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:
- Jazzfest 5 K – 1st run – July 2012
- Susan G. Komen 5K middle of Sept 2012
- 10 K end of September 2012
- 3 virtual 5Kruns for charity ( Self-scheduled; your miles are logged through an app)
- Jerusalem 5K in October, 2012 the best!!
- Turkey Trot 5 mile in Austin, Texas on Thanksgiving morning – with 23,000 other crazies. At that point, daughter Deborah said, â€œOK, time for a half-marathon.
- Half marathon in Austin in January 2013 (13.1 on 1-13-13) – with daughter, Deborah. At this race, they announce your name when you cross the finish line and where you’re from. Attests Carol, It’s a rush!
Upcoming Running Events:
- going to run the Joker Fun Run 5K April 1
- Signed up for the Avera Race Against Cancer 10K in May,
- the Color Vibe in June;
- Plan on running my next half marathon this June 1, Kansas City, MO – Hospital Hill
- the Sioux Glow in August – Actually looking at marathons
- Planned on the Chicago Marathon in October but had a conflict. Ideas anyone? Nice, easy? Flat!!
Benefits from Running
- For the first time since Carol was diagnosed with type II diabetes 6 ½ years ago, her A1C was perfectly normal. The doctor discontinued one of her diabetes drugs and told her she didn’t have to come back for a year.
- Better sleep
- More energy
- A new perspective on life
- A new level of focus and confidence
Carol’s Philosophical Advice
- I’m so glad I didn’t give up. Keep trying; that’s the best lesson I learned.
- Find something that’s out of your rut. Find that inner child in you. Just go try it.
Carol’s Practical Advice:
- Believe the training plan and FOLLOW IT.
- The night before the race eat pasta not too heavy not too spicy.
- After your ½ marathon, use a foam roller and stretch out well right after the race.
- It helps to have someone waiting for you at the end of the race.
- Subscribe to Runner’s World magazine
- Put a running event on the calendar and make lists of what’s needed for the race, map out the training schedule and check off your workouts and training runs leading up to the race.
- Tips Carol got from Yoko: She told me that when you travel for a run, you should pack your running stuff in your carry on so that you have it if the airline loses your luggage.
- Also – be careful of the caffeine in energy gels and goo. Honey Stingers Chews from REI are a favorite of Carol’s. Get caffeine-free, chocolate mint goo.