Finding Comfort Pounding the Pavement

This series of stories was originally published in September 2013. If you’d like to share your story of exercise and coping, please email 

Our series of fitness and coping continues this week. Today we meet Sharon, who found continued running following her husband’s death and found comfort through her running buddies.

Sharon Ellis, runningRunning was a huge part of my healing after my husband passed away. I had just started running with a new group of women about a month before my husband’s death.  We met at 5 a.m. two mornings a week to run about 3.5 miles.  We had also just decided that we would train for a marathon.

After my husband passed away, I was back out on the pavement in about a week.  I desperately needed the release. Running in the dark also gave me a hidden cloak – if I cried during a run, no one could see.

I threw myself into running and training for the marathon.  I was exhausted at night because I was getting up so early to run so I never really had trouble sleeping.

Running is such a release and helps to make the runner feel strong. The music that I listen to also helps. I listen to AC/DC ,Christian rock and everything in between. The music made me feel good and upbeat.

My running friends were also wonderful to me. They just let me talk on so many runs and didn’t try to give me advice – they just listened.  I could not have made it through the past 15 months without them. The long Saturday runs while training for the marathon gave me a purpose on the weekends.

I don’t know what I would have done without running and my running buddies. They helped save my life!

Read all the articles in the fitness and coping series here and visit our new forum, Fitness and Grief.

Sharon Ellis, New Orleans marathon


  1. Elizabeth said on September 5, 2013 at 11:11 am ... #

    You are my hero!, love you and your courage, strength and friendship!

  2. Lynnette said on September 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm ... #

    Sharon and I have worked together for many years and she has ALWAYS been an inspiration to me! But never more so than in the past year and a half… Reading her words here remind me all over again what a beautiful lady she is inside and out! You go girl!!

  3. Lanessa said on September 5, 2013 at 6:26 pm ... #

    Truly an AMAZING Lady! Beautiful – Heart and Soul!!

  4. Caroline said on September 5, 2013 at 9:20 pm ... #

    You are an amazing woman!!! I admire your grace and your strength.

  5. Dana said on September 5, 2013 at 9:25 pm ... #

    You are such a strong woman with a beautiful spirit! I’m amazed by all you do, and the progress you’ve made since losing Randy! I know he’s extremely proud of you!! And, those running buddies love you dearly!

  6. Mark said on September 5, 2013 at 9:26 pm ... #

    Randy would be so proud of you. I am so happy that you have met friends that provide support. We miss him everyday.

  7. Scouthalle said on September 5, 2013 at 9:51 pm ... #

    That gives me hope. You are very inspirational!! I am so glad for you; way to be strong and cope.

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