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Athlete of the Week

Gerrie Boogaart – Alberta

March 29st, 2020
Gerrie reached 1000 KM in less than 3 months. See how she did it!

I started with 1000 KM, but now that I’m into the groove, I have decided to up it to 4000 KM for the year (1000 every 3 months).

How did you hear about A Great Canadian Running Challenge?

I saw a Facebook post. I thought it would be just the challenge I needed to get my mojo back. I’d been in a bit of a funk and had lost all motivation. I needed something to kickstart me. The inspiration and motivation I got from all the positive posts really pushed me to move even on some of my darker days.

Did you walk, jog or run this challenge?

I started with walking, then added alternate days of running and walking. For the last few 100 km. I did 3 days running alternating with 1 day walking.

If you are a runner, tell us when you began to run and what motivated you to start running.

I started running in my mid-30’s to lose weight. Over a period of a year, I lost 60 pounds and I discovered that I really enjoy the solitary nature of running where I could be alone with my thoughts. It helped me deal better with stress and dark moods. I started running races, first half marathons, then marathons. I eventually tried triathlons. But I absolutely despise the bike, so after a few years, I gave up the triathlons and moved onto trail running when I got into my 50’s. In 2016, I completed the 100 km Lost Souls Ultra which included 3700 feet of elevation over each of two (2); 50 km loops. I even have the enormous rock as proof.

However last year, I lost all motivation, regained about 40 lbs and I found myself in a bit of a dark place. I stumbled on the Facebook post about this challenge and signed up. Not only did I regain my motivation, but I also lost 35 lbs!!

How often do you walk, jog or run?

Every single day. Even if only a few KM, when time is at a premium.

How do you stay motivated and find the time to walk and run?

I found that I “had” to run or walk daily to keep sane. So making the time was the easier thing for me. Plus our son just started University, so we have no more kids in the house, just my husband and I. The motivation came from within and from the group. Additionally, for my 50th birthday, I went back to University part-time in the evenings and over a period of 2 years obtained a diploma as a personal fitness trainer. I even did a 3-month practicum at Gold’s Gym, which was an incredible experience.

What was your greatest obstacle while aiming to reach 1000 KM?

My work. I was in a highly stressful job, and the whole COVID-19 did not help things. Getting back into running and receiving all the motivation from the Running Challenge community was instrumental in helping me with this goal. I was also able to move up my planned retirement by a full year, so now I’m officially retired as of March 4th.

What advice would you give someone to stay focused on reaching 1000 KM in 2020?

Reel down your goals into bite-sized chunks. If you break down 1000 km into 365 days, that works out to just under 3 km per day. Additionally, give yourself permission to have an “off” day. When I’m feeling unmotivated to go out and run (or on the treadmill), I tell myself that I only need to go out for 10 minutes. If after 10 minutes of running or walking, I still feel “off”, I have permission to cut the run short. I can tell you from personal experience after more than 20 years of running, I’ve only turned around after 10 minutes a very, very few number of times. Usually, after being outside, or into my workout for 10 minutes, I forget that I had permission to cut things short because I’ve started feeling better.

This is an amazing group of people all working towards the same goal. Take their words of encouragement and motivation and “run” with them.

Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. Although we all share the same goal, our journeys are unique. You are an experiment of one person. Don’t compare yourself, be proud of your accomplishment. Every step forward is a step closer to your goal.

Great work Gerrie! Thank you for sharing a part of your story with us! We wish you the best of luck in reaching your 2020 goals!

You can follow Gerrie’s progress on the Leaderboard and cheer her on as she reaches 4000 KM in 2020!

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