Saturday Spotlight- Rebecca McDonald

Name: Rebecca McDonald
Age: 51
Marital Status: Married
Kids: 5 daughters
Pets: 1 bulldog named Roxi, 1 fish named Ruby and 6 chickens named Parmy, Buffy, Raven, Chickeletta, Franny and Used Napkin!
Occupation: in my previous life I was a nurse now I work with the fabulous folks at GLIRC
Hobbies: knitting, quilting, sewing, hanging out with my chickens, watching Walking Dead or anything to do with zombies…oh and running!
Hometown: Massapequa Park, NY
Current Town: Nesconset, NY

Thank you to Lou for asking me to be the warrior of the week. When he messaged me and asked me I was very surprised as I am not your typical runner. Needless to say I am appreciative and flattered.

I was never an athletic girl. You know that girl that ran away from the ball in gym class? The one who was always picked last for a team? Yeah well that was me. About 8 years ago, I joined a kickboxing class with my friend grace. There we met Karen who I have to say is a phenomenal kickboxing instructor. We loved her classes so much and one day we got to talking with her. She asked us if we run. Grace and I looked at each other and were like no but maybe we should run? Being the agreeable sort, I said sure let’s run! Karen told us about the New York State summer series, how much fun it was and we should sign up. So grace and I signed up for the summer series not ever having run a step.

I can still remember that day at the Nesconset armory where Grace and I stood at the little house where the bathrooms were, looked at the path in front of us, said OK let’s try to get to that bench and we started running. We barely made it to the bench and after catching our breath and thinking to ourselves this was a terrible idea we decided to push on and try to get to the next bench. I clearly remember Grace asking me…why are we doing this? and me saying I have no idea…maybe we should try to get to that tree. It was pretty much a sad state of affairs and I’m sure if anyone was watching us they were probably getting ready to call 911. Since Grace lives next door to me, we would constantly see each other and ask do you want to go run today? One would sigh and say OK I guess so and we would meet again at the Armory and try to get to that next tree or bench.

So the first summer series race comes along and we are ready to go! Not really …I don’t think at that point we were able to run a mile without stopping and holding on to something for dear life. We started off running with the others and that 1st mile marker just never seem to come. I said to Grace I think this course is miss marked! We had to have run more than a mile but we hadnt. The really funny part about this race was that Grace and I thought it was a 5k but it was not…it was a five miler so when we passed the 3 mile mark thinking that this torture was over we realized we had to keep running. We finally crossed the finish line and said to ourselves we never want to do this again! What were we thinking? A few days later we met again at the Armory and started to run trying to get to the next bench.

With Karen’s encouragement we continue to run and kind of suck at it but we were out there and figured you know what? let’s just keep going and trying to get to the next tree. After the summer series Karen encouraged us to run the Cow Harbor 10k so we started doing the training runs on Wednesday nights that Northport running club has and we started to realize that we were getting better! So we kept running…

After several years of running…I met Lou Lafleur. I serve on the executive board of GLIRC and there Lou encouraged me to run the hills. I went back to Karen and asked her about this and she said of course you can run the hills! I thought to myself..I might die so I should make a will prior. My own personal fears of just totally sucking at it, an injury and weight gain from said injury prevented me from running the hills up until this past January 2019. At that point I had already completed many 5k, 10k, 15k races, a half marathon and was going to train to run the New York City Marathon so what did I have to lose? I got Grace and my other friend Kris and off we went to the New Year’s run. Again, I thought to myself I may die but we pushed on. I think what got me through it was I had Kris with me and helping her along, encouraging her and telling her that she could do it made me feel like I could do it too. Kris and I ran to the pole together as Grace had already finished and there I was…a Selden Hills Warrior!