April 28, 2020

2020 Member Moment #3: Gwen & Shannon

By The DAHLC
  1. What type of change did you make in your life? Or what goal did you set out to achieve?  

    Gwen: I have been running for 10 years and felt like I had plateaued and wanted to improve my race times and build my endurance. I also wanted to make sure I was being proactive for injury prevention and wanted to do more strength and core training.

    Shannon:  I started running as a way to lose weight after having kids. Signing up for races was a way to motivate myself to workout daily. I quickly realized how much I enjoy racing and pushing myself. I signed up for be Pick up your pace class to learn some ways to get faster. Last year my goal was to run a full marathon in under 4 hours and to run a half in under 2 hours. I was able to achieve both those goals. New goals for this year and long term help me keep pushing myself.

    2. What are some challenges you faced that elicited that change or that made you want to go for that goal? What barriers did you run into while pursuing your goal?

    Gwen: I love to run but it was becoming routine.  felt like I had lost my edge to want to get better. I am not good at doing hard” things by myself so my motivation factor wasn’t there. I completed a goal I had been working on for 6 years and needed a new goal to work on.

    Shannon: It’s hard to know where to start. Through the pick up your pace class and meeting Gwen I learned so much about how to do intervals and how to get faster. She introduced me to other running buddies and having a community really helps. She also got me into hill training, which isn't my favorite, but with her and other running friends it makes it fun. One of the barriers is just the time it takes to get faster. It’s not an overnight deal. It’s a daily/weekly/monthly improvement over time. I’m not very patient so it’s hard to wait for results.

    3. What are some factors that helped you make that change or that helped you achieve your goal? List any specific services you used at the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center.  

    Gwen: I took the Pick Up The Pace running class at the DAHLC and that was where I met Shannon. Interval training is hard and I had been avoiding it. Taking this class reinforced the importance of incorporating interval work into my training program and the bonus was I gained a new running friend! We started training together prior to the 2019 Twin Cities marathon with a goal to have Shannon break 4 hours in the marathon.and she did!!  I also ran my fastest marathon to date in September 2019 after we started training together and have run faster times in my last 4 marathons since I have been running with Shannon. Shannon and I try to do interval training together whenever we can, it helps make the hard work easier to have someone to do it with you.  I also took the Strength Training for Runners class and incorporated the warm up exercises into my routine. I have been doing Strength Endurance small group classes now for over 6 months and I can definitely see a difference in my endurance during a marathon or other running event.  I also started Pilates Reformer classes at the same time and this has helped build my core strength, which is also an important factor for runners, especially longer distance runners.

    Shannon:  It’s hard to know where to start. Through the pick up your pace class and meeting Gwen I learned so much about how to do intervals and how to get faster. She introduced me to other running buddies and having a community really helps. She also got me into hill training, which isn't my favorite, but with her and other running friends it makes it fun. One of the barriers is just the time it takes to get faster. It’s not an overnight deal. It’s a daily/weekly/monthly improvement over time. I’m not very patient so it’s hard to wait for results.

    4. What would you tell or encourage someone with who is in your old shoes and doesn’t know where to start? Anything in particular that inspired you throughout your journey?  

    Gwen: Dont be afraid to start. We all had to start somewhere and you don’t know what you can do until you try. If you are currently active, try something new to stretch yourself. If it doesn’t work out, try something else. There are so many training options available at the DAHLC that you will find something that will work for you. The other thing I would encourage people to do is to find a workout partner. My inspiration comes from mentoring and supporting Shannon as well as others who are training for a specific goal race.Celebrating each other’s accomplishments is the greatest inspiration there is!

    Shannon: When I first started running my goal was to run continually for 30 minutes without stopping and that seemed impossible. I did the couch to 5k and took off from there. If you’re willing to put the work in, you can do it! Find people to run with and to encourage you. The Dahlc has so many opportunities and Rochester has the running club. Find someone faster than you to push you. I was intimidated by Gwen and got the nerve to ask her to run with me, even though I knew she was way out of my league! But she has become a great friend and fun running partner.

    5. How does the future look different than it did before?

    Gwen: I am excited to continue to train with Shannon and my other running friends in the outstanding running community we have in Rochester. I am looking forward to running in the London Age Group World Championships in late April and I  know I am going into this marathon prepared to the best of my ability thanks to my training from the DAHLC and my running friends. It is energizing to watch your friends continue to improve on their race times and achieve their goals. 

    Shannon:  I was somewhat clueless before. I wanted to get faster and run marathons but wasn’t sure how to go about it. With the help of amazing friends and the expertise of the Dahlc I have made some improvement in my running and am excited to keep pushing myself. Long term goals to qualify for Boston seem attainable. And it’s just more fun to do with a A group of running friends.

Tags: member moment, member story, Member Success, Uncategorized

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