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Family that Trains Together – Podcast

Food and Fitness

Emillie Niblack and her mother, Vicki Classen, have made LivingWell a part of their daily lives and their relationship. This marathoning duo stops by to put up their sneakers and chat with us about their relationship with running and each other.

Emillie Niblack and Vicki Classen

Emillie Niblack and Vicki Classen


  • CJ Anderson
  • Emillie Niblack
  • Vicki Classen

Vicki began running in 1987 with her husband. They were inspired by watching the Portland Marathon and wanted to do it for themselves. Starting with just one mile runs, they worked their way up to full marathons. Vicki’s husband, Gary, completed 72 marathons before we passed away in 2012. His goal was to run 100 marathons, which Vicki and Emillie have decided to complete in his memory.

For Emillie this was something she picked up after her parents had started. She was overweight and decided she wanted to take control of her life. Vicki trained with her and helped walk/run with her during her first marathon.

Training for marathons takes a lot of time, discipline and desire. For Vicki and Emillie it’s something they share together. Through their weekly long runs they spend time talking and even in prayer.

Tips for aspiring runners

Be ok with walking. When you are doing runs go as slow as you need to in order to be comfortable. Stick with it. Be consistent. Start small and build on it.

Other types of training

Vicki only runs every other day and alternates with workouts for the whole body.

Emillie does weight training and hiking (often with Vicki) for other types of exercise.

Fueling your body

Emillie is focused on eating more whole foods, keeping her calorie counts low and efficient.

Vicki eats lots of fruit and vegetables, with some chicken or other lean protein.

Carbo-loading the day before a race

Frozen yogurt and a piece or two of chocolate. (Keep in mind this is their carbo-load the day before a race, not an afternoon pick me up after a tough meeting).

Neither Vicki or Emillie have suffered major injuries. Vicki credits some of this to spending time in prayer when she runs. She believes God keeps her healthy and strong so they can spend that quality time together.

It’s not just physical exercise and fitness. This investment can be used for multiple areas in your life. Find ways to make it at social or spiritual experience. Create accountability and encouragement for yourself.

Vicki and Emillie are planning to run six marathons in 2015.

Other information

Subscribe to the LivingWell Podcast in iTunes.


Author: LivingWell PDX Blog

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