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.
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!