by Marsha Brown
A month before my 69th birthday, I decided I needed to take better care of myself. I began to go for a daily walk. Every week I attempted to walk faster and soon it was easier to run slowly than walk quickly. I remember feeling a sense of accomplishment when I completed my first mile without stopping. After a few weeks, I had several black toenails. A visit to the Running Room revealed that my shoes were two sizes too small. With a pair of new, proper-fitting shoes, I continued to run almost daily and my distance and time improved.
My cousin convinced me to enter an event in Texas called the Austin 10/20. It was a 10 mile run with 20 live bands along the way. Much to my surprise, I placed third in my age group. I was hooked!
That fall, I entered the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) half marathon and placed first in my age group. By that point, I had lost 35 pounds and was feeling stronger than ever. Since then, I have run the WFPS half twice, the Physio Fit 10K, the Port Isabelle Causeway 10K twice, and placed in each event.
In 2016, my husband became very ill and we couldn’t go away for the winter. Once again, the Running Room outfitted me for winter running. Running helped me deal with the grief of my husband’s illness. I could run and cry at the same time. I even completed the Hypothermic Half that February. Since my husband passed away, running has helped me deal with many ups and downs. I am now 75 and I intend to keep running as long as possible. I wanted to share my story to show that running can have a positive effect, no matter when you start.