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Running Is Good Medicine: Allison (Ally) Bowersock
34, Roanoke, Va.
“As a working mom with a husband who also trains and races, communicating about our schedules is critical. We have a mutual understanding that we each really need that workout time.”
Before kids, Ally Bowersock and her husband frequently trained and raced together, including completing an Ironman triathlon. Now that they have a 3-year-old son and 6-month-old daughter, the pair still trains together when they can, but they usually take turns. Bowersock also realized that one big race a year is a realistic goal for her. The 34-year-old is making the most of her races though, including qualifying for the Boston Marathon between babies!
“I completely attribute my athletic success to becoming a parent because you learn how to manage your time,” Bowersock, a 3:26 marathoner, says. “My husband and I would move heaven and earth for each other to make sure we get our workout time.”
Bowersock played soccer throughout college and was used to having a coach hold her accountable. During graduate school she worked with Division I athletes as a strength coach and began running to keep up with them. After training for a half marathon with a friend, she was hooked on the sport and now always has something on the calendar to keep her motivated.
“My husband and I always seem to be training for something,” Bowersock says. “Some people see it as a negative, but we see it as a positive. We always make that quantifiable commitment to hold us accountable.”
When she’s not chasing kids or Boston qualifiers, Bowersock works at the Jefferson College of Health Sciences as the Director of the Health and Exercise Science Program. She also works with the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute, where she’s developing a curriculum for medical school students about how to provide basic counseling for nutrition, fitness, stress management and sleep.
“You often see the comment, ‘Talk to your doctor before starting a workout program,’ but the truth is many doctors aren’t well versed in the topic,” says Bowersock. “The goal is to improve baseline understanding and give providers the tools they need to improve their patients’ health. It’s already helped the students get healthier!”