WRITTEN BY: MAURA DONOVAN
Becoming a better runner
When I was in grammar school, I think it was the 7th grade; we had to run a timed mile for our physical education class. One of the parameters of the run were you had to run it consistently
without stopping. If you stopped to walk your time would stop and you would have to try it again another day.
When you are in the 7th grade and not a runner, a mile can seem rather daunting. When I started the running test, I can remember I had absolutely no expectations and probably not a lot of
confidence in myself. As the time went by I saw friend after friend stop and walk but I continued to go. It seemed like it was taking forever, as we ran around a measured course at a park near the
school. However, as time ticked away, I realized I was the last person running; no one else was with me. I do not remember my time I just remember finishing the mile without stopping. Who knew that that run would be a foreshadowing to me actually becoming a runner! Other than the two years that I ran cross-country in high school, my running career was on quite a hiatus until early 2000s. At that time, I started training for triathlons and shorter road races.
In May of 2005, I started to train for a full marathon that would take place in October. Part of my training included doing my first half marathon in September. I ran the ARC Half Marathon in
Liverpool, NY and finished in 2:51. For some that is a slow time but for me that record was held for over 11 years. As I continued to run half marathons, I could never beat that time until March 2017.
On March 26, I stood on the start line of the Syracuse Half Marathon, my eleventh half marathon, ready to attack the course. I was nervous to start, not wanting to fail, but oh, I could not wait for the gun to go off. Prior to leaving my house, I wrote the finish time of that first half
marathon on my arm. By the time, I crossed the finish line, I looked at my arm and the numbers were gone. The sweat had washed them away and I had a new PR! I completed today's half marathon in 2:34:26...my new fastest time! I covered the 13.1-mile course in negative splits and as I looked at my arm tears filled my eyes. Finish lines always make me cry, but today was special. I have worked very hard over the last few months to beat that 2:51 time and today I
earned my medal!
I am not the fastest runner in the world but I am determined. I often tell people that I am slower than a turtle but a turtle crosses the finish line too. I compete against the clock and myself and it is important not to give up. Every day I work hard to become stronger, faster, and a smarter runner. It is not about winning the race it is about showing up on the start line a better runner