Giving Back

I am already a mentor to a young unwed mother of 2 but I also wanted to do something related to running.

I am grateful to all running has given me so it’s time to GIVE BACK.

Thanks to Facebook,  I saw a post that said:

This is another call to arms for (STEM) Strong Through Every Mile, my domestic violence couch to 5k group. We’ve expanded to a partnership with the YWCA in Schenectady and need new volunteers! I know this is a tough time of year for racing and training but if you have a couple of hours to spend on a Monday, Wednesday and/or Friday at 9am or 5:30pm to train some well deserving women for the next two months to their first 5k, it would literally mean the world to them (even if they don’t know it yet). Any one day per week, morning or evenings would be amazing (double hugs from me if you can do more but it isn’t necessary).

ALL paces welcome, we just need enthusiastic bodies to bring running to non runners.

We’ve been really successful in Troy and are super excited to work with another organization and would love to have you join in on our expansion

Sounded perfect.  I can’t do Mondays or Fridays but although I usually run on Wednesdays, I decided to pass and do this instead.

I signed up and got more info last week:

Hi all —

So we’re getting started on Wednesday this week!
Our 9 a.m. group will meet at the bike path at Schenectady County Community College. Our 5:30 p.m. group will meet at the parking lot  by Alexander Field at Union College, and we’ll be running the campus. 

We’ll be starting with Day 2 of the Couch to 5K training program. ( You don’t have to download it if you don’t want to. Someone else in the group will surely have it and be able to tell you what the plan is for the day.

This is going to be a great season. It’s hard to explain how powerful this program has been for our past participants. The time you’re taking each week to run with these ladies is truly changing lives.

Jennifer Gish
Features editor/sports columnist
Times Union -Albany, NY

According to the info I received, there are 4 mentors for each session.

I was not familiar with the Couch to 5k program. When I started running with the New Boundaries program, it was a 12 week program and we basically starting running 1 mile and progressed up to 3 miles. So I looked up the Couch to 5K program online. This is basically the 9-week plan:

So after work last Wednesday, I rushed to Union College and found the meeting location (with some difficulty.)


People arrived little by little since no one knew exactly where to go.  Without any introductions, I wasn’t sure who was who but there seemed to be 5 mentors, 4 interns/case workers, and 6 clients.

It was unseasonably warm – near 80 (unbelievable!) and humid. Luckily the impending rain held off and we were able to do our workout.

The mentors used the Couch to 5K app and spaced themselves among the clients…giving them encouragement.  We did some dynamic stretches, a 5 minutes walk, then alternated 60 sec run and 90 sec walk for 25 minutes and then a 5 minute cool down followed by stretches.

The clients were, of course, skeptical about their ability to run but they did great!

The Union College campus is a great place to run – lots of paths, no traffic and lights! (I plan to run afterwards here each week.)

The STEM goal race is Jingle Bell 5K on December 6. Unfortunately I work at the LSATs that morning and already signed up for a 5k that night. (I’ll have to see how it goes and if I  can go cheer them on.)

I am looking forward to tonight’s group run.  They will have also run last Friday and Monday.  I hope the clients don’t drop out.

It is so rewarding to know that you are making a difference in someone’s life.

 Happy Running! Have you ever volunteered in a running group?




2 thoughts on “Giving Back

  1. Pingback: Making a Difference | My First 5K and More...

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