This story appeared in the June 13 edition of the Daily Gleaner.
“Never in a million years,” is how Lisa Noseworthy described her thoughts about being able to achieve a half marathon clocking of 1:46.46 in the recent Across Town for Cross Winds race in Sussex.
It was just her fourth half marathon and second of the spring following a 1:52.07 time in the 21.1 kilometre distance as part of the Fredericton Marathon on Mother’s Day. It’s a reward for speed training and a winter of dedicated workouts on her treadmill in the Lincoln Heights area.
Yet, truth be told, the numbers represent little of the personal meaning for the 26-year-old Noseworthy, who was always into sports but did not leap into distance running until approximately four years ago. That’s when she wanted to find an avenue to “de-stress,” get active and possibly lose some weight.
“The best thing for me is that I can run,” she explained. “I understand that it is easy to get caught up in the times to beat and while I love to have goals and set goals, but I am more thankful that I can run. There are so many people out there who can’t, whether it is a physical or mental setback, so I feel fortunate.”
Noseworthy and her family moved to Fredericton in 1997 from Newfoundland. She attended high school and university in the city and is looking to return to university again this fall.
Distance running ultimately provided an outlet when she was 21 to 24-years- old to deal with various challenges she faced, hurdles she tackled with sweat, training and the support of her expanding network of friends.
“I struggled pretty hard with certain things in my life, so being able to run, I am thankful that I have been able to achieve so much in a short time,” she said. “It is more about the mental and emotional side of things, rather than the physical.”
Her first half marathon was at Disney World in 2012, a go-big or go-home event that coincided with a visit to a friend that year in Florida.
She followed with another half in 2013, cracking the two-hour mark in 1:56 and last year, was looking to compete in a fall event.
However, she eliminated a medication she’d been taking for six years and had trouble adjusting to a major loss in energy. She recovered to full form later in the year and with this “new normal” set forth on developing her 2015 schedule.
The Mother’s Day event saw her finish almost in the top quarter of the field and 10th of 59 entries in her age class.
At the 5-kilometre provincial championship last weekend in Grand Bay-Westfield, she posted a 22:44 time, good for 43rd in the 132-person field and ninth overall for women. The Sussex half in late May was the setting for an eighth-place result overall and a time more than five minutes better than her effort in Fredericton on May 10.
“It was emotional for me,” she said of her mood as she crossed the finish line in Sussex, second overall in the women’s division.
“I have been doing a lot of speed work. I had always (loved) to run as it always helped me in general and while I have trained for a half and have completed some hill work, I had never done speed work before. That was a major help.”
Her ultimate goal for 2015 is to complete the New Brunswick Running Challenge, which consists of races at the Fredericton Marathon, which she raced in May, the Miramichi Rock N Run on June 28, the Marathon by the Sea in Saint John in August and the Legs for Literacy in Moncton in late October.
She seeks advice from running pals, gets inspiration from the others’ performances and credits running for many positive aspects in her life.
“Once you start to get into it, you realize running is more than about weight loss. Really, it does not even play a factor in it for me,” she explained. “It is about being more mentally strong rather than physically strong.
Kevin Barrett’s column appears every other Saturday. If you have a suggestion for a feature story, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit barrettkevin.wordpress.com.