarmour jacket for running it. I’m still considering the Frederick 1/2 Marathon in May as well as a fall 1/2 marathon (location TBD). I recently found out I was selected from the lottery to run the New York City Marathon in November!
New York City Marathon! How exciting! We will have to get a full race recap from Jen after the race. So another Friday, yet another HOT Mom! What did you think? Could you get up every day at 4:30? Do you get up every day at 4:30? If so, tell us about it!