Carol Rosenthal is a charter member and personal training client at Avera McKennan Fitness Center. Prior to AMFC’s opening, she was a member at the YMCA. And before that, she was a member at Woodlake Athletic Club. So maintaining an exercise routine has been her lifestyle for years. But running eluded her. I always wanted to run. I was the slow kid in school, always struggling some with weight. I tried it many times, but I just couldn’t get comfortable, explains Carol.
Then in June last year (a mere 9 months ago), Carol, her husband Steve and family members got together for a family vacation in Georgia. When the family decided to go out for a run together, Carol wasn’t sold on the idea and warned that if she joined them she’d be going reeeeeeaally slow. My sister said, ˜You can do this”. So I went along but at my own slow pace and when I thought I had to stop, she challenged me to go a little further. So I did. And I was surprised by how far I went and how not bad I felt! Carol beams.
That vacation planted the seed. She knew she was ready to challenge herself to do something uncomfortable and to revise her beliefs about her own limits. She set her sights on a 5K and began at her own pace working up to 2 miles, 3 times per week and then 2 ¼ the next. One of the great benefits is for Carol is being outside; running gives her a great reason to be there. Her first event was the JazzFest 5K last July. Then she immediately did a couple of 5K’s over the next few days.
I felt amazing! I found something I could do that I thought I couldn’t. I can still feel how it felt to cross the starting line and cross that finish line. I never thought I’d be in that place. I never thought that would be me.
Carol says she still struggles to get going sometimes, but once she’s out there, she’s OK. The run is enjoyable and she doesn’t worry about time. But I’m still nervous before a race, she admits. She carries her first running medal in my purse. It helps her keep focus and confidence. Running gives you a bond with others. It’s another world; it’s another language.
For Carol, almost as fun as a race itself is getting into all the nuances of training – event preparation, what to wear for which conditions, what to have on your playlist, what are the best running belts, which running clothes work best, and even how much before a race to clip your toenails and when to go to the potty before the start there are so many subtleties to have fun with. And there is a bond with others that goes hand-in-hand with training and the event itself. It’s another world; it’s another language, she muses.
In addition to her own running regimen, Carol got help from Personal Trainer, Chad Gomarko. He helped her be aware of proper form as well as running-specific strengthening and stretching. Willis Vincent, Fitness Manager, warned her that downhill can be worse than uphill. She found that forewarning helpful as she was able to adjust and keep calm in the midst of terrain challenges on a race. Now she is trying to do more sprint work on the treadmills.
“We humans were born to run, says Carol. Running has opened up more doors. Now I can really let go of fear and doubt. I still feel self-doubt sometimes. But my medal is in my purse to remind me of what’s possible. I love the strength I feel from running and the quality of my energy is better. Running is so mental and emotional too. The race is your life. Find out what you love and do it. You don’t have to wait until you think you’re ready. Go try it. Listen to your body; I like that feeling of being super strong, super healthy.
Carol’s Amazing List of Running Events Since July 2012 as a Beginning Runner:
Upcoming Running Events:
Benefits from Running
Carol’s Philosophical Advice
Carol’s Practical Advice:
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