Short stories from long runs

This blog about my run and training

It’s list time again! This edition’s prompts come courtesy of The Chalkboard Mag’s “In My Gym Bag” column and were inspired by yogis Tara Stiles and Jodi Guber Brufsky. Here goes:

Name: Jillian Pereira

Moment I fell in love with fitness: I think I fell in love with sailing first, and that was after getting over being really and truly afraid in the boat. That said, I remember the moment I slid up onto the rail and steered the way I was meant to for the first time — I must have been eight or so — and I was completely exhilarated. Sailing, by the way, is more of a workout than people might expect.

Favorite active-wear staples: Lululemon Wunder Unders and headbands like Sparkly Soul, Sweaty Bands, and Fit Happy. I’ll wear any race shirt to run and whatever’s clean and comfortable for yoga. Gap Fit tanks and tees have been my saving grace throughout this pregnancy. I might keep wearing them after.

Favorite fitness footwear: Saucony Kinvaras for all paces of walking and running, and my way broken in Rainbow flip-flops to and from the yoga studio.

I stay inspired by: Reading, mostly. Blogs, columns, health and fitness interviews, websites and magazines, as well as social media, to be honest.

Most unexpected item in my gym bag: I don’t think I keep anything too weird in there… you’d probably find some piece of jewelry that REALLY shouldn’t be in there from a costume change. Whenever something’s missing, that’s where I check first.

Must-have gadgets: The Garmin 405, the MapMyRun app,, Athlinks and my iPhone. I like to log.

Favorite way to hydrate: Juice! This week I’m hung up on carrots, beets, apples, lemon, and strawberries on ice. I also keep a big water bottle next to the bed and on my desk at work.

Favorite post-workout fuel: Potato chips and a PB&J after a long run, homemade juice or Blue Print Cleanse after yoga.

Cause I am most passionate about: Cancer causes. The cures are out there, but funds are needed to repurpose, uncover, or reveal them. Before my current position, I worked for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and later, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund.

Favorite quickie workout: I’m pretty guilty of not working out if I can’t do it “for real,” mostly because I hate washing and drying my hair, so it doesn’t seem worth it for a quickie. Terrible, I know.

Healthiest daily habit: Sleep! I go to bed ridiculously early for a good night’s rest because I don’t function well on too little sleep.

Personal fitness tip: Do what you love. Truly. Why torture yourself if you’re not having fun? I used to try to bring my husband running with me, but it’s really not his thing… so I turned him onto golf instead. That way, he can hit the driving range while I fit in my long run. See what I did there?

5 things on my bucket list: Go somewhere exotic on a yoga retreat, run a sub-4:00 marathon, cheer my kids on in a kiddo race and likewise, get to see my kids and husband cheering me on in a race of my own, have my writing published, run more marathons overseas, maybe in India so my in-laws can get in on the fun.

Advice I would give my 16-year old self: It gets better. You’ll find your people and your place. Be yourself, no apologies.

On my workout playlist: It’s a scary place because I love pump-me-up music just as much as like, “lite” slow jams. This morning on my walk I heard Goo Goo Dolls (Come to Me), Pitbull (Wild Wild Love), A.R. Rahman & K.T. Tunstall (We Could Be Kings), Sarah McLachlan (Ice Cream), Jay Z (Young Forever), Enrique (Bailando), KONGOS (Come With Me Now), Sarah McLachlan (World On Fire), American Authors (Best Day of My Life), annnnnnd Shakira (Waka Waka) So embarrassing. I’m really good at building cohesive playlists for parties and long runs and such, but this one was definitely out of the ordinary.

My current mantra: In honor of Baby P’s upcoming birth, I’ve been meditating on this one: “I am fully prepared by nature to have this baby.”

Choose a few and join the fun in the comments!