Thank you, Second Wind

by Kate Blahnik

After receiving a quarter-page sized flyer in my Illinois marathon packet in April 2016 and glancing at it on my desk quite frequently the rest of the year, I decided that my “new thing” for 2017 would be to join the Second Wind Running Club to meet people and have a group to run with.  

I sent my membership payment into the club in January, 1 year ago.  

That decision led to me making some new, great friends, meeting my boyfriend, and achieving 3 personal records: a 5-minute PR in the 5K (Fisher), a 5-minute PR in the 10K (Illinois), and a 25-minute PR in my second half marathon (Indy).  

Running is not easy to do when one has asthma like myself, but I pushed myself harder in the past year than I ever have before. I pushed through many miles while working at training the narrowed, tight, mucus-filled airways of my lungs to breathe through the lung-burning, cold, biting air of winter, the pollenfilled, allergy-provoking beauty of the spring, the hot, thick, sticky, humidity of the summer, and leafburning-smoke-filled air of the fall. I signed up for and ran more races this year than I ever have before, accomplished my goals of running a 5K in under 30 mins, winning an age group award, and was nominated for and won the award New Runner of the Year.  

This club consists of a fantastic group of people. They are encouraging, supportive, celebrative, competitive, inspiring, and fun. All of this helped me to accomplish my achievements and goals this past year. I had a blast at all the fun runs, pizza parties, cookouts, and races. Some of my favorite races of the year were the beautiful trails of Buffalo Trace and Allerton, the fun small towns of Fisher and Mahomet, and the trendy city of Indianapolis with its crazy-fun fans.  

I have entered 2018 with much enthusiasm and excitement for what I can accomplish this coming year and all the new friends I can make. Thank you, Second Wind, for helping me to become a better runner.

This story originally appeared in the March/April 2018 issue of In Passing.