Saturday Spotlight- Julie Fischer

Name: Julie Fischer.

Age: 33.

Occupation: part time Scientist, part time Stay at Home Mom.

Family: husband Ray, children Landon 6, Kylie 4, Travis 4.

Location: Smithtown.

Social security number and bank account number: not getting that!

When Lou asked me to be the Warrior of the Week, my immediate thought was No Way! I always enjoy reading everyone’s stories and really feel that mine is going to be super boring in comparison to the ones I’ve read recently. I don’t have any secrets, obstacles, great success, whatever, to share. But Lou insisted so I agreed. Here goes!
How did I start running? I’ve always been sort of athletic. I was the kickball and dodgeball champion in my neighborhood growing up. I started playing sports in middle school as more of a social thing. My group of friends were all soccer players so I joined the soccer team. In high school I continued with soccer. One day after practice the coach approached me. She said “don’t take this the wrong way, but next year I want you to try cross country instead of soccer.” I was pissed! All of my friends played soccer! She explained that I was a decent soccer player but the reason I was good at soccer was because I was an excellent runner. I could play the whole game without tiring. I could run circles around the other girls. She saw a future for me in running. I took her advice and tried winter track. She was right, I was successful ! The next year I did cross country and did well even with being so lazy. I really did not like training… I would go out for a long run and get picked up by my boyfriend or friend waiting around the block, hang out with them for a while , and then run back to school with 5 mins left pretending to have run for an hour. I still was a solid third place runner on varsity. I loved the races but not the practices.
Once I started college, I didn’t have time for running or sports. I went to college full time studying biochemistry, worked full time, & partied all night. After graduating I stayed active doing things like hiking, rollerblading, mountain biking but I didn’t run again until after my first son was born in 2008. I ran occasionally on a treadmill just to get back into shape. In 2010 my twins were born. I had a pretty good pregnancy up until 34 weeks. Then I started preterm labor, signs of preeclampsia, and major weight gain and swelling. One day shy of 37 weeks, I had full blown preeclampsia and twins were born via c-section. I gained 75 lbs (115 to 190!!) and although I easily lost the 60 pounds, the last 15 were hard. This is when I really became a runner. I had a treadmill in my basement and Insanity DVDs. Every day when the twins would take their afternoon nap, I would run on the treadmill or do an insanity DVD. Sometimes they wouldn’t sleep for long, which trained me to run faster! I would hear a cry over the baby monitor and start sprinting to try to make my distance before they both fully woke up. I do not miss those days…
My brother wanted us to run a 5k together when he heard I was running. I hadn’t raced since high school. Here I was 29 years old with a 2 year old and newborn twins and he wanted me to race? At first I didn’t think I could or should attempt it! I knew my time would be really slow. It became a goal to work towards. And my brother agreed to stay with me. We ran the Nissequogue State Park turkey trot that year. The twins were only 3 months old. My goal was under 30 minutes and I did it! I remember how painful it was. My body was not ready for a race so soon after the stress of preeclampsia and twin pregnancy. I still have some lasting effects. My ab muscles are completely separated (it’s called diastasis recti) and I have a weak core. I feel it limits me at times.
I continued running and racing. I worked my way up to a half marathon and then a full marathon by the time the twins were 1 1/2. I had a couple of injuries along the way, and now I can see it was from doing too much too fast, but I had caught the racing bug! I found the Selden Hills group while I was training for my marathon winter of 2011/2012. I remember posting on the GLIRC Facebook page about always running long runs alone. Lou mentioned the Selden Hills. I joined the Facebook page but didn’t run the hills until March 2012. I had never run with a group before and was nervous. What if I was too slow and got lost? Well, that kinda did happen.
I remember my first time. I was a little late and saw Jenipher Quintanilla still in the parking lot. She was waiting for Ellen to show up. Carl Lorenz arrived same time as Ellen. We all started together but Carl ended up pulling ahead. I didn’t know the way, and I didn’t bring a map. I figured I would follow Carl and I had Jen and Ellen behind me, so there is no way I would get lost. I lost Carl when he made the left onto Oakcrest. I must have still been going up that last hill when he turned. I looked behind me, and didn’t see Jen or Ellen!! Uh oh! I kept going straight and when I saw granny road ahead I knew I went too far. I made a right and saw a sign for Berkshire. I recognized that name and eventually bumped into Joanne. I really scared her. I ran up behind her, tapped her shoulder and asked if she was from the Selden Hills group. She jumped and screamed. Haha! She told me how to get back to the thrift shop. So I was about a half mile short my first time on the hills. I printed out a map for the second time!
What keeps me motivated? It started as getting back into shape after pregnancy. Then became about health (lost my mom to pancreatic cancer in 2009- I’ll talk about her later in the week). Then became a great stress relief from the kids, job, and life. I NEED my “me time” to de-stress and for me that is exercise! With three young kids and a job, I do most of my workouts in the early morning. Its gotten to the point where I need to start my day with an awesome workout. I’ve branched out to duathlons, triathlons, weightlifting, and CrossFit. I became a usatf certified coach in 2012 and have been coaching youth ever since. I joined Northport Running Club in 2012 as well, and started their open women’s racing team. I’ve been the captain of the team and LOVE it! I was given the award of MVP last year which was such an unexpected honor. This January my husband started running. He is running his first half marathon in July with a bunch of his coworkers for the CCFA. I am enjoying training him and we will be running the half marathon together. I’m really looking forward to that! My son Landon has become very interested in running and after doing a bunch of the fun runs in the past two years he wanted to run a 5k. He ran his first 5k on his 6th birthday this past May and finished in 37 minutes! I could not have been any prouder and cried at the finish line. I’m excited that my family is now becoming involved with running. training and supporting them & watching them succeed is even more gratifying than my own races lately. That’s pretty much my story of how I started and what keeps me going.
Oh- I should also mention, I’m faster now (about 12 seconds for a 5k) than I was in high school. I should have trained back then! Ha!

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