National Running Day

5 Jun

Today is National Running Day and in honor of today I would like to share with you a story that will hopefully inspire you to run or make a healthy choice at some point today.

On Sunday April 28th I ran the Nike Women’s inaugural half marathon in Washington DC.  Since it was my third race of the month, I was pretty tired the morning of the start.  I had a busy weekend and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  When I stepped off the metro, the air was crisp, hundreds of women were standing around excited and there I was, facing the capital building, standing in the capital of the United States. I decided that it was going to be a good day and a good race.

I lined up into my pace group and right above me was the stage where the announcer stood. He introduced two Olympian marathoners to the crowd who would be running with us and immediately I was inspired.  First I saw Shalane Flanagan.  I remember watching her take home a Bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in China and run the marathon in the London Olympics as well.  She was as small and adorable as she had looked on TV. Next the announcer introduced Joan Benoit to us and I remember her taking home the Gold in the Olympics when I was a little kid. Her time at the Boston Marathon was the fastest time by an American at that race for the last 28 years.  In fact three decades after her best time, she ran within 30 minutes of it this year.  Keep in mind, she always runs a marathon in under 3 hours.  In fact, Joan had arthroscopic knee surgery 17 days because the US Olympics Marathon trials and still won!  

As I ran my race, I thought about these two women and their accomplishments.  I thought about the marathon training book I had read that Joan Benoit had wrote and I was inspired to  make this race my best.  I turned my mind away from the pain and instead I thought about the beautiful day, the amazing women who were running this race, and the young woman I met at the beginning of the race who was running her first half marathon. 

Listening to the stories of the two Olympians inspired me to focus on the reasons I love to run.  I run because I can, because I love the feeling when I finish.  I feel so blessed to have run the streets of China, through the alleyways in Greece, on the cobblestone in Rome, through the forest and along the water in Germany, through the parks in London, and up the hills in St. John and see beautiful things I would never see from a car.  I love getting lost on trails and feeling millions of miles away from the city.  The breeze that touches my sweat and the smell of good cologne and perfume.  I love the freedom of listening to great tunes and running anywhere at anytime!  So get outside and run or do something active today!

Below is a picture of me with Joan Benoit at the end of the Nike Half Marathon.

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente


2 Responses to “National Running Day”

  1. June 9, 2013 at 12:34 pm #


    I miss you so much. I run the Druid Park race (10 miles ) on Saturday. I will keep this story in mind.

    Gail Williams Glasser

    • Madeline June 10, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

      I miss you and the Crew so much and I’m so proud of you for running the ten miler. Your athleticism and accolades as seen on LinkedIn are a true testament that you can do anything you put your mind to. I am raising money for the Leukemia Society. If I came to the Merritt or Fit gym, would you be able to rally the troops?

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