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    Guest post by Judy – the person who inspired Aleks the runner



    Aleks told us about her fascinating journey to fitness and a healthy lifestyle in her blog.

    There is more to the story, as Aleks credits a very special friend for nudging and prodding her to take the next step and continue to evolve as a runner. Here is the other side of the story from Aleks’ running mentor Judy.

    I have a few stories to share, as I knew Aleks before she started running, never mind running a marathon!

    You see, I used to work for Aleks. And one afternoon, I popped into the store to say hello to her, and told her that I was about to embark on a trip to San Diego to run my first marathon. She then confided that she had started to run herself and that she was considering attempting a half sometime in the future.

    After I ran San Diego, I had full-on marathon fever and signed myself up to run the GoodLife Toronto Marathon that fall. Aleks and I started running together on Saturday mornings, with me convincing Aleks the whole time that she could run a full if she trained for it. I managed to convince her to sign up for the half, and I switched my entry to the half and we agreed to run it together. Due to some personal circumstances, I ended up not being able to run it and she ran on her own. I was so proud of her, and surprised at the same time, as she told me that at the starting line she still felt like an imposter somehow and that any minute these people around her would realize that she wasn’t a real runner. I think at the finish line she may have changed her mind as she hasn’t looked back.

    Unfortunately, because Aleks has really taken on this challenge with vigour, and I am a busy mom of two boys, we haven’t seen each other much over the winter. I do know that she has become so much more confident about her running over the past few months and that she is going to do really well in Ottawa.

    I’m super proud of her, whether she breaks 4 hours or not, although I’m pretty sure she can do that and more.

    I’m sad that I won’t be in Ottawa to cheer Aleks on and see her cross the finish line of her first full marathon, but I look forward to the time when the two of us can get our schedules together to run a marathon side by side, two runners. Two friends.

    About Judy:

    I started running after my second child was born, about 4 years ago now, and went from recreational running and 5K races to my first marathon within a year. I ran it with Team In Training. After two successive seasons as a mentor, last year I took another leap and became a coach with the team, sending participants to the Rome International marathon, and Around the Bay this past March. I am currently working towards getting myself certified, and part of that inspiration comes from my early runs with Aleks sharing with her all that I had learned from the fabulous coaches on my first marathon training program.


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