Name: Brooke Z
Instagram Handle: mamabrookeruns365
Day Job: Alaska Airlines Employee
AER: Tell us a little bit about how you parent young kids, work a traveling job, and find time to still run!?
Brooke: With young kids, crazy work hours, and a traveling husband, striking the perfect balance can definitely be a challenge, but keeping a tight schedule during the week is a top priority in our house that helps keep everything in balance. I make time in the schedule to run every day because running gives me time to decompress, fills up my cup, and makes me a less stressed wife and mother.
AER: Speaking of, it seems like you are always running at the craziest times! How do you find the motivation?
Brooke: I can work almost any time of the day with my job at Alaska Airlines, but in order to be present for my kids at school and after school activities, I choose to work at night while my family sleeps. As a result of this unusual schedule, I often end up running with friends in the early morning after I get off work, running my kids in the stroller to and from school, or between bedtime and the start of work. It is not always easy, but knowing they’re friends waiting to run with me, knowing my kids are always watching and imitating my behaviors, and having a goal to train for are constant sources of motivation.
AER: Top travel tips for staying healthy and strong on the road?
Brooke: Drinking lots of water, wearing compression socks, and eating healthy foods help keep me feeling well while traveling. I know changing time zones can be really challenging but each of these things along with melatonin gummies help make the transition easier.
AER: Do you find balance through running? If so, how?
Brooke: Our family motto is Work to Live, don’t Live to Work. This idea has been constant source for personal balance over the years and one of the ways I achieve this balance is through running. Running keeps my stress level down, gives me focus when life gets challenging, and provides a lot of joy. As a result, I am a better wife, mother, and friend.
AER: Tell us something that the instagram world doesn't know about you or would be surprised to hear?
Brooke: I never played a single sport or ran until college. My parents were much older when I was growing up and did not have any interest in physical activity, traveling, or doing much outside of being a homebody. Going to college and writing a bucket list when I was 18 changed the course of my life. I took every opportunity that came my way, I studied abroad, I traveled, I ran my first couch to 26.2 6 months after I ran my first mile, and in the process I realized how much there was that I had been missing out on and how much I wanted do and explore. As a result of all these new experiences, my family and I spend as much time as possible traveling, exploring, and trying new things.
AER: Any big races? Challenges coming up?
Brooke: I am running the NYC marathon in a few weeks, pacing the AUSTIN Marathon, and ramping up training for a 100 miler next year. Ultra and trail running has become something that really calls me and I am excited to see how far I can push my body and mind this next year.