Welcome to the Inaugural Issue of The Weekly Pep Talk
To add perspective to the wonder of Go WOW Team I am publishing each of the Weekly Pep Talks starting from Issue 1. If you are one of our WOW Members who has been a part of this group since 2007 please comment here. And thank you so much for being part of this awesome group of women. Go WOW Team! – Coach Stephanie
Ask About Running
The Weekly Pep Talk
First Issue, November 25, 2007
This week is dedicated to runner Jane M. (we’ve had some great runs together!)
Monday, November 26 – Sunday, December 2, 2007
Hello to All!
Welcome to the inaugural issue of The Weekly Pep Talk; commentary on life for women who run. My name is Stephanie Atwood. Many of you know me from my work as a running coach. There is more to life than running yet, when Running Becomes a Part of Your Life, it will influence all other aspects. This was the impetus for writing this weekly digest.
We all have lives outside of our running yet; running has brought us together in one way or another. I want to share all kinds of news and information that are related to us as runners and as women!
TRAIN FOR POPULAR RACES
I’m going to choose well known races throughout the country and the world and give you training schedules and tips for these specific
events. It’s always the right season for some great races. Training
• The Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon & 5K
• See Jane Run Women’s Half Marathon & 5K
• The Boston Marathon
• The Chicago Marathon
• The Bay to Breakers/San Francisco
• The New York City Marathon
• The Honolulu Marathon
• The Disneyland Marathon
• The London Marathon
• The Nike Women’s Half and Full Marathon
• The San Francisco Half & Full Marathon & 5K
If you notice that I’m predominantly indicating races in California,
and specifically the Bay Area, it’s because that’s what I know.
Please feel free to send me information on other runs. I’ll check
into them. I especially want to know if the runs are for women only
and, if they are well organized!
Right now, I’m focusing on the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon and 5K Run – February 3, 2008. Starting today, you have 10 weeks to get prepared for this race. 10 weeks is enough time for either event. For the Half Marathon, you should already be running, even if not training officially for this race. I’ll give you an intermediate training schedule for the half marathon. For the 5K (3.1 miles) you can start from scratch and be ready for this fun event.
The entry fee goes up after 1/11/08 and there is a limit to the
number of participants. All race details are on the official website
http://xnet.kp.org/sanfrancisco/index.html. So, if you haven’t
already started training, Now Is The Time!!
INTRODUCING THE AUTHOR
This issue I’ll tell you about myself. The research was easy! In my
senior year of high school the entire class had to run a mile for the
President Kennedy Physical Fitness Test, as required for all
graduating seniors. We girls never ran on the track. In fact, we were
not allowed to run in high school running programs. At that time
there was no Title 9.
I failed miserably in my attempt, having no idea how to pace myself.
I felt abandoned by the P.E. Dept. having no concept of how to run
that far. Our “Girl’s” PE Program never offered any type of running
program in my entire 4 years of high school. Thank goodness things
have now changed.
However, this event piqued my interest in learning more about my
physical limits and “pushing myself”. My chosen graduation present
was a trip to a girl’s Outward Bound Course in the Cascade Mountain Range. Outward Bound introduced me to my inner ability to overcome both mental and physical fears and obstacles. In addition to rock climbing, rappelling, and 3 days alone in the woods with no food or sleeping bag, I completed running a “marathon” at the end of the 26 day course! It was life changing…
I loved learning that a woman like me could do these things! I
blossomed with the realization that I could overcome mental and
physical barriers that had seemed impossible. These barriers were
self-made and I could change them! This was a wonderful awakening for an 18 year old.
Graduating from high school created many life changes as I headed out on my own, not knowing what direction to go in. Living on my own, with a full time job and part time attendance at a community college, gave me ultimate freedom and limited time. I stopped exercising and gained more than 40 pounds. Oh, those morning doughnuts, endless cups of coffee and sitting all day were changing me in ways I hadn’t realized. I had so much to learn about what really mattered.
RUNNING ON A REGULAR BASIS
When I realized that change needed to occur I was positive that I
could make it happen. It would take work and believing in myself but
I knew I could do it! I started running after work in a park across
the street from where I lived. I ran when it was dark because I was
embarrassed for people to see me. Running/Jogging at that time was
not common, especially for women. One time around the block equaled 1/8 of a mile. It took about a month before I ran 8 times around that block, but I was on my way!
30 pounds lighter and a few years later I ran my first official
marathon and placed third female! Another milestone had been reached and I was hooked. I have been running ever since.
THE ESSENCE OF THE STORY
The essence of this story however, goes way beyond my love of
running. The true benefit has been the gift of fitness, discipline,
and the psychological/emotional lift that running has given to me.
Running has offered comfort and clarification to me during difficult
times when the rest of my life was in turmoil. There have been many
trials throughout my life (as there are for all of us) and running
has been a steadfast friend. There have even been epiphanies (of a
sort) during my running. Little assists and major realizations have
occurred and, as any runner knows, they just happen! How could I give that up?
Now, if I had to stop running for reasons beyond my control, I would
have the wonderful memories and knowledge of the commitment I made when I COULD run. I would carry within me the solace of knowing that I was given a gift and took full advantage of it while I was able.
You owe it to yourself to use this gift, too. The distance you run is
not the issue. How fast you run doesn’t matter. That you get out and
maintain your well-being; that you run to show your appreciation for
the ability to move; that you realize how much better you will be,
for those around you, when you take care of yourself through
exercise; these are what matter!
A USEFUL WEBSITE FOR WOMEN
Amy Montemarano started a new website for women who travel and want to run with other women during their stay. She offers information forvacation sites and for business travel. Check out her website at www.womenruntheworld.com. Isn’t this a great idea? Thanks for putting it together Amy.
UPCOMING BITS AND PIECES:
• Stay tuned for details about the Sunday running program that
will launch in early January, 2008.
• Start preparing for the upcoming running tours to England
this summer and the NYC Marathon in November of 2008.
• Hold on for the official launch of the Ask About Running
The easiest way to continue to receive this weekly digest is to subscribe to my Yahoo Group at AskStephanieAboutSports@yahoogroups.com and you’ll be on the
automatic mailing list.
Please send me your stories, comments, and questions about life and running. My E-mail is Stephanie@AskAboutRunning.com. I’m very
excited to see how this digest evolves.
And, if you are training for the Kaiser Half and 5K, be sure to open
the Training attachment on this E-mail or check the group site or
contact me directly. We’re going to have a lot of fun with our Weekly Pep Talk!
P.S. Photos were added in this current version for a nicer presentation. These early issues were originally published as emails from word documents.
Go WOW Team