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.

Outside the Box and Never Getting Back Inside

Tonight, I ran with the MRTT group. This is about the 4th time I’ve gone with this group. I’m beginning to fit in, and I’m even beginning to conquer social anxiety.

The past two weeks have given me a lot of drama in my life, and I am so grateful that I had my running to help me cope with it. I’m glad I had this group of women, as well as my Boot Camp group, for support.

It was hard watching my significant other go through a serious operation on the other side of the pond, while I am over here. But, it turned out to be for the best. He is home and we are already planning what to do on holiday next year. My running and my running friends, helped me through the ordeal.


Another thing….even though I cannot keep the same pace as the group, I go my way and they go their way but we meet at the same place at the end. I have found that my pace is improving and have cut off 1 minute on my mile, bringing me to a 17:48 minute mile.

Through the group, I have also been introduced to new running routes/trails.

It’s good to be out of my box and getting into a new comfort zone.

Maybe it’s time to add intervals to my training.

Stay tuned for the next chapter of my journey.

Enjoying Being Outside the Box 

A few weeks ago I wrote about stepping outside my box in respect to group running. Well, I’ve gone with this group of women several times since that blog.

While I still prefer the comfort of my own company, I must admit that joining this group of women runners has had a positive effect on me in several ways:

  1. I have made new friends.
  2. I have been introduced to new places to run.
  3. It doesn’t matter to them how fast they are  or slow I am, we are all equal and I no longer feel “less than.”

Yesterday was Memorial Day and one of the women organized a run in memory/honor of fallen heroes (wear blue: run to remember). It was held at a lake that is located on a former army base, Fort Indiantown Gap, nearby where I live. It must be the best kept secret, because in all of my 68 years, I’ve never been to it. The trails are beautiful…a one-word description…SERENITY. 

I don’t know how I never knew about this. I visit the National Cemetery, which is very nearby, frequently. But, now that I do, it will be a regular stop on my running journey.

The run was great. I started with the group but left them to go their way and I went mine, meeting up with them and finishing together. I have  the best of both worlds–group running and running by myself. We all had a fallen hero that we have committed ourselves to run for. Here’s mine:


Here is a picture of the group, as well as scenes from the trail:


Tomorrow night we’re running again for Global Running Day. This time at a local park, where I run all the time. I can’t wait! I’ve been bitten by the “group running bug.”

My next jump outside the box: Improving my speed and Intervals 

Stay tuned…….

Some New Revelations 

Below are some statements that I made a few blogs ago. My, oh my, how things can begin to change when you put your mi d to it:

  1. I don’t enjoy running in groups. I feel too intimidated. I joined a local group of women runners and I loved running with them. In fact, I plan on doing it again this week. Not only does it help my running, but it helps me combat my social anxiety.
  2. I need to go into these races and run for myself. I did sign up for a race in June–one which I loved doing last year because the runner peer support was so great that you came away feeling like a winner and everyone waited until the last runner/walker crossed the finish line.
  3. At the moment, I’m enjoying weight and strength training better than running. My trainer opened his own studio and brought in a rowing machine, which I love because it gives you a full body workout.
  4. I need to begin eating clean and more green. About a month ago I began using MyFitnessPal for recording my food intake and exercise. I have cut back on between meal snacking and do not eat anything past my evening meal. I’m eating more protein. Writing everything down has made me more conscious of what goes into my body. That being said, over the past month, I dropped 2.5 pounds.

Additionally, I’ve changed my running mantra (counting from 1-100) to praying and meditating  the Rosary and letting the blessed mother bring me home. So, I guess running has also helped bring me back to the Catholic church. Even though I don’t have the beads in my hand, my fingers are a good substitute.