by Deb Valois
This morning over breakfast, I contemplated today’s 5K. You see, I’m currently marathon training, and my coach likes to throw in little “assessments” - like this 5k - to ensure that I pace my training runs to my full potential. While I love a PR, there is a bit of dread when I anticipate what the pace calculator will tell me to do.
I train with the team at Nark Running & Strength (NRS), a diverse group of people, all running for different reasons. There are some truly gifted athletes who are focused on the win. Others, like myself, who will never know what a podium feels like, run for the challenge and to reach personal goals. What is universal among the team members is their unwavering encouragement of those who participate in the sport.
I am an adult-onset runner who started on this adventure on a challenge. It turned out to be exactly what I needed in my life! After a difficult divorce, I struggled to understand who I was and where I was going. With two young children and a busy job, I needed something to give me long-term happiness and allow me to be successful in my two roles.
After settling into a new house, my kids and I got a dog. Not understanding what I was getting into, I wound up with an English Shepherd -- a very active, very smart, and in-desperate-need-of-a-job kind of dog. I started by taking the pup for walks, then hikes that got longer and longer. I soon realized that I loved being active in nature.
I bought a tent. The kids, dog, and I started camping. My new-found active lifestyle empowered me with more confidence in all aspects of my life.
A few years later, I married the man who had become my hiking partner and co-adventurer. He had always been athletic, and no physical challenge was too much for him. One night he mentioned that there was a triathlon coming up near our hometown and suggested that we do it. I laughed, until I realized he was serious, and laughing ceased immediately. A friend agreed to do it with us. So -- dang! We signed up for a triathlon.