|From couch to 5K and beyond!|
|Wednesday, 22 April 2009|
By Don Bingham
It has been said that “life is a journey, not a race,” and as a part of
that journey, many have been challenged along life’s journey with ways
to meet, seemingly impossible, goals. These goals become not only
physically rewarding but spiritually as well.
Q. Why did you take this form of physical exercise as a challenge?
A. As a child growing up, I was never physically active. All of my life I had longed to be a runner, but just never was able to do it. After losing 40 pounds in 2005, I began the “Couch to 5K” program (www.coolrunning.com), and trained for nine weeks to run a 5K. In March 2006, I ran the Little Rock 5K with a time of 27.11. From that point on, I continued running.
Q. Who has been your inspiration?
A. My inspiration would be my trainer, www.phit-n-phat.com. After joining in 2007, my trainer encouraged me to join several others in a half marathon held in Las Vegas. The next thing I knew I was in full force training mode!
Q. What did it take to train for this marathon?
A. I ran three-four days a week and spent countless hours running and training. My weekends were tied up running my long runs, consisting of 14-20 miles in length. I spent many weekends traveling to Clarksville and Fayetteville to meet a friend so we could run together.
Q. Was this an expensive venture?
A. Yes! From two new pairs of shoes to high dollar socks, ointment for my feet, gels for fuel, and gas in the car — but it was worth every cent!
Q. What do you do on long runs?
A. Mostly talk! Along with my running partners, Dawn and Julie — much of our time is spent visiting and catching up on our lives and times. Corinne, our trainer, is from Nashville, Tenn. Dawn is from Fayetteville, and Julie and I are from Conway.
Q. Tell me about your running buddies.
A. Corinne was our trainer. She decided to join Dawn and I on this venture after we committed to running the Little Rock Marathon back in October. Dawn and I met on Weight Watchers Online and have been friends ever since. Dawn lives in Fayetteville — Julie is my friend that I met in a small group at my church.
Q. What was the 26-mile run like?
A. Hard, and most of all, challenging, but very rewarding! The scenery was awesome. We ran across bridges, under giant U.S. flags suspended by two fire trucks, between Little Rock skyscrapers and many Little Rock landmarks.
Q. Did you walk part of the marathon and run parts, as well?
A. We follow a training method called 4:1 ...which is running for four minutes and walking for one minute. The awesome part of this was — we never stopped longer than the minute, except for the times we were fueling or picking up supplies at relay spots.
Q. Was your family supportive?
A. Not everyone was able to be at the finish line, but they did encourage me. My mom, some of my siblings, three of my nephews — lots of supporters. My husband, Daniel, along with the other husbands followed us around the entire route — stopping along the way to cheer us on! Just before daylight, our husbands had parked our car near a police car, and were enjoying breakfast while waiting on our group to pass. After explaining to the inquiring policeman why they were hanging around, the policeman got on his patrol car speaker and announced to the gathered crowd as we were running past that our husbands, Daniel, Jeremy and Jeremy, were all doing their part to support the team effort — including eating sausage biscuits!
Q. What was one of the perks along the route?
A. Just before the finish line at mile 26, Maybelline had a booth set up with a lipstick station! They gave everyone a gift of a tube of lipstick to ensure a glamorous finish at the crossing as we greeted the cheering crowds of family and friends.
Q. What lasting relationships have come about as a result of meeting this challenge?
A. My friends and I communicate daily. We encourage each other all the time — emails are regular with suggestions about nutrition, clothing options and our exercise plans for the week. This marathon has definitely made us closer! Corinne commented while we were running that we needed to come up with another activity plan to train for, because she would miss our daily e-mails — I agree!
Q. Who else was running this particular marathon?
A. We had several phit-n-phat members that did sections of the marathon relay. One gal in particular ran three legs of the marathon and served as our coach during most of the run. Without her, I’m not sure we would have made it.
During the course of the race, we met a 71-year-old woman walking her fifth marathon! We also met two gentlemen from California and Texas that have completed over 600 marathons during their career.
Q. I know you have a strong faith — how were you able to incorporate this into your running journey?
A. I try to make it a goal to pray at every mile...not always as successfully as I’d hoped to be, but trust me, I prayed often during this 26-mile race. I leaned on God to help me finish and He did!