Running for a Reason

Let me preface this by saying that I have never enjoyed running. There are those who love running and its second nature to them, but for me it is truly work. It wasn’t until this year when our Lead Massage Therapist, Brittany, pulled everyone into the office and asked what our New Year’s resolution was. As an impromptu answer I decided I would finally jump on the bandwagon and run a 5k. At first it was something I just said…I mean she was asking everyone and it sounded good, so I went with it and… no one ever follows through on New Year’s resolutions, right?

But this was different, it was actually an attainable goal! A 5k! 3.2 miles. It’s really no big deal, i’m thinking. I can do this! And then I got on the treadmill. After about 3 minutes of a slight jog and some huffing and puffing, I realized how out of shape I actually was. I felt gross and out of breath, so I lowered my pace and then after about 10 minutes, I stopped all together. January came and went and I (maybe) hit the treadmill 5 more times that month. At that rate, I would never run a 5k.

Then one day, my cousin from New York called me saying that my family was participating in a 5k fundraiser for my other cousin David, who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, and wanted me to come and join the race. There it was, fuel for my fire.

I immediately joined the team “Cousins for a Cure” for The Get Your Rear In Gear Race in New York City. This was something that absolutely motivated me because it was so close to my heart. Now, I wanted to run not only for me, but for David and a cause that I truly believed in. So I made a plan and this time, I stuck to it.

Now I run 3 days a week as long as I can. It was a slow start in February, some days I couldn’t even break a mile… but after about two weeks I was making progress! 2 miles seemed like a breeze, and before long I made it all the way to 3.2 miles, and sometimes I can go longer.

I’m looking forward to June 8th, the race day, and I’m so excited that I can be part of something that is doing amazing research and helping thousands of people that suffer from colon cancer.

Here are some of my tips for beginner runners:

• Set Goals: Little goals like running 10 more minutes then the last time will make you feel motivated during your runs.
• Stick to the Plan: Taking days off is only cheating yourself.
• Practice Makes Perfect: It gets easier the more you do it!
• Have Fun! Working out is work, but if you do it with friends, time passes by a lot faster.
• Don’t Forget to Stretch! Stretching after your work out is best, your muscles will be warmed up, and stretching helps with soreness.
• Recover: Keep hydrated and let your body rest. Massages can help break up the lactic acid (soreness), and are a wonderful component to recovery.

If you would like to contribute to the Colon Cancer Coalition please visit my page:

Erica Valle, LMBT
Urbana Wellness Spa