February 1, 2016

Member Success – Gwen


blog postMeet Gwen. Gwen was kind enough to share her fitness journey with us as one of our Featured Members. Gwen said, "My fitness change started with a New Year’s Resolution in January 2010 to become active. I have a family history of heart disease, and I had been sedentary for several years. I wanted to improve my cardio health and increase my energy level."

To begin her journey, Gwen started running. "My running journey started with the completion of my first 5k in May 2010. I was so excited I was able to finish without walking that I started to challenge myself with a race every month, gradually selecting longer distance races. I completed my first marathon, the Twin City Marathon, in October 2011. I found I enjoyed running longer distances."

To keep on this track and do her part to defeat heart disease, Gwen created these three goals for herself:

  1. Run a sub-four hour marathon in all 50 states within the next 7 years. Gwen has completed 16 states with 15 of the 16 under 4 hours!
  2. Complete all six of the World Majors Marathons. Gwen shared that she completed three World Majors in 2015; Boston, Chicago, and New York City.
  3. In 2015, Gwen set a short term goal to complete 12 marathons in one year. She accomplished this goal last December at the California International Marathon.

We know that staying motivated to do the training necessary to run can be a challenge. Gwen said she overcame this by signing up and completing a race every month as well as taking advantage of various DAHLC offerings. She noted swimming lessons, strength training, Pilates and utilizing the track were important in keeping her in shape and active throughout the months.

If you are looking to get healthier, Gwen shared these words of encouragement:

  • You are never “too old” to make the decision to be active and fit.
  • Start slow and build up gradually. Seek the guidance and help available. The DAHLC provides many good resources to help you get started and stay motivated no matter what fitness option you choose.
  • Find a friend who is willing to commit to exercising with you; it helps hold you accountable. It can be hard to get up at 4:00 a.m. for an early morning swim or run, but when you know your friend is waiting for you, you show up!

Gwen ended by sharing this with us, "Six years ago I don’t think I could have imagined where I am today. The future looks bright because my fitness program has improved my overall physical and emotional health. I look forward to many more miles and smiles with the Rochester running community and fellow DAHLC members, as I continue toward my goal of a sub-4 hour marathon in all 50 states."

We wish you all the best, Gwen! You have thousands of DAHLC members & staff cheering you on. You should be very proud of yourself!

Tags: Blog, Blog, goals, gwen, Inspiration, Member Success, running

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