Memories from my first race: “It was the start of a habit that will affect the rest of my life.”

June 22nd, 2015 by | Posted in Runs & Races |


Runner: Nancy Smith

Race: Johnny Miles 2015, 5K

Town: New Glasgow, Nova Scotia

Age: 48

First Race
Nancy Smith during her 5K race in June, 2015.

Why I decided to run: The last few years for me have been about embracing the lifestyle of a healthy, active woman. It started because I was overweight, and ended because I wanted to be healthy. I lost about 50 pounds but the goal changed over the years. The scale wasn’t as important as how I felt. I had every excuse in the book not to work out, but had no reason to do it. Then 10 weeks ago, I put my trust into my YMCA trainer and joined her ‘Learn to Run’ group.

A bit about my training: For 10 weeks, I learned the fundamentals, from breathing to foot placement, running posture and form, running hills and the emotion that running brings. My goal had been to run 5K by my 48th birthday.

How I felt on race day: The night before was a mixture of anxiety, fear and pride. I woke up not knowing whether to laugh or cry. I ate my small breakfast, drank my water, put on my gear, pinned on my bib and then I took 10 minutes to breathe and reflect on how I got to that moment.

A memory that stands out: My first thoughts were that the crowd was intimidating. The race itself is a mix of me observing the people watching, the sense of accomplishment, my own heart-beat, and my friends cheering me on and being genuinely happy to see me reach my goal.  It was exhilarating to the point where I am now looking towards a 10K for next year.

I would say that the biggest surprise is the emotion that takes over. For a person who doesn’t display a lot of emotion, it allowed me to feel and connect with others.  It almost ‘forced’ me to face emotions and deal with not only overcoming fear and apprehension, but also to accept that I accomplished a goal and it’s OK to be proud of myself.

Going forward: The Johnny Miles event is not the end, but the beginning of something I know is going to have an effect on the rest of my life. I’m going to keep running.