Charity Miles Champion, Shayna shared with us her running journey from 5k to her first marathon.
I was never an
athlete, certainly never a runner, but when I saw that my dad had started
training for a local 5K in 2103, I wanted to race it with him. I was finishing
up my Senior year at Ithaca College so I started to run around downtown Ithaca
(usually a painful 1.25 miles that I laugh at now) but once I got home the last
week of May, I was running 3 – 4 times a week. I saw that one of my friends had
started to run using Charity Miles and I knew it would be the perfect motivation to keep up my
On June 5th, my dad & I ran the Orange
Classic 5K, a local road race that’s been run for 35 years now. I came in at a
little over 36 minutes and felt pretty satisfied being that it was my first
real race. I loved everything about racing, from the camaraderie among runners,
to the support of the spectators and the fantastic feeling of crossing the
finish line. I signed up for another local 5K immediately and despite the
hills, heat, and humidity, I shaved 5 minutes off my time and ran the Great
American Weekend 5K in 31 minutes. Charity Miles continued to be a motivating
force in my training as I prepared to run my next local race, a 4-miler in our
Downtown area in August. It was a hot day with a monster hill and I ran it in
about 41 minutes, under my goal time of 44:00.
I’d really been bit by the running bug and I
wanted a bigger goal, so a couple of weeks before the 4-miler, I made the
decision to start training for a half-marathon. I found a great training plan
from Runner’s World and started running 5 days a week with long runs on
Sundays. When I began, running 10 miles one day seemed completely impossible.
However, when it came time for that long run…I did it and I felt great. I’m
continuously amazed by what my body can do and further motivated by all the
miles I’m racking up for various charities.
On November 1st 2013, I headed to
Williamsport, PA with my parents for my first half-marathon. The race began at
10:00am on Saturday morning and I was lucky enough to fall into line almost
immediately with a girl who ended up pacing me the entire race. I ran a
beautiful, 10:07 min/mile half marathon along the Susquehanna River in 2:10, 10
minutes under my goal time. To say that I was excited would be an
understatement! After a painful cold bath followed by an amazing hot shower, we
headed to the Bullfrog Brewery for a post-race lunch (and craft beer flight)
before heading home. Saturday night included sore hips, thighs, knees, calves
and ankles but a sense of pride that I had never felt before.
I went on to run the NYC Half Marathon with Team
for Kids (and Charity Miles) the following March, then set a new PR of 2:08 at
the Brooklyn Half Marathon in May. While taking a few months off from training
and just running the local summer races, I began what is now a pretty serious
love affair with CrossFit and weightlifting. This past October, I started to
get the itch for a new race goal and I knew it had to be the full marathon. I’m
now halfway into my marathon training with a goal of running the Walkway
Marathon in Poughkeepsie, NY in 4:20 this June. I was even awarded a spot in
the NYC Marathon in October, and my ultimate dream is to run Boston 2017.
My life has truly changed since I started running; I’ve become
healthier, stronger, and more focused. Reaching my first goal of running a half
marathon inspired me to work towards even bigger goals, both in running and in
life. Running with Charity Miles has also inspired me to do more to give back
with my training and races.
My running journey is far from over and I cannot
wait to see where the road takes me. -Shayna
Please join us in wishing Shayna, Good Luck! You go girl!