December 2, 2022

No Run-of-the Mill Feat in Marathon

Joyce Evans decides to give her boss a run for his money.

Art Levy | 4/1/2008
Evans' Challenge
Joyce Evans took Greg Dalmotte (left) up on his challenge to do something difficult. [Photo: Michael McElroy]

Last year, when Joyce Evans met with her boss for a brainstorming session, he gave her an unexpected challenge: Do something difficult you haven’t done before. It didn’t have to be work-related. Evans, a 29-year-old employee-engagement specialist at BankAtlantic in Fort Lauderdale, thought about it for a while and decided to run a mini-marathon. It was a surprising choice, given that Evans rarely ran and didn’t like it when she did.

Evans gave herself six months to get in shape. Her goal was to run a mini-marathon at the annual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. She joined a local chapter of Team in Training, a group that offers novice athletes training advice to compete in marathons, triathlons and long-distance bike rides. In return, the athletes, through their participation in the events, raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

She started slowly with a regimen of recommended running distances and exercises that progressively grew more challenging during the six months. The more she trained, the more people at work found out, which made her train harder. “I didn’t want to come back to work on Monday and tell everyone I didn’t finish,” she says.

On race day this past January, she tried to implement everything she learned. She stretched, flexed her hips and calves and carefully rolled her ankles beforehand. As she ran, she maintained the right posture. Still, by the seventh mile, “everything started to hurt.” She battled cramps, sore feet and fatigue but finished the 13.1-mile race in just short of three hours.

“I felt bad physically, but I also felt awesome,” Evans says. “I never had that feeling of accomplishment before.”

Tags: Healthcare

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