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Changes in motion: how running transformed me

When I began my training for the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon, I expected to change physically. I never expected it to change who I am.

/Chelsie Wyse

Gazelle Girl Half Marathon

"Gazelle Girl exists:

  • To honor women
  • To actively encourage new runners to participate in the sport
  • To build relationships
  • Because women’s health impacts family health
  • To enhance partnerships within the community
  • To raise money for women's charities,
  • and most importantly, have fun!"

Gazelle Girl hosts two races: the half marathon and the 5K."



Half Marathon:

Feb 28- April 10: $85
Late registration at Expotique on April 12: $95
No race day registration.

Half Marathoners: register before March 23, 2014 to ensure your name is on your bib!
Online registration closes April 9 at midnight.


Feb 28- April 10: $30
Late registration at Expotique on April 12 (no shirt guaranteed): $35

No race day registration.
Online registration closes April 9 at midnight.


For more information, please visit their website.

Frozen eyelashes after a long run outside

Frozen eyelashes after a long run outside

Stopping for a moment during a run to enjoy the scenery

Stopping for a moment during a run to enjoy the scenery /Chelsie Wyse

Four months of training have passed and over 100 miles have been logged. As Sunday, April 13, quickly approaches, I have feelings of nervousness and anticipation. When I registered for the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon, I did so with the intention of overcoming my demons and proving to myself I could accomplish anything if I put my mind, body and soul into it. I expected my body to change, to gain muscle and increase my endurance. I did not expect that I would change.

The woman I started as was one who was ashamed, intimidated by other runners and who never felt good enough. The woman I started as was beside herself about accomplishing 13.1 miles. "There's no way," I remember thinking. "There's no way I'll be able to run that far."

But then something happened. I began waking up at 6:30 a.m.. on Saturday mornings to meet with a running group. I was running in snow, sleet and negative wind chills. I was accepting words of encouragement, rather than dismissing them. As someone who works in community engagement, I saw the power of a community in action. We were breaking personal records, overcoming emotional barriers and pressing forward through it all. The community I have become a part of doesn't know all of my struggle, but it doesn't matter. We support each other because running is tough. Life is tough. And we need anything and everything we can get to keep moving forward, one step at a time.

Throughout the course of a challenging winter, a test of my physical strength was not only at play, but a test of my mental strength, too. When you are logging eight, 10 or 12 miles on a Saturday or Sunday morning, your perspective of life begins to change. You start taking the quote, "life is a marathon, not a sprint" much more seriously. Logging long runs forces you to mentally slow down and be present. You accept the next couple hours alone or with a friend as a gift. You have no meetings to get to, no kids to watch or emails to respond to. During that time, it's you and the road.

My long run mornings became something I looked forward to. They become a chance for me to check back in with myself and make sure I was getting what I needed. My long runs were not only essential to my training, but vital to my personal growth.

Over the course of four months, my strength has become uncompromising. When negativity creeped in, I did one more mile. When voices of doubt cried out, I ran faster. I no longer am afraid to run with someone else, because of fear he or she might judge my pace. I am no longer afraid of life's challenges because I've learned a little something about time and the beauty that takes place as it passes.

When I wake up Sunday morning and dress for the day's race, I will do so with nerves and anticipation. Not because I am unsure of my ability to overcome the challenge of a half marathon, but because of who I will be when I finish. And that is something worth running towards.

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How inspiring!  Good luck in the race and in your running future.