50 Is the New 30!

by Deb Valois

This morning over breakfast, I contemplated today’s 5K. You see, I’m currently marathon training, and my coach likes to throw in little “assessments” - like this 5k - to ensure that I pace my training runs to my full potential. While I love a PR, there is a bit of dread when I anticipate what the pace calculator will tell me to do.

I train with the team at Nark Running & Strength (NRS), a diverse group of people, all running for different reasons.  There are some truly gifted athletes who are focused on the win. Others, like myself, who will never know what a podium feels like, run for the challenge and to reach personal goals.  What is universal among the team members is their unwavering encouragement of those who participate in the sport.

FB_IMG_1614511273145Final.jpgI am an adult-onset runner who started on this adventure on a challenge. It turned out to be exactly what I needed in my life!  After a difficult divorce, I struggled to understand who I was and where I was going.  With two young children and a busy job, I needed something to give me long-term happiness and allow me to be successful in my two roles.

After settling into a new house, my kids and I got a dog. Not understanding what I was getting into, I wound up with an English Shepherd -- a very active, very smart, and in-desperate-need-of-a-job kind of dog. I started by taking the pup for walks, then hikes that got longer and longer. I soon realized that I loved being active in nature.

I bought a tent.  The kids, dog, and I started camping. My new-found active lifestyle empowered me with more confidence in all aspects of my life.

A few years later, I married the man who had become my hiking partner and co-adventurer.  He had always been athletic, and no physical challenge was too much for him. One night he mentioned that there was a triathlon coming up near our hometown and suggested that we do it. I laughed, until I realized he was serious, and laughing ceased immediately.  A friend agreed to do it with us.  So -- dang! We signed up for a triathlon.


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