Miles she put on chasing students around on the other side of the country convinced Cecile McVittie she could do it again.
The teacher-librarian started with The Daily News Boogie in its early days more than a decade ago. But as with many middle-aged people, life just got in the way of McVittie's running - whether it was work, home or kids, one of whom has Down syndrome.
Following an unsuccessful run at the NDP nomination in 2011, McVittie said she hit a turning point when she weighed in at more than 200 pounds.
"I didn't like looking at pictures of myself and didn't like where this was going."
That sentiment was cemented later that year when she took students to a leadership conference in Corner Brook, N.L. She ended up putting a lot of miles on her shoes, something that convinced her she could do it again.
McVittie rejoined RUNClub. In nine months she dropped from 215 pounds down to 125 by "eating sensibly and exercising - all the things doctors tell you to do."
Like many who become Boogie participants for the first time, McVittie's running experience until 10 years ago consisted of running in gym at John Peterson and Kamloops secondary school.
"I was a lifelong anti-runner . I hated running. I walked. I was an asthmatic kid."
But a chance encounter with former RUNClub partner Adrian Berry, an old school acquaintance, got her on the road for the first time.
McVittie saw potential of the program in its early days. She brought founder Jo Berry to a professional development workshop for teachers. That step led to its introduction into schools.
"I realized it tied into school values."
* * *
TRAINING TALK: GORD CUMMING
Tough run. Must focus more. Relax. There it is
Every once in a while, you begin a run that just doesn't feel right. Your legs are heavy, your breathing is out of sync and you're just enduring it. I switched up my training days this week and voila, tough run.
As I worked through a rough start to my long run, all I could think about was getting back to my normal focused and efficient running style.
I felt off, and I was struggling. I thought to myself, if I could give advice to a runner, what would it be?
Then it hit me . . . reset.
Typically, aid stations on courses are set for approximately every three kilometres, so it makes sense to time my runs for three kilometres and then take a quick break. During a running event, it is nice to walk through an aid station and thank the volunteers, grab a drink, and if need be, reset.
By reset I mean that I take a break (as long as I need), walk, control my breathing, focus my thoughts, remind myself why I am running that day, and start again.
That day I reset on my second walk break. Since I was already warmed up, I simply told myself I had a 10-kilometre run to do. I focused on my form and began to enjoy my run.
Not only did I finish my run feeling happy and relaxed, surprisingly, I increased my running speed and I felt great!
TRAINING TALK: JENN RENSCH
Just six more sleeps until Boogie!
As you can tell, I'm pretty excited. This has been a wonderful experience and I highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking of beginning running, or wants to step up their running, to seriously consider joining RUNClub.
Those shiny, happy people will motivate you.
This past week, I experienced a bit of a setback with a small injury (remember how a couple weeks back I went on about proper new running shoes? Well, apparently this also applies to your everyday shoes, as my most favourite everyday shoes were old, worn out and not so comfortable and in turn the lack of support caused me to experience swelling and pain in my lower legs).
But with the knowledge from the RUNClub coaches, I was able to nurse myself back to health and stay the course to completing that 5K for Boogie.
Last year, when I was volunteering at the Boogie, I was inspired by all those running people to challenge myself to run Boogie in 2013. And now, with my running partner in crime Kris, I'm inspired to continue to run. Maybe in 2014 I'll be conditioned enough to train for the 10K!
These longer intervals of running we're doing are tough. Sometimes I think I might keel over - honestly, it's not easy, but the way I feel after is what leads me to believe the sky's the limit. So yes, I'm excited to be one of those red shirts getting my Boogie on!
TRAINING TALK: NEVILLE FLANAGAN
Well, we are into the last week and the training is behind us now. It is time to relax a little. So with consistency and routine I have run Kenna Cartwright Park twice for the long run and I will run it again early this week.
Have done my stride- outs, which has been my speed work at Charles Anderson soccer field. I've also completed some long walks.
It is with a heavy heart that I reflect on what happened in Boston last week. I have ran 24 marathons and the feeling of accomplishment after 26 miles and with only 385 yards to go over the finish line just ahead of you gives you a spurt of energy. To have that torn away from you because some deranged person or persons have decided to take it out on runners and spectators is beyond comprehension.
On a happier note, I know Jo is determined to have a great experience for those who have registered for the run and would welcome more people to take part - runners or walkers.
Now that you have found the time to set aside for training, you should hold onto that time as your own and continue to run or walk or bike or swim. There are multitudes of excuses for not looking after yourself in terms of fitness, but now those who have started out on this journey have found the benefits and most likely your friends have seen a positive change in your personality.
Enjoy this week, relax somewhat and look forward to the camaraderie. Have a great day on the 28th in The Daily News Boogie.