Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tara, 48 years old

How much do you run?
I am not running now, due to an injury.

How long have you been a runner?
3 years.

How did you start running?
I was dating a runner so I would use a treadmill at the gym sometimes. When we broke up,  my office was putting together a team for the Corporate Challenge. I channeled my energy into training for that event and found it was something I enjoyed and helped me make peace with the relationship ending.

Best running experience
Any race in which I'm not dead last for my age group. Seriously, last year's Brooklyn Half Marathon.  I belong to a running club. One of the faster members came along side me at mile 8, she was loosing her energy.  We helped each other get through the next few miles.  It felt so good to help a better runner and have her help me.  And what a blast it was running up the Coney Island Boardwalk and being greeted by clowns and jugglers at the finish line!

Unexpected benefit of running
I don't always go to my club's organized runs in Central Park.  But I have plenty of people to run with. Going to Central Park on the weekends means I'll bump into my friends and find someone to run with for part of the time. 

Until I became a runner, I didn't realize it is a social sport. I've done races and had wonderful conversations with strangers on the bus afterwards. We're all buzzed with that runner's high. It's like a more open version of having coffee. You're extra aware and extra open to the people around you. 

Running-induced crazy story
I've been in physical therapy for months now for an injury that has me in pain when I walk. I know I'll get past this and be able to run again although thinking and talking about running right now is pretty frustrating. I'm active and like to do other things but nothing takes the place of running so that is what is motiving me through my recovery. 

In some ways, running is the simplest sport but there is a lot of potential for injury. Since is it repetitive  if have an issue with your form, a particularly tight area, you increase your milage quickly-- these are magnified by the thousands of steps. 

Of course, all these things can be addressed but it takes time. To go from not being a runner for most of my life to being an injured runner is tough. 

Advice for new runners
Don't worry about your speed or distance.  Build slowly.  Don't be afraid to ask more experienced runners for pointers.  They love their sport and are happy to help newbies.  Enjoy your run!

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