by Barbara Kidwell
In April 2016, I had the pleasure to participate in the London Marathon along with my Posse sisters, Jodi Minton and Bonnie Terbush. Now, you might get a vision of me being a tall, slender athlete who runs all the time but I assure you that is hardly the case. Let’s back up and rewind a year and I can honestly tell you that I was not much of a runner. Okay, I will be honest. I had never run in my life for more than 2-3 minutes without wanting to keel over and die. How did I start running? Well, during My Peak Challenge 2015, I was going for a walk and decided to try and run…I was in heaven when I ran almost .5 miles without stopping! Miracles do happen! In May 2015, I completed my first 5K and from then on I found myself doing short runs about 2-3 days per week. Around this same time, Bonnie Terbush posted a comment on Facebook asking if anyone wanted to try and get into the London Marathon. Several of us showed interest and began to train for this large event. Keep in mind; I had only completed a 5K. It was a very sad day in October when none of us made the ballot into the Marathon. The only other way to obtain a place in the race was with a Gold Bond Entry, also known as a charity place. I spent the course of several days applying to race with various charities. It was a fabulous day when I was chosen to run for Action for Children. It was even more exciting that we had members of the Peak Posse running for the charities that our group spent the previous year raising money for. We would be representing Bloodwise, Action for Children, and World Child Cancer. Due to injury, Sue Broderick was not able to participate but she will rock the 2017 London Marathon.
Now, one does not just wake up one day and decide to run a marathon. The training and planning necessary to take on such a feat is quite extensive and takes a lot of dedication. The key to success is to set an achievable goal. I knew that I wanted to push myself but I also wanted to be realistic so that I did not set myself up for failure. My goal was to run the 26.2 miles and complete the London Marathon. As a new runner, and a very slow runner, I didn’t think it would be wise to set a time goal for my first marathon. In November, I ran the ½ marathon race at the Las Vegas Rock n Roll Marathon. I am very glad that I did this race, not for the mileage, but for the experience of participating in a large event. It is important to be familiar with how a large-scale event will operate. There may be an Expo, large registration lines, gear checks, start times, corrals, etc. To train for the ½ marathon, I used the run/walk method and training schedule set by Jeff Galloway www.jeffgalloway.com . His training plan is great for newbies and it only requires running about 3 days per week. After the ½ marathon I switched to the Hal Higdon’s Novice Supreme training www.halhigdon.com . Towards the last few weeks before the race, I felt somewhat burned out and lethargic. For me, the real battle was not the marathon itself but the training. As a slow runner, my long runs would take up a large part of my weekends and most of my time outside of work was spent running.
Running a marathon in the fabulous city of London was amazing. The energy from the crowds was uplifting. They cheered the runners on with such enthusiasm that the memories of that day will always bring tears to my eyes. The support from ThePeakPosse and the Vegas Outlanders was overwhelming. I didn’t feel like I was running this race for me. I was running this race for the friends, family, and FANmily that believed in me. I have to give a HUGE shout out to the sisters who travelled with us for all their support during the race week. Without our traveling companions, Bonnie, Jodi, and I would have never made it. You can set goals and reach your dreams all on your own, but it is so much easier to accomplish difficult tasks when you have a support system of fabulous women building each other up. In the words of Bonnie Terbush, “Sparkle On!”