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every mother counts

CEO Julie Smolyansky: Running the NYC Marathon for Maternal Health

Written on November 4, 2011 at 1:06 pm , by

Julie Smolyansky with Christy Turlington Burns, getting ready for the NYC Marathon! (Photo courtesy of Julie Smolyansky)

Running a company is hard work. Add marathon training and raising two kids and you’ve got a challenge. But this Sunday, Lifeway Foods CEO Julie Smolyansky will run the ING New York City Marathon (her first time racing on the streets of New York!) along with Christy Turlington Burns for Every Mother Counts, a nonprofit that aims to raise awareness for and improve maternal health worldwide.

We talked to her about marathon training and why maternal health is such an important issue.

How long have you been a runner?

I hated running until I moved to NYC for work for a month in April 2001. I had no time to do fitness classes at the gym, so I started running in Central Park. Then I started to love it. I ran my first marathon in October of that year.

How do you fit in marathon training and workouts on your busy schedule?

After having my two daughters, who are now ages 3 and 1, it was important for me to get back in shape. I felt like not working out was hurting my emotional health and physical health. Now I bring the kids in a jogging stroller. It’s fun for them and I get to be an advocate for their health.

At first it was hard to find time to work out. It’s usually the first thing that falls off because you think it’s not a necessity. Now I schedule it in my calendar. Just whenever there’s a break in my schedule—an hour to two hours a day, but even 30 minutes can mean a 3-mile run.

For more on Smolyansky, her work with Every Mother Counts and her goals for the marathon, Read more