FORT MYERS, Fla. — A local woman used running to help her through the pandemic.
Patti Ryan was juggled taking care of her father and the uncertainty of the pandemic. She wanted something to relieve the stress that was building up.
“I thought, you know, March 10 that night, I’m like I am just going to start running every day until this nonsense goes away," Ryan said.
She decided to set off every day and run 5 miles.
“I remember in the beginning going 20 days in a row," she said.
The 20-day running streak turned into 606 days.
“It just becomes such a habit of mine that I’m like can’t imagine not doing it," she said.
She said being out in nature helped her.
“If you have a big problem, run 10 miles; you will either solve it or forget about it for a long time," Ryan said.
She decided to share her journey on Facebook and formed a community.
“It doesn’t matter how old you are, how slow you are, how fast you are, where you live, what language you speak. If you are a runner, you are a runner; that’s all that matters," she said.
Her husband, Steve Kilberg, said she began inspiring others throughout the world through her Facebook community.
“She is literally inspiring people from all over the world because we will get comments on our Facebook page from that. We look at this like If this helps one person get out there and become more active whether they choose to run, go out for a walk or do something, then it makes us both feel good," he said.
Ryan shares tips and tricks on her Facebook page. She has amassed more than 94,000 followers, even starting a running challenge to help her followers transform their running.
As far as her running journey, she is hoping to reach the two-year mark. That is just 124 days away. She is also preparing for a big race. She is looking to run a marathon and is determined to beat her previous marathon time.