Sunday, February 2, 2014

Wanna Be a Turtle?

No, not this kind of Turtle:

And not this kind of Turtle either:

Unless you CAN be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, and then you absolutely should.
I am talking about a Towpath Turtle:

This is EXACTLY how I look as a Towpath Turtle

The Towpath Turtles is a structured training program through OneLife Fitness Coaching.  The season runs from late February to October, and the training is based around Akron.  The culmination of the program is the Akron Marathon where most members will be running the half marathon or a relay for the full marathon.  The coach of the Towpath Turtles is Sheila Avsec, who provided this description of a Towpath Turtle:

I believe that to be a runner, one does more than run, namely a Towpath Turtle is defined as:

• A runner who runs on a regular basis, regardless of distance or speed;
• A runner who participates in the running community: as a volunteer, a member of local running club, and as a spectator/support crew member for other racers;
• A runner who knows about his/her sport – about proper fueling and nutrition, injury prevention and recovery, race etiquette, and the running community in general;
• A runner who is supportive of his/her peers and other runners.

The long runs are on Sunday each week, and this was the main reason I joined the Turtles in 2012.  Sunday is really the only day I can leave the kids for a few hours since my husband works every other day.  When I joined the Turtles, I thought I was just joining a group of people who wanted to run on Sundays.  At the time I couldn't run at all, and I secretly suspected that I would never be a runner.  

I was wrong.

This is EXACTLY how I look when I realize that I am a runner.

This day was the first unofficial 5k I ever ran, and on that day I realized that I could run and I liked running.  This is because of the Turtles.

I am in my second year of blogging, and many of my posts are dedicated to the Towpath Turtles.  Click here to read one of my first posts about being a Turtle.  They got me all the way to my first half-marathon, but they taught me so much more than how to run.  I learned about teamwork and sportsmanship, two things that I never considered to be part of running.  

Most of all, I learned that running is an investment that I make in myself, and I am absolutely worth the time and the effort that investment takes.  I couldn't run before because I didn't believe I could.  Because I believed in being a Turtle, I learned to believe in myself.

For anyone who is interested in becoming a Turtle, Sheila has posted the following information on Facebook:

Attention to everyone interested in signing up for training with OneLife Fitness Coaching for the 2014 Towpath Turtles season:

I will be hosting an information session on Sunday, 2/9/14 from 1-2pm at the Akron Main Library in meeting room #1 (60 S High St, Akron Ohio) to discuss the different types of training available:

Large Group Towpath Turtles, This is a structured half-marathon training program. We meet for 31-weeks on Sunday mornings and is an "A-Z" training program that starts on 2/23.

Small Group Towpath Turtles, (training starts on 6/29/14) This is a 12-week program for those who do not feel ready to commit to a long, structured program or for the half-marathon but want to be a Towpath Turtle on our Relay Team.

Information on individual training and "OneLife Mobile" training will be available as well. The 2014 Turtle Season starts on Sunday 2/23/14 and new Large Group members will be accepted from 2/9 - 2/23.

Invest in yourself.  You are worth it.

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