Wednesday, February 8, 2023
By: Jaci Schoen, Charm City Run Timonium 5K Training Coach
As humans, we change our definition of ourselves all the time. 7 years ago, I defined myself as a wife, mother, and school librarian. If someone asked me about running, I would state with an emphatic tone, “HELL NO! I am not or will ever be a runner.”
But life has a way of turning on a dime. For me, 2 crises precipitated my foray into this world. My first crisis came simple enough. I was working in a 2-story building. One day, I found myself out of breath climbing those stairs. I thought to myself, I am too young to be this way. I don’t want to be one of those people who let life happen to them. That in 10 years, I will be sitting on a coach, unable to move.
It was January, time for a New Year’s resolution. I joined a gym. And I learned something valuable. It was boring (sorry to all the gym rats) and I found myself wanting more. Having had a husband who has run for almost 30 years, he said, “You know, there is a running store called Charm City Run. And they have training groups.” I had tried another store but felt intimidated. I knew I was not fast enough. I felt as if they expected me to fail. Richard, however, loved CCR. So off I go, joining the Shamrock 5K group with Michelle in 2018.
Boy, I was slow. But I had support and encouragement. I finally got it. And won’t you know, along comes Crisis 2. I have my annual mammogram and was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. After a good cry, I read on all the ways to get through treatment…and the number one suggestion is to keep active. Woo Hoo, I already doing that.
After my surgery, I honestly drove my doctor crazy. I think he got tired of hearing me ask, “When can I run again”. So in the summer, I joined my second group with Jessi for the Run to Remember. Because of CCR, I was able to complete the race even undergoing radiation.
So now it brings me to the present. I have now run 5Ks, 10Ks, Trails, Half Marathons and even more, with the best coaches (Dawn, that means you!) I have the best set of friends (Thanks Riff Raff) that I have run and traveled with. I am healthier, happier and feel as if I have accomplished some amazing things.
And 2 years ago, I got to spread my love for running to groups of runners as the 5K coach at Charm City Run Timonium. I love watching others grow in their running journey as I did all those years ago.
Now I define myself as wife, mother, school librarian, RUNNER and COACH!!! And I would not change a thing.
So, join me to train for this year’s Shamrock 5K. You will have a blast!