Saturday Spotlight- Jeanne Zodda

Name: Jeanne Zodda
Age: 30
Hometown: Lake Ronkonkoma
Current town: Centereach
Family: Happily married for 4 years, expecting our first baby in three weeks!
Occupation: Reading Teacher
Favorite song: I don’t have a favorite, but I’m a huge music lover. Everything from Tom Petty to Lil Wayne!

First of all, thank you Lou for asking me to do this! I hope what I have to share is interesting/entertaining for you all! I live in Centereach with my husband, Matt. My husband works for a private jet charter company handling all of their day-to-day logistics. It’s a 24/7 job, which was hard to adjust to at first but he finds it rewarding and I’m glad he gets to do something that he loves. He’s also a licensed pilot, so I’ve had the opportunity to fly with him. A big perk of Matt’s job is that we get to fly private whenever there’s an “empty leg” somewhere, but it’s pretty short notice. We’ve been known to drop everything to hop on a jet to Florida, Atlantic City, etc….Matt’s even gone to Geneva. I guess those trips will become few and far between now with baby on the way! I work in Bayport-Blue Point as a Reading Teacher. I love my job because it’s extremely rewarding and the community I work in is wonderful.
I’m currently 37 weeks pregnant and feeling more excited and anxious for our little bundle of joy by the day!! It’s been an easy, pleasant pregnancy and I was even able to continue running until around 34 weeks- Now I’m walking and swimming to keep active. I ran the hills for the last time in April, at 25 weeks pregnant! Interesting, to say the least…I can’t wait to get back out there after baby.

I’m really close with my parents, who live about 10 minutes from us. My dad owned a repair shop most of my childhood and my mom was a stay at home mom who eventually went back to school and became a CPA when I was in junior high. Their schedules were pretty flexible when I was growing up and we traveled a lot…I have nothing but fond memories of my childhood! We had so much fun! I have one younger brother, Anthony, who is an amazingly skilled sculptor. He’s also a precision welder and he lives in Chelsea…he’s basically the coolest person I know. I’m also really close with my inlaws and my husband’s whole family, which is such a blessing. Three of my cousins are also fellow hillbillies and I feel like we have all gotten closer through this group!

Now for the running stuff! Like many people in this group, I wasn’t always a runner. I went through a really terrible breakup and a tough time when I was 21 and I picked it up then. When I was 23 I was diagnosed with mild depression which has continued on and off for the past 7 years. I do a lot of things to manage it, but exercise was always something that I KNEW helped. I ran on and off for a few years and then about 3 years ago I started in earnest and never really stopped. Now I know that running is an integral part of my self-care. Before I was pregnant I had been running between 20 and 35 miles a week for several years. I know that is peanuts compared to many of you in this group and you all amaze me daily!! It’s the right amount for me that makes me feel good and allows me to train for several races throughout the year which I really enjoy. I like having a goal and I like numbers, so I’m happiest when I’m on a set training plan. I’ve improved my speed (and I use that word very lightly) from around an 11 minute mile when I first started running to an 8:15 or so (on short runs). It amazes me what our bodies can do! I’ve run two half marathons so far (Bridgehampton and Suffolk) and I’m planning on running the Bridgehampton Half this spring. After that, I’m seriously considering training for a full! I’m really excited about the possibility of it. I ran Selden for the first time in Spring 2017 at the suggestion of a work friend and used the hills all that summer to train for the infamous Cow Harbor. Let’s just say Cow Harbor was a pleasant surprise in comparison to our hills!!

I love running because it takes me out of my head, or it gives me time to think, whatever I prefer that day. I love it for how strong it has made me mentally and physically. I love it for the friends I have made and people I have gotten closer to through the sport. When I got pregnant, I thought I would miss the booze the most but I can honestly say it’s the running I miss most. Running pregnant is really, really tough and I cannot wait for the day I can go on a nice long run again without feeling like I’m going to pee myself/keel over/dehydrate!!