Three #ResolveToRun Stories from NYRR Members to Get You Motivated for 2019
January is the month of resolutions! As a new year begins, we are all given the chance to start with a clean slate and resolve to accomplish something to make our lives better. Here at NYRR, we believe in the transformative power of running for everyone—all ages and paces. So this year, once again, we’re challenging our members to #ResolveToRun. Here are the stories of three such members who have answered the call.
Sam Ryan never misses a beat, whether it’s on TV as a sports anchor for WABC-TV, Channel 7, or as a runner chasing her next personal goal.
Since 2016, one of those goals has been running 1,000 miles a year. She has completed her goal every year so far, and this year she plans to continue her streak for the fourth time in a row.
“If you think about it, it’s less than 20 miles a week,” she said to the New York Post, as she often runs more than that amount when she is preparing for a marathon. Despite her busy life, Ryan has made it a priority to include running in her daily routine. “You just have to know that life happens, but you figure out a way to work around it and then you feel better about yourself.”
For Ryan, a running resolution doesn’t have to be just for elite runners. She believes anyone at any level can make their running goals a reality. “If you’re someone who can run a mile, set an attainable goal to run a 5K,” she said, explaining, “It keeps you healthy and motivated, and that [race] will hold you accountable.”
Agnes Halarewicz is determined to take her running to the next level in 2019. With her second United Airlines NYC Half on the horizon, and her 9+1 program fulfilled to take part in this year’s TCS New York City Marathon, she has the race schedule ready to get her there. Her goals for 2019 are as follows:
Build endurance for long distance
Experiment with better nutrition prior to and during runs
Improve half marathon time by at least one to three minutes
Focus more on recovery
Taking up running as an adult made Halarewicz realize there was a lot more to being an athlete than she expected, and that she lacked some of the fundamentals for holistic running. This year, she wants to change all that.
“I only started to run toward the end of 2016, and the longest distance I ran in 2017 was 10 miles at the New Balance Bronx 10 Mile,” she recalls. “I was never an athlete, nor did I exercise regularly, so I have a lot to learn—which became very clear during my marathon training (in 2018).” In the new year, she’s looking to put those lessons learned into effect, as she states, “For my 2019 training, I’d like to spend more time on what I now know is necessary: Core and upper body strength training, and cross training like yoga with Coach Harper at the [NYRR] RUNCENTER.”
Halarewicz credits NYRR Group Training with teaching her the importance of building muscle strength for a runner, and for keeping her motivated: “I have learned a lot from those sessions and will continue to attend these, as they provide a good variety of workouts I would never do, or know to do, on my own.” On top of the physical benefits of NYRR Group Training, she also says, “I'm very inspired and motivated by the skills, determination, and accomplishments of both coaches and members.”
For all runners looking for inspiration in the new year, Halarewicz recommends reading Let Your Mind Run by Deena Kastor and What I Talk About When I Talk Running by Hakuri Murakami—two books she described as “fascinating.”
“Older—Less experienced—Following my dreams—Believing in myself.” This is how Susan Schwartz describes herself and her outlook toward running as she takes on 2019.
Schwartz has big plans for the new year. A member of NYRR Striders (NYRR’s free fitness program for older adults), she has a race calendar set that would intimidate even the most seasoned runner, but she is ready to rise to the task. “I believe by setting goals and accomplishing them in the new year, one builds the determination and confidence to succeed at one’s own level,” she comments.
Schwartz’s resolution this year is to complete at least six NYRR races, including the SHAPE Women’s Half-Marathon in April, and to improve her times in all the races she has run previously. “These are lofty and challenging goals I’ve set for 2019, but that doesn’t deter me. I’m just having so much fun,” she remarks. “My goal for all of them is to work and train and at the end of the day to do the best race possible.”
Schwartz has a head start on her goals, having already completed the NYRR Midnight Run through a persistent rainfall. Although her time was not what she had hoped for, her friend Janet recounted this quote from John “The Penguin” Bingham to give her inspiration: “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”
A proud participant in her NYRR Striders group, Schwartz is motivated by her coaches and fellow members, and she’s driven to inspire people in her life by getting out there and racing.
“Many of these folks are still sitting on the bench afraid to fail and even to start. I have a story of how I got where I am today and how I overcame hurdles that would have sidelined most folks,” she states. As she expresses her thanks for the community around her, she says, “A group of supporters who are part of the NYRR organization helped and motivated me to be where I am today. Coach Wesley taught me to follow my dreams and believe in myself.”
Later this year, we’ll be checking back in with our #ResolveToRun champs and see how they are keeping these running resolutions. Make sure to use the hashtag #ResolveToRun on social media as you share your 2019 goals!