Positive running story – Ginnie Eldredge

Our positive running story this time features Ginnie Eldredge, a woman runner from Denver, Colorado. (Ginnie is pictured above, 3rd in from the right., at one of our camps on 2018. Ginnie has been a regular at several of our running camps across the years, and it has been a joy to see her take on board learning opportunities, and run with them! She is an amazingly thoughtful and compassionate human being, and is such a beacon of positive shining light that influences everyone around her. She also has been a volunteer at Running Start, helping other women runners to find confidence in themselves and overcome barriers that they may have experienced to realize their fitness goals. I recently had the chance to catch up with Ginnie, and here is the result of our interview:

Can you share your brief running history to date?
Running has been part of my life always.  As a child ~ in play and sports; Vermont was our playground.  As a young woman without a car discovering the parks and streets of Washington, DC.  Later in Colorado for exercise, mental health and challenge.

What are the top 3 things you enjoy most about running, and why?
Running helps me organize my thoughts often clearing the good from the unnecessary.  Running helps me know my strength, my worth and my prowess.  Running is a gift I give myself.

What has been your favorite race so far, and what was it about your race experience that made it so special?
The Boulder Backroads Marathon at 50 and in retrospect is my favorite race.  It helped me set the tone for the second half of my life.  Training for a marathon introduced me to a formal approach to running.  It was harder than I could have imagined but introduced me to the sport I have come to love.

Running is not the only endurance sport that has swept you off your feet. Can you share some of your story about your exploits swimming, and do you think this contributed to you becoming the strong and fast runner you are now?
I have swum across the English Channel twice.  The first time as a mind/body project for a college philosophy class.  I swam for 11 and a half hours and didn’t ‘quite’ make it.  Neap tides kept me from getting into the French shore.  The second effort was a fundraiser for The Listen Foundation based here in Denver, Colorado. We did a family relay.  Again, we didn’t make it; gale winds.  Endurance swimming is different from marathon running ~ a depravation of the senses.  Trail running is an awakening of all the senses.  I thought swimming was my adult sport until 50 and I didn’t have time to train for a third try.  I discovered running, later the JOY of running and it has become my forever sport of choice.

You have attended several of our women’s running camps over the last few years. What differences has attending our camps made to your running, and what would you say to a woman that is thinking of coming to one of these camps?
Running at the Active at Altitude camp has helped me completely adjust my approach to running.  During preparation for camp I began to learn the sport and discovered in the process the JOY of running.  I love being a happy runner! Terry and Jacqueline incorporate the entire person into their training ~ how do you walk, talk, think, eat, what do you wear, how do you fuel, and how do you engage in the world. Terry and Jacqueline show you yourself and are masterful trainers.  My running has improved significantly in the ten years of attending the Active at Altitude running camps.  I am going in August ~ always more to learn, ways to improve, new goals to set and challenges to face.  Terry and Jacqueline cover it all.  The Colorado Rocky Mountains are close to heaven; that works too. Simply the best!

Ginnie with her daughter Mia

You are one of a family of runners. What is special about heading to a running event as a family for you?
My daughter is a super star runner.  During the COVID year, the one ‘in person’ race we knew of was her 50 mile Bryce Canyon run.  I wept at 43 miles; I knew she’d make it.  Running as a family allows us a deep abiding respect for each other.  Seeing my son finish his first marathon, likely only one, with a broken arm and his sister by his side is an enduring and beautiful memory.  The sport gives us a greater understanding of each other; the ebbs and flows. Check out the Listen Foundation that recognizes the role that both son Spencer and daughter Mia have played in my being who I am today.

What wisdoms would you share with a younger version of yourself about being a woman runner, and what do you love about being a woman runner in her 60’s?
To my younger self as a runner I would say, “let it be, let the mystery be.”  What we did or didn’t do yesterday provides for today. Try to be consistent, use a kind and positive voice up there in your head, be good to yourself and if you need a break, six days, six months – take it. Be open to what your body can do; I use to think going slow and then tampering off was just fine.  Why rush, that other runners do.  Now, I love speed; mind you in small doses but I am addicted to the challenge.  What I look forward to as a runner at 65 is to be a runner at 75.  Graceful and moving forward.

If we could share a message on your behalf to the World, what would you wish us to say?
To the big beautiful world  of people on our earth – strive to be a good human.  Perhaps if we all gave ourselves the title ‘humanitarian’ we’d all know our equal worth.

Could you share one thing that is unique about Ginnie that no-one would know from looking at you?
My super power is a genuine desire to develop my best muscle; my ️ heart.

What are your running and life goals for 2021 and beyond?
My running goals are to stay healthy, add a few in person races to my calendar, meet every challenge Orange Theory Fitness brings to us, continue working with Running Start a program specifically designed to help women run their first 5k in 12 weeks, Active at Altitude running camp in August; learn something new.  As for life, maybe my own advice ~ take a long view, love all, running like poetry in my next decade.

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