Running and Staying Healthy with Wendy Rivard

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In episode 31, Jill and Chris talked with Wendy Rivard about her fitness journey.

Wendy has been a runner for most of her adult life. She is a pediatric nurse practitioner for a large medical practice in Chicago. Besides running, she does a lot of yoga, strength trains at a Cross Fit box, enjoys boot camps, water skiing, stand up paddle boarding, and kayaking.

She started running to help deal with anxiety in her 20’s, and continued running to help with other life challenges: infertility in her 30’s, stress of grad school in her 40’s, and now in her “old age”, she continues to run to help her stay healthy.

In 2014, she achieved a personal record of 4 hours 17 minutes at the Chicago Marathon at age 52 using a low mileage training plan with lots of cross training. Her bucket list marathon was Big Sur which she completed in 2016.

Her most recent half marathon was in Mobile Alabama in January, home of the original mardi gras. She met up with several bloggers and ran through the beautiful neighborhoods with the live oak with moss hanging down over the streets. The finish line featured women wearing the southern belle dresses with hoop skirts greeting the runners with their finishers’ medals. Red beans and rice was served with a dixieland jazz band party after the race.

She writes about her journey at the Taking the Long Way Home and has made many running friends online and in person through the blog.

We discussed:

  • Her cross training as well as events like the indoor relay, Ragnar, half marathons and marathons.
  • The benefits of the therapeutic massage and how it differs from a regular massage. Other recommendations for recovery.
  • Loves the Ink n Burn clothing because of the wild colors and the pockets. She was a brand ambassador.
  • Her diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis two years ago and how she is learning to live with it and refuses to let this disease defeat her.

“It’s not the running that hurts the joints, it’s the arthritis.” She has cut back on some running but has added more strength training to support the muscles around the joints.

How to contact Wendy Rivard:
Find her at

Also mentioned in the podcast:

  • Marcia from Marcia’s Healthy Slice
  • Holly from Ho Ho Runs
  • Deana Kastor: Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory
  • Kathrine Switzer: Marathon Woman
  • Jill ran the Hop for Hope 5K
  • Veggie Challenge: Beets and watercress

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