From 26.2 to C25K…

Three years ago this September, I stood on the sidelines of the 2008 Downtown Providence CVS/Caremark 5K and watched my grandchildren, my children, many friends and tens of thousands of people compete in the kids’ races and the 5K.

Their smiles, their camaraderie, their arms raised in victory and even their sweat inspired me to go home that same day, put on a pair of Jane’s cast-off running shoes… and run.

My goal was to compete one year later in the 2009 CVS 5K.

Problem:  I had never run before.  Ever.

I didn’t have a program.  But I had a goal.

I put on those running shoes every single day and ran.  Around the block.  Then up and down my hilly street.  A teeny bit farther each day.

By Halloween 2008, I was ready to run my first 5K.  I ran it with lots of my kids and friends… in costume.  My daughter-in-law Nicole ran right along with me the entire race, keeping me going, keeping me smiling… and my husband and grandkids cheered from the sidelines.

For ME!

I had never felt that kind of athletic accomplishment.  Ever.

I ran a couple of other 5K’s that winter, and then set my sights and hopes and goals on a Sprint Triathlon – the 2009 Falmouth Sprint Triathlon in Falmouth, MA.

That’s when I found Hal Higdon and began to train, by myself, to a program.

And I finished the Sprint Triathlon… again, to the wild cheering of my husband, kids and grandkids.

From there, I ran a 5-miler, a 10K, the goal of my 2009 CVS 5K and then a Half Marathon… the 2010 Hampton, NH Half.

And why not toss in an Amica 70.3 IronMan in July 2010… to the cheering of my husband, kids, grandkids, friends, and into the arms of my daughter Jane, daughter-in-law Nicole and son Keith, who all did that same 70.3 on the same glorious July 2010 day…

Jane, Nicole, ME, Keith

What’s the next most logical race, I asked myself.

The answer:  26.2

So I revisited Hal Higdon in January 2011 and began the 20-week training for what I wasn’t even sure I could accomplish… a Marathon.

A Marathon.

This is ME I’m talking about.  This is ME who couldn’t run around the block 2 1/2 years earlier.

This is ME on mile 24 of the Cox Providence Marathon on May 1, 2011…

ME on mile 24... ready to finish!

So… why the title of this blog post?

I’ve run 2 times since my Marathon… each time 2 miles.  Call it busy.  Call it hot.  Call it tired.  Call it anything you want.

I’m not being tough on myself when I say this.  I’m being honest with myself and with my almost 59-year old body.

I NEED HELP to begin running again.

My daughter Jane recommended the C25K program for me to get back into the fun of the run.



Two days ago, I enlisted my husband Barry… a total non-runner… and together we hit our block with the C25K program in hand.  The same block I couldn’t make it around 3 years ago.

5 minute brisk walk.  60 second run.  90 second walk.  Repeat for 20 minutes.

On Day 1, I felt like a new woman.  Renewed.  Inspired.  Accomplished.

And Barry is on a mission to accomplish his goal, too… finishing a 5K to the cheering of his grandkids and kids and ME!

Yesterday we rested.  Because the C25K program said so.

This morning, Barry and I were up at the crack o’ dawn to do it again…

Barry snapped this photo early this morning!

I honestly feel the greatest joy, the greatest fun, the greatest sense of being to BEGIN AGAIN.

To begin running again.

My journey from the sidelines to a Marathon to a C25K is not BACKWARDS.  It’s POWERFUL.  It’s LIFE QUENCHING FORWARD MOTION.

And to have Barry along on the journey is the icing on the couch… I mean cake.

I mean 5K!

(I’ll keep ya posted along our journey…)










About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

Sign Up To The Ultimate Style Newsletter for Moms


ShopStyle “List” Of all Things I Like and Blog About



  1. 8.24.11

    LOVE this Sharon. I have NEVER run a race longer than a 5K, but I have stopped and started running enough to know the feeling of starting over. I sometimes feel like a “failure” for having the start over (why oh why did I stop?) but I know that even a short run is such an accomplishment and a reason for pride. As I “restart once again”, I know that since the only person I am racing is myself, I always get to come in first place. ; )

  2. 8.24.11
    Erin said:

    This is great, Sharon! I’m so proud of you and can’t wait to follow along with where your feet take you.

  3. 8.24.11
    Nancy said:

    You are so awesome! I started the same program yesterday and will be up at the crack of dawn doing it tomorrow. My goal is to run the Sisterhood virtual 5k on October 22. Want to run it with me?

Comments are closed.