Tracy: before
Well, this weekend really was amazing. I have been running in the neighborhood and on a treadmill to train for the Pumpkins in Lincoln Park run. As the person who told Oprah that running is horrible and that I'm really bad, this was a huge challenge to set for myself.

I have been running in the mornings at 5 a.m. and talking with my mother who is an avid runner for tips. I've been doing sprints as well as working on endurance. Although I have been doing all this training, I recently got very nervous that I would start to get winded and end up hailing a taxi to make it to the finish.

I planned to run alone, however, I asked Matt to run with me at the last minute. He came along and did a great job even though I feel like I could hear the worry in his mind—"When is she going to stop and walk?" My mother gave me great advice to not worry about everyone else and do Tracy's best run. There were two women chatting like crazy and they reminded me of how my mother is incredibly yakky and talks the whole time she runs. I ran behind those ladies for the first mile, but then they decided to walk. I forged ahead past the mile marker and knew that I was keeping my pace pretty close to my training. The next mile is kind of a blur, mostly because I was waiting for my body to tell me to stop any second. Thank goodness for my MP3 player. It kept me going as I just concentrated on breathing and doing what was my best effort. It was amazing, I made it to Mile 2 without walking at all.

The very next thing I knew I had made it to about 2.75 miles and then there was a hill. I knew that I had far exceeded my expectations for the length of time I had run without stopping. I realized that it would be silly to walk across to the finish and that I should take some time to walk now. I walked up the hill, and when I got to the top, I could see the finish. I started jogging down the hill.

When we got to the part near the finish I started sprinting, I figured that I had some energy left and I might as well pass a few people and feel like I did my best. I wasn't sure of the time, but I desperately wanted to be 45 minutes for time, so I really started to hustle. I honestly must have passed about 20 people right near the end. Matt and I held hands as we crossed the finish at 38:10.

Under 40 minutes for someone who could hardly run a tenth of a mile last spring is something that I'm really proud of. Thanks so much to my mother, my trainer and, of course, Matt who did a great job being my running buddy.

As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.


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