March’s Daughter of Distance: Brenda Marion-Gerula

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One of my goals for 2016 was to support more women in endurance and help them connect to each other. There are so many of us out there, grinding out those miles and sometimes feeling alone in our awesomeness.

I thought: What better way to do that than to feature one Daughter of Distance each month? These will be women who love and embrace endurance sports of all kinds. They are not necessarily elites, though they can be. The majority of them are “regular” moms and wives and girlfriends and friends, balancing work and kids and training.

I am honored to present Brenda Marion-Gerula as your Daughter of Distance for March!

Check her out:

Who is Brenda Marion-Gerula?

I’m the mother of 4 amazing children ages 8, 8, 6 & 4. My running journey began in 2002. I started with training and then running my first half marathon. I signed up for two more in 2004 and another two in 2005.

Tell me about your family life.

In the summer of 2005, I met my husband. We were married in September 2006. In December 2007 I gave birth to our beautiful twin boys.  It wasn’t until after our third son arrived in 2010 that I decided to start training again. I asked my husband Eddie if he would also like to try running with me and he is now hooked on running!  In 2011 our beautiful baby girl arrived.

Tell me about your training.

As a couple we now average 7 races a year. We have run over 20 half marathons and 2 full marathons. I have crushed several of my goals such as running a sub-2:00 half marathon. My husband Eddie runs faster than me and has motivated and pushed me to keep up as we run side by side.

Last July my husband turned 40. He wanted to have a group of friends run 40km to mark that milestone year. We had a great time. One of our friends, who is also an amazing runner, brought an actual tripod and camera and ran the entire distance with it. He took hundreds of pictures along the way and it was the best running experience ever. There were no race expectations—just a bunch of friends having fun running and goofing off. We ended our run with a surprise potluck with all of our family and friends.

How do you keep up with your fitness goals?

I prefer running in the morning. In order to get my running in I am up very early. I meet up with a couple of friends and run at 4:40am. I never tracked my mileage in previous years but this year I really wanted to know. I set a goal of running 2015 km in 2015 and accomplished that.

What’s in store for 2016?

My husband and I have signed up for our first trail 50km ultra. My longest mileage to date has been 44km. It’s scary to think of going beyond that but also very exciting.

What message would you like to share with other athletic moms?

To all the moms out there: I encourage you to make time for yourself. You deserve, need and have earned it. Motherhood is exhausting! Dishes can wait. Laundry will never be done, so make time for you and get out there and do something healthy. Whatever goals you may have: No excuses! Just put that time on the calendar and consider it your time. Reward yourself for what you accomplish! Your entire family will benefit no matter what you decide to do for yourself.

Connect with Brenda on Facebook at facebook.com/brenda.mariongerula.

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What does it mean to be a female in endurance sports?

This series is inspired by my book: Daughters of Distance: Stories of Women in Endurance Sports. Here, hundreds of women open up about their realities as athletes, wives, girlfriends and mothers. From the intimacy of the bedroom to the community of competition, some of these stories will encourage and uplift. Others will surprise and infuriate. Welcome to the beautiful and complicated world of strong women.

Check out the Amazon reviews at tinyurl.com/daughterofdistance

Will you be our next Daughter of Distance?

Interested in being featured as a Daughter of Distance? Shoot me an email at vanessaruns@gmail.com.

This is a project to feature one woman in endurance each month on social media. The goal is to connect strong women across sports and across the world in celebration and appreciation. There is no need to be an elite or professional athlete. Each Daughter of Distance will receive a copy of my book, Daughters of Distance: Stories of Women in Endurance Sports.

For daily inspiring stories on athletic women, follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/daughtersofdistance.

And don’t forget to tag your photos and stories with the hashtag #daughtersofdistance to connect to this awesome community!

See you on the singletrack!

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How to Balance Endurance Training and Family: Tips & Tricks for Parents

Milk-Dispensing Mamas

Menopause Management Tips for the Active Endurance Athlete

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Other Books:

The Summit Seeker