60 Day Challenge Update

I’m into day 27 of a 60 Day Challenge that was given to my running group by a fellow group member. So far I have run 87 miles. My goal is 120 miles, and I am way ahead of my proposed plan of 2 miles per day.

I love this challenge and have been using it as a training tool…intervals, hill work, learning how to pace myself. I’ve been running longer distances and have a new found love of trail running.

I’ve once again left my comfort zone by signing up for my first 10k in November…the 10k Across the Bay in Annapolis.

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Again, taking on a new challenge–fear of heights and bridges…double-whammy. However, I am looking forward to it and I’m also thinking that I might take this 60 Day Challenge past 60 days because I am thriving on it.

I’m also thinking that I want to train for a HM as a 2017 goal. I’d welcome any comments or recommendations on training programs.

First Milestone in My Running Life

I began running in May of 2013, when I received my SilverSneakers card. I decided that I wanted to start running and began on the treadmill at Anytime Fitness. It was months before I had the nerve to go out on the streets, and then it was before the sun came up, so no one would see me. I wasn’t serious about record keeping of my miles until 2014, and even then it was because I still wasn’t convinced that I was a runner.

I did my first 5k in March of that year in Baltimore with my family cheering me on and my brother-in-law, who also ran that race. It was that race that really got me hooked on running. I knew I would never be a fast runner and I wasn’t in it to get the bling that comes along with winning races. I just loved the feeling of being out there and feeling the fresh air hitting me in the face. I wasn’t running for time or distance.

It was the summer of 2014 that I found a group on the internet, based in the UK, of runners, like myself, who were new to the sport. We gave each other, and still do, a lot of peer support. I began to follow the UK version of the C25k coaching program. The app had a coach named Laura, who gave you encouragement, while you used the program. It was well into the 9-week program when she told me that I was a runner, and I believed it.

Skip ahead to 2015…I began to begin to take running seriously. I began running on a more consistent schedule, decided that time wasn’t the factor, but distance was and gradually increased my distance. I also got my first Garmin. What a difference from 2014, when I was a ‘beginner’, to the end of 2015, where I passed my goal of 500 miles to 553.

Presently, I have gone outside of my comfort zone and joined a group of local women, Lebanon County PA Moms Run This Town. It was one of the best things I have done for myself and my running. My distances are increasing, I’ve made some new friends, and the peer support is fantastic. They convinced me that I can do a 10k (OMG…6.2 miles at one shot!) and we all signed up for the 10K Across the Bay in November.Not only will this be a challenge mile-wise, but I will also be facing my fear of heights and suspension bridges.

I’ve also been doing a 60-day run challenge, again inspired by one of our group. I’ve made mine into a fundraiser for one of my favorite human service agencies, the Sexual Assault Counseling Center of Lebanon County (SARCC). For every mile I run during the challenge, I am donating $1.00 to SARCC. I’ve also put up a challenge to my Facebook friends to match me with 50 cents per mile and I have about 5 friends who committed to me.

Today was Day 21 of the 60-day challenge and I have a total of 65.24 miles. My goal is 120 miles in the 60 days and I’m more that half-way there.

Today, I ran my 1000th lifetime mile and I hit that mark in front of my childhood playground. IMG_1905

Below you can see how my mileage has progressed over the years. It took a lot of determination, sweat, and love of the sport to get to where I am today, and a strong body and legs  that God blessed me with to get to this point.

  • 2014 – 85.73 miles
  • 2015 – 553.74 miles
  • 2016 YTD – 361.06

So here I am, 3 years and two Garmins later: July 26, 2016 – 1000.53 LIFETIME MILES

No turning back…only forward!

 

I Love a Challenge

About a week ago, one of the women in my Moms Run This Town (MRTT) group put out a challenge for us to do a 60 Day Run Challenge to help her finish out her current runstreak.

I’m always up for a challenge and decided to take it one step further. I decided to donate $1.00 for each mile I do in the next 60 days to our local sexual assault counseling center, where I volunteer. To sweeten the pot, for the agency, I challenged my local FB friends to match my miles by donating 50 cents a mile. I’ve had about 5 friends go for it. The agency thinks it’s a great idea and have put the challenge out to their supporters, too. This agency has played an important part in my life and recovery from my own abuse issues.

Today is day 7 and I’ve racked up 20 miles. My average weekly mileage is between 9 and 15 miles. I’m loving this challenge because it also challenges me to up my running game in the areas of stamina and speed. I’m averaging 2.85 miles a day. My original goal was to do 2 miles a day for 60 days and I’m already past that goal.

The way I see it, it’s a win-win game for everyone. The agency gets some donations that they wouldn’t regularly get and I can make people aware of what this agency does for the victim/survivor of sexual assault.

Stay tuned for more on this topic.

 

Time to “Step” Up My Game

I’ve done some pretty good running the past two weeks…three 5ks and two medals. Each time, my time has improved. 

Today’s race was the highlight of the three races for several reasons:

  1. It was on a trail that has never been kind to me. Today was different.
  2. Originally, I signed up for the virtual race and changed my mind 2 days ago to do the actual. Even this morning I was considering just doing the 1-mile fun walk, but was encouraged to give it a go by a good friend who gave me a much-needed pep talk.
  3. I finally ran a sub 53:00 minute race.

I knew, after coming off of a migraine/allergies, that it would be difficult. The course was flat trail, veering off to a local park, South Hills (that should give you a hint as to what kind of running we in store) How I LOVE hills…..NOT. I was glad that I ran the course during the week just to see if I could handle the hills.

I decided that I would run this race as though it was a daily run….walking the hills and running the hell out of the flats. As I was approaching the last half mile, my running group (Lebnon County Moms Run This Town) came back out to run me into the shoot. 


That made all the difference in the world. It was a very small field of runners and I knew that I would probably take a medal, but I didn’t think it would be a second in my age group (the old broads group…lol).

So, now it’s time to get serious and step up my game and begin interval training. This is my goal for the rest of the summer. I know I can do it, and I now want to run faster.

One of My Best Runs Yet

When I could no longer lie in bed this morning, I decided there was only one thing to do…Lace Up And Run!

So, I set out with no destination in mind…just run…no set distance or time. So I put on the headphones, started my run app, as well as my Garmin and set off.

In no time at all, I was across town and heading out towards my favorite store, the  “Toys R Us” for adults aka Home Depot.

I was running consistently, only walking to cross over busy intersections. At the point when the lady on the MapMyRun app told me I was at 3 miles, I decided I better head towards home.

I was a few blocks from my house when she told me I had hit the 4 mile mark, and I thought to myself “you have it in you to get another half mile in you, go for it.” Not only did I go for it, but I ran for a total of 4.62 miles in about 1:25:01, keeping a consistent 18:00 min pace.

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I didn’t feel tired and felt that I probably could have pushed myself to do another 2 miles.

I proved to myself that I can run without walking and am not going to die doing it. I’ve also been babying myself and making excuses….NO MORE!

To top this off, today is my day for leg training with the trainer and then I’m meeting friends for a group run at a local park. Tomorrow will DEFINITELY be a rest day (until Boot Camp in the evening.)

I have a 5k on Saturday that I am feeling more than confident about.

In the words of James Brown, “I feel good!”

Why I Began Running

My name is Ginny, and I live in central PA. I am recovered addict, as well as a survivor of a sexual assault. I live by the 12-Step program because, in addition to saving my life, it has taught me about personal accountability.
The reasons I began running are:
1. My nieces wanted me to run a Color Run with them.
2. My health insurance pays for my gym membership, which gives me a place to train.
    (I’m a cheap person when it comes to paying out money for my own physical betterment.)
3. Running has become a new type of therapy for me.
4. As a recovered addict, running is a healthy addiction. I have gone from being an alcoholic to a “runaholic.”
The side effect of beginning running:
  1. Raised my self-esteem.
  2. Lost 40 pounds
  3. Helped improve my COPD – I went from 3 inhalers to 1 inhaler.
  4. Improved my sleeping – I’m a chronic insomniac
  5. Stress reducer
  6. Lowered my blood pressure
  7. It helps to block out the symptoms of PTSD
  8. I’ve made new friends by participating in races.
  9. Gave me some new confidence.
  10. Eating healthier.
Running has had a positive effect on me, physically and mentally I suffer from PTSD as a result of a violent rape at knife point. Running helps me keep the symptoms under control. Also, as a result of running and working out, I have dropped from 214 lbs. to 174 lbs.
Since beginning running, I have also been doing strength training with a Personal Trainer. I also attend his Boot Camp twice a week. I have had my trainer, as well as some of the friends at Boot Camp, tell me that I’m and inspiration, and that makes me feel that everything I do is helping someone else. I am a warrior when it comes to the issues that surround sexual violence, mental health, and autism. Having been affected by all of those things has made me a fighter and advocate.
I am a loner by nature and I love running alone. However, I was recently invited to join a women’s running group, Mothers Run This Town/She Runs This Town. I was a little leery about joining, but I decided to, again, leave my comfort zone. After about the second run, I began feeling comfortable and actually liked the fellowship. As long as I can go my own pace, I’m still running a group but also by myself. I’m not a distance runner and am comfortable with a distance between 3 and 6 miles.
Running is now an everyday thing, and someday there will be a day when I can’t do it anymore, but that day isn’t today.

Don’t Leave Five Minutes Before the Miracle Happens

Today, I finally redeemed myself from being a “did not finisher” to not only finishing, but placing 3rd in my age group.

The run was a 5k trail run (no easy feat for a pavement pounder). It was brutal at times, going through woods, where it was single file, having to encounter logs that had come down during a recent storm. Most of it was on grass when it wasn’t on the trail. It was hot, the temps were slowly climbing to the 90’s.

My past two races I could not finish because of medical problems (pneumonia/COPD). This race was a spur of the moment thing, having only registered a few days ago.

I’ve been training more consistently in the past 45 days; joined a women’s running group; and have been adding distance to my daily runs. I’ve started doing intervals, too. I think all of this has helped me with today’s run.

So, I began this week as a winner and I have another 5k this coming Saturday and I’m feeling very confident about it.

I wasn’t even going to wait around for any awards today, but my friend, Becca, wanted to meet the organizer of the race.

Ironically, the race was called, “Challenging the Warrior Within”. Prior to it, we were encouraged to share our running story: how we began running, why we began, how it has helped us, etc.  I submitted mine and while I was standing by myself, the organizer approached me and said, “Are you Ginny?” I was surprised and confirmed that it was me. She said she just had a feeling that it was me and told me that my story moved her so much and would I mind sharing it. I told her that I would. 

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I’m a recovered addict, and in the 12-step program there is a phrase, “Don’t leave before the miracle happens.” I’m glad I didn’t leave and stayed around for the awards.

I will share my story in my next blog.