Sunday, 24 September 2017 03:42

Swift Current woman, 51, runs first marathon

Written by  Andrea Carol
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After the sound of a starting gun, running in a crowded first kilometre of athletes, wannabes and marathon junkies, Tracey Jones of Swift Current ran her way to the finish line at the Queen City Marathon earlier this month with a finish time of 2:42:43.

With a mixture of exhaustion and elation, the 51-year old registered psychiatric nurse, wife, mother of two and grandmother of one, experienced the bliss and mental exhilaration of finishing a half-marathon.
Encouraged to run a half marathon by her younger sister, Sarah, Tracey did just that.
“I am extremely and insanely proud of myself. I have never felt so accomplished in anything I’ve ever done. I ran with my sisters Sarah and Melissa. Sarah is five years younger and Melissa is nine years younger than me. Sarah runs marathons and she is the one that kind of said, ‘Let’s do this’. I don’t know why I agreed to it. I kind of thought, ‘Yeah, why don’t I try’,” Jones explained. “That was my attitude through the entire thing. I ran 21-km and I didn’t stop once. And I did it! For two days after, I was on such a high from it. I never for one second considered stopping to walk or take a breather.”
Exercise can make us feel good, physically and mentally. Most people who run claim that it helps them manage anxiety and mood.  Mental health has been somewhat a taboo topic in the past.
 The veteran nurse has been training hard since early April.  Because of Jones’ career as a psychiatric nurse, she understands all too well the anti-depressant, anti-anxiety and mood enhancing effects of exercise programs. Aerobic exercise can drastically reduce anxiety and depression.
In her journey with her own family and their struggles, Jones acquired some valuable skills in mental health both personally and professionally.
“Through this entire thing, I went through horrendous stress in my personal life. The stress gave me another reason not to do this. I learned when we went through AARC (Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre) to get up and live your life. That was the motto I went by and it was a great distraction from stress. Running literally releases chemicals in your brain and I really felt like I accomplished something when I was done,” Jones said. “The whole time I was training, I didn’t know how it was going to turn out but I was going to give it my best effort. So much of it is psychological. It’s amazing what you can do when you believe in yourself and put your mind to it. I really do believe in the human spirit.”
Jones motivated herself to take things to the next level when it would have been easy for her to quit. This beautiful, agile human being accomplished one of her greatest achievements and her personal results are mind-boggling.
“I had a couple of setbacks as my body was like, “whoa”.I had to take eight days off at one time. I took supplements and bought the best shoes I could get,” Jones explained. “I bought these new runners and my body was hurting so bad from training and I said to myself, “Are you crazy”? Those runners were sitting in the corner and I looked at them and thought, I just spent $220 for new shoes, get off your butt and run. So, as soon as I could, I did it”.
As the saying goes, “It’s not about starting the race, it’s about finishing it.”
Jones did just that.

Read 446 times Last modified on Monday, 25 September 2017 03:07

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