Every Step Counts

Every Step Counts
by Catherine Campbell

    I think of this especially on long runs when I am doing 10/30 run/walk/run intervals and I begin to get a little tired. It takes about 26 steps for the 10 second interval. That doesn’t seem like much but as I silently count down the steps I feel more in control. When I first started running, six years ago, and was first being coached by my daughter, Sheila, she told me, ”Think of control and comfort”. While comfort is a relative thing, control is necessary and achievable, I think. “Control” is of both a physical and mental effort. Part of the control is having a routine, motivation and drive to be committed to continue with a training program, even when you don’t feel like it or excuses are plentiful.
Catherine running her longest distance to date, 10.6 miles, nearly one year post breaking her leg.

Catherine running her longest distance to date, 10.6 miles, nearly one year post breaking her leg.

I‘m in no position to give advice except when running with my friend, who is four years younger than me and still a beginner runner. She isn’t a regular runner, but would like to be, but she has health issues to deal with.  Most of us have health issues of some sort. I have a disease, Sarcoidosis, that I “work around”. Last year I broke my fibula in 2 places and was in an air cast for 9 weeks. After 1 week of immobilization, I went for walks anyway…cast and all. I didn’t walk far, but I walked every day. I knew how quickly muscle strength diminishes at my age so I “worked around” being in a cast. Acquaintances at my seniors’ club think I’m foolish to be running at all. But my doctors are proud of me and encourage me to keep running. So, why not? I don’t go fast and I don’t go far, but I go!

    Right now I’m training for my first half marathon on May 3rd, 2015. My training for this event last year was interrupted by slipping on wet wood stairs and breaking my leg. It had nothing to do with running despite what all my fellow seniors thought. This year I am getting e-coaching with Jeff Galloway, which is great, just as is the “home” coaching with Sheila. I like running with Coach Sheila because I don’t have to think about pace or distance or water breaks or “Gu” time. She tells me “slow it down a bit”, “next walk break take a drink ”, and when to re-fuel.
Catherine and coach Sheila after finishing an 8 km race.

Catherine and coach Sheila after finishing an 8 km race.

I started running 6 years ago when I was 72 years old. Before that I had done a lot of long distance walking events. In England 315 kilometers on The Wainwright’s Trail from St. Bees Head to Robin Hood’s Bay, coast to coast. I also ventured to Holland for the Four Days March from Nijmegen,  where I walked 30 km a day for a total of 120 kms in 4 days. My final European walking adventure was the el Camino de Santiago in Spain where I walked 150 km. I have also participated in 10 long distance walking events from 50 to 60 kilometers in a single day, here in BC. Canada.  All this walking history but never running. Runners didn’t look as if they were having much fun. I didn’t know about endorphins.

    Cheering for Sheila at marathon finish lines made me wonder how hard could it be?  Maybe someone would cheer for me at the finish line! As it turned out my children cheered…except when they were running the same race and determined not to let their mother beat them. Children and grandchildren all beat me time-wise but I’m the only member of my family that won gold in my age category. Not that I bragged about it….oh no. Two more years and I will be in the 80-84 age category. Look out world, here I come! Meanwhile, back at being humble, I carry on doing what I can to stay fit and hope that my few steps count and help Moon Joggers reach our goal.
The End.

The End.

Bio: Catherine Campbell has 3 children and 4 grandchildren. She is retired and living next door to her daughter/coach Sheila in beautiful Nanaimo, B.C. Canada. Catherine is 78 years young and looking forward to running, at least until the next age category. Since learning to run in 2008, she has run in four 5 kms., six 8 kms, and four 10 kms. Her crowning glory was in one of her early races where she won her age category in the B.C. Championship 5 km Road Race and received a beautiful trophy and cash reward.

 

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