As Team Fox prepares to make its official Washington D.C. debut on March 15 for the Rock N’ Roll USA, we took some time to catch up with two runners—Andrew and Carol Jones—who will be travelling quite a distance from Salem, Oregon to join us! A husband and wife duo set to run the full and half marathon (respectively), the Jones’ share what it has meant to channel their family’s love for running into an opportunity to proactively join the fight for a cure.
Editor’s Note: After being diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s disease in 2011, Carol successfully completed her first marathon just nine months later. She is in the process of preparing for her second marathon, which she plans to run later this year.
What was your inspiration to join Team Fox for the Rock N’ Roll USA?
We are a family of runners who have been directly affected by Parkinson’s. We have been involved peripherally with MJFF as donors in the past, but through last year’s Miles for a Cure Challenge, we saw a way to have our love of running be able to directly impact the continued mission of the MJFF in a meaningful, financial, way. We had run the Rock-n-Roll USA last year and had already signed up again so we were very excited to see that Team Fox would be part of the event and felt that now was the time for us to step up.
What are you most looking forward to on race day?
The Finish Line! Additionally, the energy of several thousand folks all in one place with individual – yet similar—goals in mind: to challenge oneself to go above and beyond what our minds think our bodies can accomplish, regardless of distance. Of course, there will be added meaning doing so as part of the Team Fox community for the first time.
What has been your method to survive training through the cold of winter?
A: On average, I run 30 to 40 miles a week, 52 weeks a year totaling nearly 8,000 miles in the past five years. While I have the gear to run in all seasons (rain or shine!), luckily the winters here are fairly temperate. There does, however, seem to be an odd correlation between colder temps and faster pace…
C: This winter, my focus shifted to strength and core training to supplement my running. However, I’m more than happy to spend time on the treadmill at our local gym as my husband passes by the window in the bitter cold . . .
Do you have any quirky training habits or race rituals you’d like to share?
A: I pay an unwarranted amount of attention to my shoelaces – no twists – anywhere.
C: Breaking out a new pair of socks on race day & scheduled massage upon returning home (Andrew got me a year’s worth for Christmas).
You’re in the final stretch of your weekly long run, what three songs are going to get you to the finish?
A: Parachute Heart (Grace Potter & The Nocturnals), Breakdown (Scars on ’45), Dear Marie (John Mayer)
C: Fighter (Christina Aguilera), Stronger (Kelly Clarkson), He’s a Pirate (Final track from The Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtrack)
Any other thoughts?
Being part of Team Fox for the R&R USA race is sort of a “coming out” moment for us. Since diagnosis in 2011 we’ve not avoided or hidden the fact PD has become part of our life, but this is the most public we have been in specifically addressing it and how it has impacted our lives. While accepting it as the challenge that it is - we are determined to not have it define who we are.