“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”
This past Saturday, my son Jeremy and I embarked on our second 5K for the year! We signed up for the Lisa Wade 5K in Westernport, MD. I read on a local website that participation was over 300 which was a 20% increase in last year’s participants! I thought this was amazing, not only in support
of such a worthy memorial event, but also that more people are recognizing their own personal desire to try something new and be adventurous in this one time opportunity of life!
I was excited to see members of our 5K prep class there along with alumni from the first 5K class! Members of our Center for Clinical Resource included George Williams and Dale Ann Howes! It is great to participate in an event with supportive friends and family!
Kudos to Dale Ann who completed an amazing run and placed second in her age group! Determination and perseverance is everything!
With each run, we can set our goals higher and raise the bar for not only personal success but for the representation of everything an individual can accomplish at every age! While we ran our 5K, all ages were represented – little girls with pigtails would just fly past everyone effortlessly as if wings were really attached to their shoes. Those in the older age groups visibly pushed past their own personal limitations; taking that risk to challenge themselves and each other to their own personal greatness!
Let the journey continue and more races be run!
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
My greatest joy of the day was running with my son, Jeremy, and knowing my husband, John, and daughter, Olivia, were waiting at the finish line! Others within our Clinics and Practices group were able to share the race with family as well! Cathy Moreland ran with her granddaughters, Jessa and Jayla. Dale Ann Howes ran with her sons, Derek and Derian. Fitness is more fun with family!
Kudos to all who participated in the 5K Prep Class. We grew in many ways as individuals and as a group coming together to achieve the same end result. Special thanks to all of those within the WMHS Wellness Center – Nancy Forlifer and her entire group – for making this an opportunity we can achieve as a WMHS team. Special thanks also for our moral support from our 5K alumni members who ran with us! The sea of blue WMHS shirts was inspiring! Special thanks to our awesome running coaches! We learned so much from Shauna, Janie, and Connie; each with their own uniquely sweet personalities sharing their own techniques to help make us successful in our journey; a journey that’s far from over.
“Running along our journey doesn’t only teach us how to keep moving forward through what life throws at us, it also makes us into the best version of ourselves.”
~ Ashley Erickson, freelance fitness writer/editor.
Monday, May 19, 2014
I saw this on Facebook the other evening and thought it was very profound and awesome! The site is known as Runner Girl and under the caption was written “LOVE – He could have excuses but instead he is DOING IT!!” His t-shirt says “50 – fat – diabetic - ahead of you." This guy took charge of his life, admitted his weaknesses but demonstrated his strengths. He found his “why." Once you define your “why” it’s easy to figure out your “how."
You don’t have to do a marathon, you don’t have to worry about what kind of pace is needed to keep up with the person in front of or beside you – what I keep telling my kids – you just have to keep moving. Your “how” could be in the form of biking, walking, swimming, gardening, or making a lifestyle change by simply exchanging a soda for a water. Small steps are better than no steps.
My “why?" My family – my husband, children, “fur-children," parents, my sister and her family, and my friends mean the world to me. If I don’t take care of myself, I won’t be able to help others when needed.
My “how” – participate with my kids; not just expect them to “get out there and do it," and lead by example the best I can.
My weaknesses are many but I’ll always keep moving.
Monday, May 5, 2014
One of my all time favorite shows is Friends. I watch it all the time; and without a doubt, my husband and I can quote nearly every line. One of my favorite episodes is the one where Rachel and Phoebe decide to run together. As you can see, Phoebe runs with great enthusiasm with arms and legs flailing, much to Rachel’s public embarassment. It makes the viewer wonder what has possessed Phoebe until she explains to Rachel “You should run like you did when you were a kid! It’s the only way its fun. Don’t you remember running so fast you thought your legs would fall off or running toward the swings or away from Satan? The neighbor’s dog.” Her take away message – run like a kid, have fun and don’t worry what others might think of you.
You may not see me running like this in our 5K Prep class but on the treadmill at home – that might be a different story. Everyone I talk to asks, “How can you run on a treadmill? It’s so boring.” Not having the safest road to run on, my treadmill is really my best option most days. Plus, I don’t always run on the treadmill. While this will raise eyebrows and invoke several eye-rolls from my kids, I skip, hop, do high-knees, or walk backwards on the treadmill. I sometimes run on the highest incline for a period of time or sprint at a faster pace. Anything to make a run more fun, break up the monotony, plus make it a little more challenging even if my kids are watching and reacting as if publicly embarrassed.
Friday, April 25, 2014
I’m really excited to be a part of this season’s 5K Prep class to learn more about how to train properly for a 5K. I had the honor of running our Great Allegany Run 5K this past October with my son, Jeremy. I really wanted to participate in the first class but Jeremy’s football schedule and Olivia’s swim classes kept us extremely busy.
But that’s ok – here I am participating in this new round of classes! I am so glad WMHS is doing this program again and continuing to participate in 5K events so we can be positive role models to our community. When our first class took place, our running coaches posed the question as to why we would choose a running class. Why run? Everyone had great answers – from wanting to get into shape, obtaining better health, or they’ve run in the past and want to run again. For me, well, it all started back in the mid-70’s. We used to live in the Cresaptown area and my dad would take my sister and I to a reservoir area to just run, skip, and play around. Sometimes, just dad and I would go and we would run laps around the reservoir or he would let me win races as we ran as fast as we could up and down Oakview Drive. Dad just made everything fun and simple even if life at that time was not. Dad is one of my heroes. As a former Kelly Springfield Tire builder, he was often unemployed. He never let that stop him from taking care of his family. He would work tirelessly at odd jobs until something more permanent would come along. Throughout the years, Dad easily worked 60-70 hours a week –without complaint – and still had fun. He would still accept a challenge from me to race up and down our little side streets.
So that’s where it all began. I want to be like Dad. Run and have fun, facing challenges no matter what life puts in my path. So why choose a running class? I want to get back to when life reminded me of many fun times, to be a positive role model for my children and show them that you can have fun in life by doing something that does present a challenge. If you don’t push yourself, how will you ever find out what you are capable of? I’m proud to say that my husband, John and I along with our kids are avid bike riders; Jeremy, Olivia, and I have done Junior City Striders for the past 3 summers; Olivia is a member of the Cash Valley Cougar’s Running Club; and Jeremy has agreed to join me again in our next 5K – Katie’s Run.
While dad never ‘runs’ like he used to due to various health issues, he still goes strong and faces every challenge with the same gusto he had racing up and down Oakview Drive.
(Left Pic of me, my dad with my sister heading out on a walk to the reservoir in Cresaptown.)
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Before last years 5K training course, WMHS employee Dennis Everett considered himself lucky to finish a quarter mile run. After weeks of training and handwork, Dennis finished first in his age group for the Great Allegany Run and was hooked on running. He has continued training and will be running a full marathon this Saturday!
Below is what Dennis had to say about last year's course and his upcoming marathon.
The 5K course was fun and informative, taking lessons learned in a classroom setting and applying them on the track. We started with walking, then jogging for a short time and repeating. As each week went by just a little more was added, eventually we were running a mile and further. The class began at the end of July, I ran my first 5K in August just to see if I could finish and did so in less time than expected, I was hooked. I placed first for my age group during the Great Allegany Run 5K. The faster runners were either running in the 15K at the same time or encouraging loved ones in the 5K. The post-race class included suggestions on how to continue so I kept on running.
I saw an invitation to join a beginners group to train for the inaugural Queen City Marathon. I thought this was a nice coincidence as it would be my first marathon and signed up. The training is 18 weeks with individual and group runs. A foot injury at the beginning of the year put running on hold for four weeks and left me with many doubts. With plenty of encouragement from fellow runners, I have been able to continue with the training. The longest runs of the training are done as the marathon is on March 29th. As I look forward in anticipation, I have to pause, 26.2 miles, eight months ago I was lucky to finish a quarter mile.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
I have been neglecting my duty as a blogger, but fortunately I haven’t neglected my running. Just to bring everyone up to speed, I did complete the GAR 5K this past October. My time was 25:59, which certainly isn’t a great time in the world of running, but I was pretty satisfied with it. I have ran in two more 5Ks since October. Both the runs were holiday themed with the Turkey Run in Westernport, MD on Thanksgiving Day and the Jingle Run in Fort Ashby, WV the week before Christmas. They were a lot of fun! In both cases my times were about a minute off of my GAR time. I wasn’t surprised since I had only been running about once to twice a week from October through the end of December, but at least I was still running.
During 2013, I learned a lot about running. I had a great coach (thank you Shauna McQuade!). Most importantly, I learned that once you attain a better level of fitness the base that you build actually continues to hang around. What a nice surprise! The more you do the higher level of fitness you achieve. It just makes sense that fitness is good for you. I am becoming a believer!
My journey has been interesting. I started running in April 2013 and I have to tell you I could only run for about 2 minutes and I would have to walk for a few minutes. Gradually, I was able to stretch the run for 3 minutes, 4 minutes and so on. Finally, one day I could actually complete a mile without stopping. Oh, what a happy day with that accomplishment! It is the little things isn’t it?
Roll the calendar forward to the end of the year and here is what I have accomplished. I have ran in three 5K races, finishing all of them somewhat respectably, and here is the statistic that I am most pleased with. From April to the end of December, I have ran 239 miles and walked 42! Again, this isn’t really a lot of mileage for those who are really into running, but I am pleased. I literally have been pretty much sitting on the sideline and have been mostly inactive for a few decades. Yes, you heard it right, I have been not doing much in the arena of fitness for about 20 years other than intermittent splurges that I didn’t continue. Isn’t that sad? I am not proud of it, but I have began to turn it around. I feel good and have lost some weight. This stuff has to be good for you.
What are you doing? For those of you sitting on the sideline, you can do this. It is a journey, so don’t expect a star performance when you start and yes, it will hurt, you will be sore, tired and you will want to stop, but don’t. Just start! We have many programs at the Western Maryland Health System to help you improve your overall health and wellness status. Take advantage of them and get started. Don’t let this be another year of resolutions that are nonstarters. No one can do this for you. Get started taking care of you! Good luck to you in the New Year as you strive to remake you! You’ve got this!