by Tracy Vlaming
In January 2017, I started a healthy eating plan to lose some weight and wanted to add some activity as well. In March, I joined the Learn to Run training program at Newmarket Running Room. At the first session, I was both excited and nervous. We started our intervals at running for two minutes and walking for one. I did it that night but was a bit winded. I couldn’t even imagine running for three minutes straight the next week.
The next week came and again, I did it. The instructor was so encouraging and gave us tips as we ran to keep us going. She was so positive and never let me think I couldn’t do this. As the weeks went on, it started to get easier. I learned how to breathe, how to dress, how to stretch and so much more. To my surprise, at the end of that program I ran my first 5K straight in 34:26. I was so pleased with my progress and so impressed with the program that I joined the 5K program, followed by a 10K, then an advanced 10K and a half marathon program.
I never dreamed I could run a 10K, but I continue to progress and learn with each new session. All the people at the Running Room—my fellow runners, the store staff and especially the instructors—are so supportive. I have had the pleasure of having Yvonne as an instructor for most of my clinics. She has been amazing and has passed her love of running right on to us.
To date, I have run five 5K races, two 10K races, a few fun runs and a half marathon. A couple of my favourite running memories so far are getting a sub-30-minute 5K on my third race and almost breaking the one-hour mark (clocking one hour, eight seconds) on my second 10K race. My biggest accomplishment by far was running a half marathon. I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I took a pace band for 2:30. I finished in 2:18:08 and was overcome with emotions as I crossed the finish line.
Since joining the Running Room, I have lost 47 pounds and have reached and surpassed many personal goals. Most recently, I have been asked to be a guest speaker at the upcoming Learn to Run and 5K clinic about goal setting. What a honour that will be. I still can’t believe that I can now say that I am a runner! Who’d have thought?