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From Walker to (Dare I Say It) Runner

Monday, July 01, 2013

I always liked to walk. As a young child, my grandmother took me along on many walking shopping trips. I knew she preferred taking me because I didn't whine about being tired or about hurting feet like my sister and my cousins did. I grew up walking everwhere.

Running, now that's a different story. Even in high school, I did all I could to avoid having to run. I was quite active - participating in a variety of sports and walking for miles, but run - oh no.

As the years passed and I became busy with my family, my own activity waned, like it does for so many of us.

When I started Weight Watchers more than 5 years ago, I started seriously walking again. About the same time, my youngest sister started running 5K races. I signed up with her and I walked. I learned that it is very difficult to walk at the start of a race when everyone else is running, so I did my best to run slowly as far as I could at the start of a race. That was usually less than one minute. My dear sister would finish the race 15 minutes before me. She would come back and find me with a bottle of water for me and encourage me to run across the finish line.

Three years ago, I was participating in a race and I came upon some women who were doing timed walk/run intervals. I found out that they were part of a free organized Couch to 5K program through Team Luna Chix Buffalo. Since the team's weekly runs were done right in the neighborhood I would soon be moving to, I decided I would make a point of joining them. Unfortunately, it took more than a year for me to do so, but I did.

Late July 2011, I started to C25K program and I remember how difficult it was to run for 30 seconds! I diligently did my homework running with the team on Monday evenings and on my own 2 other times per week. Seven weeks later, before I finished the C25K program, I did a race with my sister and I ran it. Two weeks later, I ran my first 5K under 40 minutes.

Although I still run with my Luna Chix friends occasionally on Monday evenings, I also belong to another local run club. They have a wonderful volunteer who compiles all our race results for us and we don't even have to submit them unless they are done out of town.

In 2012, I did 18 races for a total of 67.78 miles ( 16 5Ks, an 8K and a run/walk half marathon). Well, we just finished the first half of 2013 and I just completed my third half marathon. So far this year - 19 races for a total of 128.85 miles.

Like so many others who start out as overweight and slow I hesitated to call myself a runner. I was a wogger (walk/jogger), a slogger (slow jogger), a turtle, but not a runner.

Saturday, I finished that third half marathon in under 3 hours and I actually felt like I could have kept going. I finally feel that I earned the title of runner!
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    just checking in on the leader of the leader board. Very nice personal story. It is a positive connection to have a sister to encourage you like that. I can relate to not feeling like a runner until I finished my first 10K. Now I am signed up for my first hm. Wow, you and I have similar stories and we have come a long way. Keep on running.

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    2805 days ago
    You should be very proud! I found your blog inspiring as well. I'm a wogger but would love to be able to run. Living in the burbs I'm not sure there are any running clubs like you mentioned so kinda trying to achieve this goal on my own. Keep up the AWESOME work!!

    2947 days ago
    Congratulations on becoming a RUNNER. I think you can call yourself that. I loved your blog - it is very inspiring since I am slowly starting my running days. Thank you for sharing your journey from the beginning.
    I too am a wogger and a slogger hahaha. That just made me chuckle.
    2949 days ago
    emoticon We have a similar story back in school I hated running back then but loved to walk Thanks for sharing your story and Yes You Are a RUNNER!
    2949 days ago
    2949 days ago
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