Road to Gazelle Girl: Erin’s longest journey yet

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) – Erin Bowerman is on the road to run the Gazelle Girl half marathon. After being awarded the Sole Sisters scholarship, which helps with training and support, Erin has been training week by week in order to cross the finish line! Here is her latest update of how training went last week:

“I am running to prove to [my daughter] that when you set your mind on something, and work hard, even though it feels impossible at times, you can do it.”

 

March 6, 2016

The past week has been a draining one for me emotionally and physically. As the nine miles of Saturday’s run approached I was dreading it. My 4 miles on Tuesday just didn’t happen. It was a snow day with the kids and I stayed home from work with them. I shoveled the side walk twice, but beyond that there was no running in me.

Thursday for my 5 miles I decided to venture to the YMCA again, not that I wanted to do 35 laps inside but I knew I had to do it. As we arrived, my son was refusing to go into the Kidzone and just did not want to cooperate. Part of me just wanted to leave and not get any miles in during the week, or maybe I should just back out completely? But I know that running makes me feel better and it makes me a better mom. Finally after 10 minutes I convinced him to stay and I went off to do my miles. 35 times around is a lot of times going in a circle, but I got 5 miles in! I did it and my son even had fun in the Kidzone!

But then there was Saturday… 9 miles… The furthest I have gone so far was 8 and I had done that 2 times, and I survived both. What is one more mile? Well, Saturday was snowing like crazy and the sidewalks were snow packed, with some ice underneath and quite challenging. The first mile wasn’t too bad but my feet and the rest of my body were feeling the change in the terrain. By mile 4 I was about ready to be done. But as I ran past a group of Sole Sisters one of them shouted “The rock is calling your name!” If you have ever walked, ran or biked around Reed’s Lake, you know the rock she was talking about. It is a large rock at the top of the hill. The words of encouragement pushed me up the hill.

Erin made it to the rock!
Erin made it to the rock!

I stood for a moment at the top of the hill feeling like I accomplished a lot but knew I was only about halfway done at this point. I took a minute to look at my Facebook page. I had posted just before leaving that said, “9 miles????” Then I saw more words of encouragement, “You go girl!” “you can do it dig deep” “Only one mile more than the 8 you did last week. You’ve totally got this!” “the task ahead of you is never as great as the Power behind you!” “You got this! I know you do! Stay strong.” “You are amazing!!” As I read all of these, tears came to my eyes and I pushed on back down the hill, feeling I can do it.

I kept plugging along and focused on just moving one step at a time, with the other Sole Sisters passing me from time to time. When I was at about 7 miles I was so ready to be done. Thoughts of giving up were overwhelming me and tears came back to my eyes. I looked down at my hands and I was reminded of why I needed to keep going.

Erin's gloves, a small reminder why she pushes herself!
Erin’s gloves, a small reminder why she pushes herself!

One day as I was preparing to run I couldn’t find matching gloves, so I grabbed what I could. After one time of wearing them, I decided they were ok. The Hello Kitty glove is my daughters and so it is a reminder of why I am running. I am running to prove to her that when you set your mind on something, and work hard, even though it feels impossible at times, you can do it. Wearing these mismatch gloves may look silly, but they are a constant reminder of why I am doing this, to be healthy for my kids and myself.

At mile 7.5 a Sole Sister drove past and checked on me, I said I was doing fine and kept on going. It meant a lot that she stopped to check on me. At about mile 8 another Sole Sister stopped by and asked if I was ok. I REALLY just wanted to get in her car and go back but I knew I had to finish it. I pushed on and got those hard 9 miles in it. But I knew with doing the 9 miles in these conditions, 10 shouldn’t be too bad next week, right?

Sole Sisters!
Sole Sisters!

Thank you Sole Sisters for helping me through this journey!!

 

Gazelle Girl Half Marathon & 5k
Sunday, April 17
Register now through Feb. 28 – $25
Feb. 29-April 15 – $30
Register at Expotique, April 16 – $35

 

Editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of WOTV 4 Women, its staff and/or contributors to this site.

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