Each Friday my Running Inspiration Series will feature the story of an amazing runner. This week I am featuring Leslie who is actually the mom of my last feature Nicole. Leslie is a cancer a survivor and should serve as an inspiration to us all! I am excited to share more about her running via the Q & A below:
How did your running journey begin? I’ve always been a moderate exerciser. My daughter Nicole, has become a marathon runner and personal trainer. She has been very inspiring to me. About two years ago, I was quite ill and wanted to try to start a good exercise routine again to get back some strength and just get a general feeling of wellness back, but I wanted it to be a challenge. I wanted to challenge myself to be healthier. One day, I received an e-mail about the Rocky Balboa 5K in Philadelphia. It looked like fun, so I e-mailed Nicki to see if she might want to run it with me. She was so excited. She responded with a resounding YES. We signed up. But then I found myself committed and had no idea how to train. Nicki suggested I download the C25K app. That’s what did it. Before ya know it, I was training for my first 5K.
Why do you run? I run for several reasons, but the main one is that it makes me feel good. I find it meditative. I get in the groove and have my private time to listen to good music and let my mind wander. I’m addicted to the wonderful feeling I get after a good run, and I feel I’m keeping my body in the best shape possible.
What is your favorite race and race distance?/ What is your best running memory/favorite race? These seem to be the same question to me, no? I enjoy running a 5K because I feel it pushes me a little without pushing too much. My favorite memory is my most recent run with Nicki. I ran my first 10K with her in Central Park. It was amazing to run with her. It was amazing to accomplish a 10K. It was amazing to run in New York City in Central Park, and best of all, she surprised me at the end of the race. She had invited a bunch of family members to come and watch the race and cheer us on. When I reached the finish line, it was a total surprise to see everyone there. It felt like my birthday. It was so very thoughtful of her to invite them, and it was awesome that they came to cheer us on. We all went out for a lovely brunch afterward. It was a beautiful day that I will never forget.
What is your race day routine? Nicki has a big routine, but since this was really only my second formal race, I don’t have much of a routine. I didn’t drink in the morning because I didn’t want to have to go to the bathroom, but I did eat a banana for a little boost on the way to the race.
What is your favorite piece of running gear? I don’t run with any gear since the most I run is a 10K. I just wear a pair of good running shoes, and I can’t live without my big fat cushy Thorlo socks.
Do you follow any diet or take any specific supplements that complement your running? I normally just try to eat healthfully, but I’m just starting to learn how bad sugar is and how good “good” fats are. I’m trying to switch to a more Paleo type of diet.
What advice would you give to a newbie runner? I definitely recommend the C25K app. It really took me from the couch to the race at a slow and steady pace without soreness and with much success.
How has running affected your life? I’ve been living with recurrent cancer for twenty years. For many of those years, I would have a surgery, sit on the couch to recover, and take a very long time to get my stamina and my life back before I needed yet another surgery. Running has made me a much stronger person. After a surgery, I’m anxious to start running again to get those endorphins flowing. Once I can get out in the fresh air and run a mile or two, I know I’m getting better. I think it makes me emotionally much more stable, and it helps me get stronger for the next time I have to have another surgery. It’s just a great feeling of accomplishment to be fifty-seven years old, wear a cancer pain patch, and still be able to run.
Leslie is a 2015 Society of Newspaper Columnists award winner. She’s an international syndicated columnist and a frequent contributor to WHYY’s Newsworks, has written for The Philadelphia Inquirer, ZestNow, andBoomercafe, as well as blogs for The Huffington Post. She has a Bachelor of Journalism degree and currently lives smack dab between Philadelphia and New York City with husband Marty, dogs Maggie and Hazel, a collection of fish, said husband’s cockatoo who she’s been trying to roast for dinner for the last 31 years, and a few occasional uninvited guests. You may follow her blog and read published essays at: lesliegoesboom.com.
You can find Leslie on her website: lesliegoesboom.com. You can also find her on Twitter & Facebook. You should also check out these two awesome articles by Leslie: How I lost 85 Pounds and Became a Runner & I didn’t find happy until I stopped chasing it.
Thank you Leslie for sharing your running story with us!!! You are the epitome of inspiration. Each and every week I am so inspired by all of these amazing people!! Check out the other Running Inspiration posts here.
If you or anyone you know has an inspiring running story and would like to participate in my Running Inspiration series, just send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org with Running Inspiration in the subject line. Or if you’d like to recommend someone please leave their name in the comments below.