Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Last night at clinic a lady named Helen came in to speak to us from the Markham Running Room and shared her story.

In 2003 when she retired, Helen decided to take up running to A) improve her health, and B) fill her time with something productive.

At 65 years old, she took Learn to Run at the Running Room, followed by every subsequent clinic all the way to the full marathon. Within two years, she ran her first marathon. Within three years, she not only achieved her "pipe dream goal" of qualifying for Boston, but completed the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon first in her category.

In 2007, at 69 years old, she ran the Boston Marathon.

She told us stories of hope and pride, of the inner strength it takes to run a marathon, of determination, of all the friends she's met in her journey. She brought a beautiful scrapbook filled with race day photos, race bibs, printouts of her finishing times, newspaper clippings. It was wonderful to hear all about her experience. She gave me goosebumps!

Helen shared her own personal goals going in to her qualifying race.
1. (of course) Qualify for Boston
and if that didn't work out...
2. Achieve a personal best
and if that didn't work out...
3. Cross the finish in good form and smiling

She suggested that we do the same because let's be honest, not every race is going to our best. We can have high hopes, but we also have to keep realistic expectations. This is something I firmly believed leading up to my first half marathon and I will continue to do so. Yeah, I'll set big goals, but I want every single finish line I cross to feel like the big accomplishment that it is. There are no disappointments.

For interest's sake, these are the Qualifying Times for Boston. I'm thinking I might have a shot at qualifying when I'm 65.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I needed to read this. Thank you.