How A Non-Runner Accumulated 1,000 Miles In 2016

img_2674While Withum 300 was originally conceived as a running group, there are some members who prefer to exercise through walking. In some instances, it’s for physical reasons. In Doris Martinez’s case, it was because she never considered herself “a runner.” And yet, through a desire to challenge herself and to fit in some mother/daughter bonding time, Doris has incredibly seen herself complete a number of 5K’s, 10K’s, and even half marathons over the past year. This month, Doris’s story shares an important lesson — that the love of running does not necessarily develop for everyone, but that doesn’t need to stop you from challenging yourself and finding motivation elsewhere:

First and foremost, I am not a runner, I have never found the runner’s high, nor do I understand how people get up and run – mile after mile, day after day, year after year. I have always been a walker, so when Withum 300 started, I figured I would begin tracking my miles. I never knew how many miles I actually walked in a week, month or year, so Withum 300 was a good way for me to figure out the amount of miles my feet traveled.

In late 2015, my girl friend and I had decided to do the “year of” challenge. For 2016, we challenged each other to run or walk 1,008 miles. That was the start of “some” running. We did some of our miles together, most of which was good for our friendship as well as holding each other accountable to our challenge.

One day, after a discussion with my friends who were running in the Disney marathon, I suggested I go to Disney to show support. I asked my daughter if she wanted to go with me, and she suggested we run the half marathon that same weekend. Who could refuse their daughter’s request? And with that, both of us registered to run our first half marathon. I was scared. My daughter was thrilled.

In January 2016, we ran and completed our first half marathon. For those who have ever participated in a Disney race, you know they are fun runs and you generally don’t accomplish your personal best, but for Megan and I, it was our personal best.

By the end of 2016, I had completed a few 5k’s, one 10k and two half marathons. The rest of my miles were from either hiking or walking. At the end of my 1,008 miles, I concluded that while I would never really find the “love of running” that many other people have, if my daughter wanted to do some race together, I would certainly use that time as mother/daughter bonding time.

For 2017, I am registered to do the Star Wars challenge in Disney after tax season, which is a 10k and a half marathon, and in January 2018, my daughter and I are registered to do another 10k and half marathon.

As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “with self-discipline, all things are possible.” While I may never be a “runner,” I will continue with my daily walks and to accumulate my 300+ miles each year.

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