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A special series featuring four Austin runners and their journey as they train for the upcoming 3M Half Marathon and the Austin Marathon. Brought to you by CLIF Bar & Company, the Official Sports Nutrition of #downhilltodowntown17.

Name – Jillian

Club – Twenty-Six Two

1. What got you into running?

I ran on and off throughout middle school and high school for fun. I found out that I enjoyed running when I was a cheerleader in 8th grade. We had to run a mile before practice every day and it was my goal to be the fastest to run my mile. I never joined cross country or track, but I continued to run occasionally during college and I picked it up more after I graduated. I really began running again in 2013 after I started the South Beach Diet. After four years of teaching, I was at my heaviest, 198 pounds, and didn’t feel good, so I decided to do something about it. After I lost the initial 25 pounds, I started running more and signed up for my first 5K. I ended up losing 72 pounds and have kept it off for three years now.

2. How long have you been a runner?

I would say an avid runner for three years.

3. What continues to motivate you to run?

My motivation comes from how running makes me feel. I feel accomplished as well as relaxed after I run. I also enjoy the time to think and escape from reality for a little while during a run. I also keep running to stay in shape and maintain the new lifestyle that I started.

4. What does a typical long run Saturday look like?

We start running at 7 a.m., usually from Cover-3 off of West 5th Street. I’m usually finished between 8:35-8:45 a.m. It really depends on the route we take and how far we have to run. Then I rest up a bit at Cover-3 and head home. Sometimes I stop at Starbucks on my way to get coffee and a second breakfast. Then after that I relax for the rest of the day.