Congrats to Ravonda Murphy for being named the Ultimate Fit Walker of the Month for October! Here is more of her story...
"I am 58 years old. I grew up in the country just outside of Newtonville, IN which is a few miles south of Santa Claus. My husband, Mike, and I have been married 32 years and we have lived in Evansville all but 4 of these years. We have two adult kids; Devin 30 and Tim 27. I was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma in November 2009. I had six cancer surgeries in 6 years. Right now, I have been NED (no evidence of disease) for two years. I continue to get scanned every three months because my cancer is known to keep coming back. I quit work after my sixth surgery and now use that time to exercise and take care of myself. I decided to train for a half marathon after my physical therapist said it would be a good challenge for me."
What Motivates you to run/walk? I found after I started training for the half marathon that I enjoyed walking and getting the fresh air. When I first started training I struggled to walk a mile. It inspires me to see how far I have come in the last two years. I want to keep walking and keep challenging myself.
How many races have you participated in? 7
What age did you start running/walking for fun and competitively? When I was 20 I started running every morning. It didn’t last long. I had trouble breathing while running and gave it up. After I was diagnosed with cancer I started walking a little to try to build up strength. I really didn’t start to train to be competitively until I was 56. All I do is walk now. My arthritis and neuropathy from chemo does not allow me to run.
Favorite place to run/walk? The USI to Burdette trail. Depending on how I’m feeling that day. I can choose to tackle the hills or walk on the flatter part.
Favorite local race? Definitely the Evansville half marathon.
Farthest you have traveled to do a race? All of my races have been here in Evansville.
Favorite race memory? Finishing the Evansville half marathon on October 1, 2016. I had family and friends there to watch me finish and so many of my Team 13 friends came back to walk in with me as I finished the race. I had been going through chemotherapy in during most of my training and I had so many people supporting me to finish this race.
Funniest race memory? I’m going to go with most serious instead of funniest. I was having trouble with walking three miles without resting. On the morning that I was to walk 4 miles for the first time I prayed to God if I was to continue training for the half marathon to please help me get through the 4 miles that morning. I did all four without stopping to rest. I at that point knew I would make it to the half marathon.
Favorite pre & post-race meal/drink? I’m not competitive enough to have a pre-race meal. I am a water drinker. I drink water before, during, and after a race. I have started drinking a bing energy drink before I walk and try to have Gatorade on hand too.
What is your favorite brand of running shoes. Asics. They fit my narrow feet.
How many miles do you run/walk a week? Most weeks I try to walk 15-20 miles. I hope to keep building on that.
What are your future goals for running/walking? I just want to keep walking for health. Hopefully, I will eventually speed my time up a little.
Favorite time of day to walk/run? I like to walk of the mornings. It is so refreshing and energizing.
Favorite weather to walk in. Sunshine and 70’s.
Music or no music? No music. I usually walk with a friend so we are talking. If I walk by myself, it is a great time to just let my mind roam.
Brandon L. Barrett