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Sherry completed the 2016 winter-to-spring season of Walk & Run 101, our beginner walk/run program. Here, she tells us how committing to finishing that first 5K has changed her life.
My running journey started when I signed up for the Walk & Run 101 program in early 2016. I had never been a runner so I didn’t know what to expect. I was 56 years old! Who starts running at that age?! There were so many things that I didn’t know about running, but everything I needed to know was explained and became obvious during my training for that first 5K.
With my plan in hand, I scheduled out my training runs and adhered closely to the plan. When it said run one mile, that is exactly what I did. When it said rest, that is what I did. Accompanying me during every run was this little voice in my head that kept telling me that I wasn’t a runner and who did I think I was kidding? But I ignored that voice and kept running.
The morning of the race in April 2016 I was very nervous but also excited. I’ll never forget the feelings when I rounded that last corner and saw the finish line. Crossing that finish line meant so much more to me than just finishing my first 5K race. I had signed up for the training. I had made a commitment to myself to do the training. I did the training. And I reached my goal of finishing my first 5k. The entire process was completely under my control and I did it!
Of course, the next thought was…what next? I wanted to continue running but I was finished with my training plan. How far and when do I run now? Coach Lisa had a suggestion: train for the Columbus Half Marathon! After laughing and saying no way, I started training for my first half marathon. Seven half marathons later, I’m still running! Thirty-six total races over three years of running!
I’m already registered for three half marathons in the first half of 2019. And it all started with the simple commitment to train and run my first 5K. Now I believe that if I have a training plan and can commit the time, I can run any distance. No one could have convinced me four years ago that I'd be a RUNNER!