By Jenna Dennison
Last year, Vashon mother and runner Ginger Hamilton set her mind to run further than she ever had before. She wanted to run 1,000 miles in one year—and Hamilton has just recently completed her goal.
Hamilton, a mother of two and a Vashon resident for more than a decade, initially took up running when her son was born. Having been a competitive swimmer, she was looking for a new way to maintain her exercise regimen.
So, when her son was about five months old, Hamilton got a jogging stroller and went off on her very first run.
“I couldn’t even run one mile,” said Hamilton. “I would run a mile and get to the end and go, ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t do this.’”
However, she continued on running. Hamilton had made a goal for herself at the very beginning of her running journey that she was going to run a half marathon.
When her son was 10 months old, she ran her first half marathon.
“I just trained. I went from not being to run at all to run a half marathon,” said Hamilton. “That’s just been my thing now since I’ve had kids. That’s how I stay in shape and I think it’s important to stay in shape.”
When Hamilton’s daughter was born, she ran another half marathon.
Hamilton has continued to set goals for herself, as last year she ran more than 800 miles. This year, she hoped to top her previous record by running 1,000 miles.
Hamilton, who runs four days a week “without fail,” planned to run 19 miles each week in order to complete her new goal in the allotted time frame.
Her favorite places to run are out on Dockton Road, or in the Chautauqua area. Hamilton will usually run “anywhere from four to eight miles” during one of her runs. She also enjoys running with her running group on Sundays, which includes approximately five women in total.
Looking ahead to her next goal, Hamilton has focused on her upcoming 50th birthday. For that, she is wanting to complete a 50K for her 50th year. In addition, Hamilton is adding to her running regimen by incorporating different exercises to her day, such as lunges, sit-ups, and push-ups. She plans to do 50 each day and rotate them throughout the year. By the end of the year, she will have done each exercise 3,650 times.
Hamilton also credits her running group in keeping her motivated to continue running over the years.
To any other runners out there who are working towards their own accomplishments, Hamilton advises them to “make a goal, stick with it, and even the littlest accomplishments celebrate, because each step you get better,” she said. “Each day it gets easier. If I set my mind to something, I’m going to do it.”