Inspiring Story

While changing in the locker room following the Stepping Stone podcast after achieving a personal WORST distance in 30 minutes, and feeling a bit down about that, an older woman began to chat and told her running story. She's about to turn 70 (doesn't look it!) & could use some slimming perhaps. She was getting dressed after her (hardcore) boot camp class. Amazing, I thought... boot camp class?

Turns out that 10 years ago, she was sitting on a bench in New York City during a holiday and saw the NY marathoners pass by. She, a non runner at that time, thought, "That looks fun. I can do that. It will be a new way to see a different section of the city." So she signed up but failed to ask how far a marathon is. Then she found out- 26.2 miles! Having committed to the race, she had no intention of quitting and spent the next year training, starting off very much like we have with the Galloway method (run 3 minutes, walk 1) and just increased her time doing that every other day. She finished the NY marathon, her first event ever, as planned a year later, and went on to run 4 more marathons that year! No 5K, no 10K, no half.

She didn't and doesn't care about her time, she only wants to have fun and see different cities of the world. Now she does at least 1 marathon per year and has ever since. She may have a fast time, I don't know and didn't ask, but the attitude toward her time and the perseverance at achieving a goal most would think impossible, especially at her stage of life, inspired me to be grateful for each day I can run. Thank you, lady!

6 Replies

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  • Lovely story, thanks for sharing. My attitude to age is that its just a number, its how you the person interprets and reacts to that number that counts. Happy jogging, the next one will be a PB perhaps so don't be too hard on yourself because you didn't have a good run today.

  • She is remarkable! Yes, age is just a number I guess, it's just the physical changes and challenges that make it so interesting to live through. Hopefully a PB is on the horizon, or if not, I will just enjoy the achievement of today. Thank you!

  • Thanks Genome, certainly gives me a new perspective as I prepare for a comparatively short half marathon later this year - attitude is everything. As oldgirl says don't beat yourself up if you weren't at your best, even a below par run is better than none.

  • Thank you and good for you! Can't wait to hear how that half goes- which one will you run? Which training plan are you using?

    I want to do the Nike half in San Francisco, California next fall but it may need to wait until the next year. It is very hilly. I keep saying... Progression will be at its own pace if I just suit up and show up. I have signed up for a March 16th 5K, so it's baby steps for now.

  • It's the Great North Run which I have wanted to do for years, I'm still pinching myself! It's got a hilly section not far from the start so I'm going to have to prepare for that - I find inclines 'challenging' ;-)

    At the moment I'm following training which several of the others have been doing, one interval session (I use 'Speed'), one tempo run ('Stamina') and an easy paced run to build distance - it works well so far, I hit 10k today!

    Best of luck for your 5k, that's a good distance to be proud of - hardly a baby step - the rest will follow. :-)

  • Hills at the beginning would be challenging but at least it's over and possibly done with. Glad to know the c25k+ speed and stamina are working for longer distances as well. I'm enjoying those and hoped that gradually it would provide for increasing distance during long weekend runs. So far not there, but it's encouraging news from you! Thanks.

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