Slower than a Snail, Riding on a Turtle

Despite completing one full marathon, a dozen half marathons and 10Ks, and countless 5Ks, I’ve never really enjoyed running.  In fact, half way through each race, I wonder why I put myself through such torture. I’m also not the fastest runner. I’ve done races where speed walkers have zoomed right past me.

But I finish every race.

I began running four years ago.  When discussing physical activity, a friend suggested running.  I was skeptical, but I attended a running club meeting just to learn more.  The group was filled with very supportive African-American runners of all ages, shapes and sizes.  I sat next to a woman who was in her early 50s. I asked if she was new to the group. She wasn’t. She’d completed three marathons on the past.  I knew that if she could run, then I could too! 

Our first meetings were classroom sessions. I learned about nutrition, stretching, shoes, strength training, and other lessons that were essential for first time runners.  We then moved on to running.  I ran my first mile as an adult!  One mile became five, then ten, then 20.  I grew so proud of myself that I thought I could do anything.

So, while I’ve never really enjoyed running, I do love the ‘runners high’.  Running also allows me to escape, be healthy, and spend time with my friends.  I appreciate that it has also made me a role model.  My nieces, nephews and friends call me to talk about their running achievements. 

During my races, as I inch closer to the finish line, I really do believe that I can do anything – along the course and in life.  And, I finish every race that I start... even if I am slower than a snail riding on a turtle.  

Mamie is a marketing communications professional who resides in Chicago, IL.

Tags: This Week in Runners, Running, pace, pacing, Marathon, Race, the y, YMCA, inspiration, motivation, determination, Family, Community, neighbors

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