The Ashland Beacon
If you're a local runner, you have undoubtedly met Betsy Cole. Her smile and quiet confidence brings joy to all those that meet her. We learned about Cole's running goals last year in 2021. This year she is already setting the bar high. She has already ran 1000 miles in 2022. Her determination is inspiring.
Cole shared," I’m proud of my mileage thus far. I have fibromyalgia that puts me down occasionally and being able to get these numbers is awesome. I wanted to hit 2022 this year, and while I technically have that goal in mind, it really isn’t feasible. At this point, my goal is to beat last year’s mileage. I was just under 1300 last year, so that should be easy." We are confident that whatever the number may be, Cole will work diligently to make her goal.
As Cole mentioned, she suffers from Fibromyalgia which is a muscular skeletal illness, which causes widespread pain throughout the body. There is no cure for fibromyalgia and a flair can be triggered by stress or just getting a cold. "Fibromyalgia flares are rough and can keep me from being active for days at a time. While a normal day I average 4-5 miles, when fibromyalgia hits, I’m lucky to hit a mile or two. I have picked up yoga which has helped drastically. I’ve also lost 30 lbs this year between eating better, medication changes, running, and taekwondo. The better eating, helps to prevent inflammation and fibromyalgia flares, plus helps me to be active on a normal basis," explained Cole.
Cole has participated in a variety of races this year. "My favorite race was probably my hardest—the Vesuvius Challenge, it was two miles up hill and two miles down. It was by far the hardest race and I pushed myself. I am looking forward to running it again next year, to see my improvement," added Cole.
If you're a local runner, you might collect race t-shirts. The Beacon inquired about how many shirts Cole has acquired this year so far, "Last I checked, I had about forty race shirts. They are some of my favorite shirts, because it reminds me of how hard I’m pushing myself to be healthier," commented Cole.
Cole works as a Youth Minister at the Old Orchard Church of God. "The kids in my children’s ministry think it’s pretty cool that I’m active in races, just because it means I keep up with them better, more energy to use while teaching and interacting with them," exclaimed Cole. It's great to see Cole being active with the church youth.
Have you ever wondered what goes through a runner’s mind while they're running? Cole gave us some insight. "When I run, my mind sort of slows down. I constantly have thoughts clamoring all over my mind, but the moment I start running, there is clarity. I feel much more at peace. I love listening to music, so sometimes I just focus on the lyrics or the beat," said Cole.
In conclusion, Cole explained that running for charity holds a special place in her heart. "I love being part of races that raise money for charities. I am being healthier, while helping others and nothing can be better than that," concluded Cole.