Updated: Jan 2, 2020
Dear "Baby Steps,"
As a high schooler I had a dream of one day running a marathon. By the time I was 50 I had long since quit running regularly and dreams like that were a vague and somewhat embarrassing memory. Me? Run a a marathon? Are you kidding me? I am in my 50's? And then I decided to try and just get back in shape a little - Because at 51 I found myself as a "new" parent again to a 3 and a 5 year old. My husband and I had fostered 2 small children and now they were becoming ours... and boy, did I need to gain some stamina!
Leaving the house to go to a gym and pay $$$ to work out was out of the question. I needed to be able to do something that was close by and convenient - and FREE. So, I began my attempt at running again. I thought - I can do this. I may be 51, but I can go slow, right?
Well, so I have this friend, Kim. She decided to up the ante on running and challenged me to run "The Donna," a Marathon/Half Marathon that raises funds for Breast Cancer Research and aids women going through treatment. Impossible, I thought! ME? Run a Marathon? At my age? Donna Deegan, the namesake of the Marathon and it's originator is a four-time survivor of Breast Cancer. This would be a worthy cause and a worthy goal.
As I got more serious I decided to call Monica. Monica was a friend from Church who had moved away but had had begun sharing to social media about running marathons. Our phone call and her subsequent advice changed my life in a very real way. She suggested the "Jeff Galloway Method."
Jeff Galloway is an American Olympian, a life time runner and author of the book Galloway's Book on Running. Galloway advocates for a "Run-Walk-Run" method that increases distance stamina, lessens stress and strain on the body and results in fewer injuries. This was THE game-changer for me: This was a way to take "Baby Steps" to get me on my way. Running a marathon seemed like an impossible task - but could I run and walk a marathon? Yes. Yes, I think I could.
So I downloaded my first running app "Couch to 5K" which began the journey. This app takes you from not being a runner at all, to training you to finish your first 5k. Then I added the 10K app; then the 15K app. Then I added the Half Marathon app. On February 8, 2016, at 54 years of age, I finished my first half marathon. I was thrilled. And I didn't die. And I got to meet Jeff Galloway near the finish line - and I may or may not have cried when I hugged him and thanked him. Because it was this method that had made the difference for me.
In April of 2020 I am registered to run my first Full Marathon: The Schneider Electric Marathon. In Paris, France. I am excited. It seems impossible. But then again - It always seems impossible... until it is done. "Baby Steps," People!
P.S. Happy 2020! Now, Go get 'em!