On the Road with Catina Wood

EDITOR'S NOTE: Catina Wood, who started running in 2011, finished second in the 30-39 age group of our club's 2012 Challenge Series to women's overall winner Crystal Cossey. Catina also completed every race in the 2012 series except the WRMC "Run the Wave" 5K, which happened to fall on the same day she was running the Women Can Run 5K, the running clinic's graduation race in Conway. In this edition, she tells us how she caught the running bug and has come so far so fast.

My love for running started the winter after my mom died. She had battled brain cancer and lost that fight in March 2010, so the holidays that coming year were not kind to me. I had "eaten" my feelings and was drinking heavily to just try to numb the pain of missing her.

Needless to say, I was emotionally and physically at a low point.

As luck would have it (or divine intervention), Ann Hambrick was friends with me on Facebook and just happened to mention the Women Can Run clinic and invited me to go.

I had always admired the lean, lanky forms of runners/dancers and swimmers, and I was curious. So I signed up just wanting to walk, and I think it was Jennifer Dorris who convinced me to just try the running. So I did.

And it hurt. A lot.

Like OMG, why in the hell am I doing this? And people like doing this? They have done lost their freakin’ minds!

But if there's one thing I like about myself, it’s that I refuse to give up. So I didn’t.

And slowly with each week, as I pounded my legs into submission, I was getting faster. And better. And it didn’t hurt.

And before I knew it, all the sad was gone. I stopped drinking. I found a new passion that I know my mom would have been so proud of me for. So I run. I run for her. But mostly I run for me, and with each mile I eat up I’m running into the destiny that I know is mine for the taking.