A Day in the Life: Marla Smith

Marla Smith is a Corporate Travel Agent, dedicated runner, and mother of two from Portland, Oregon. The majority of her job consists of booking flights for meeting/event attendees to the city where the meeting or event is taking place. In the past year, she’s run lifetime personal bests in the mile, 5K, and half marathon, not to mention a recent 10K PR by way of a virtual race. In the latest of our “A Day in the Life” series, Marla shares about how her professional and personal life have been impacted by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

How has the last month been for you?

This last month has been tough, and emotional, but a lot of that has to do with some struggles that was going through beforehand. The COVID-19 crisis has in some ways been icing on the cake, and in other ways made some situations a little easier.   

What’s changed for you at your place of work?

As of April 1st, I’ve been place on a part-time furlough for 5 months. I am currently only working 16 hours week.

What’s something others might not realize about the work you’re doing right now?

I have actually had some steady work over the last month. We have a couple of events that were supposed to take place this spring that we are rebooking for the fall. Since a majority of attendees were already booked and have a ticket credit from their spring trip, we want to use the funds already purchased. Most airlines are waving change fees due to the virus. This however makes rebooking the trip time consuming, as I need to seek out the change fee waiver code from the airline, and manually process each new ticket so I can remove the change fee.

What differences have you noticed in the ways that your communities are operating? (Whether that’s your place of work, neighborhood, clubs, inner friend circle..).

Less traffic, which makes running on the road nice. I see my neighbors a lot more, either out working in their yard, walking their dogs, or walking/running. It is nice to still be able to interact, and have a conversation from across the street.

Since the stay-at-home orders, Marla ran in her holiday onesie just for fun- turned out her neighbors had a similar idea!

Have you had to make any adjustments to your schedule or routine for yourself or other members of your family?

Not really, everything is pretty much the same. My partner is an essential employee so he is still working outside the house, and I have worked from home for the last 6 1/2 years. The only big change is having to home school our 1st grader.

How has running/fitness fit into your life with everything that’s going on?

Nothing has really changed, besides my spring races being postponed, and not running with the team. I enjoy running early in the morning, so I still get up and run between 5:15-7:00am depending on the day. I also enjoy doing workouts, so I am still following a training schedule as if I was training for a race. I recently ran a virtual 10K, and my goal is to do a couple more virtual races, and keep a solid base for when actual racing returns.

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