ANDERSON — In just four short months, Anderson resident Ann Johnson went from deciding to run in the Indianapolis Mini Marathon to hitting the pavement with her sneakers.
She had never run in a half marathon before, and she ran only one 5K before. But she was 69 years old and she was determined.
“I wanted to do it before I turned 70,” Johnson said.
So on May 3, she went to the Circle City to run the 13.1 miles.
Running in the Mini isn’t something that always seemed realistic. Over the years she’s had arthritis, back pain and was at one point diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
“I just saw the walker and the wheelchair, I just saw all of that coming at me,” she said. “So I decided to just start working out more and get serious about it.”
She said her doctor told her both of her knees needed replacing. Instead of getting them done at once, she opted to get them done at different times.
But after going through physical therapy and knowing she had to go through it again, Johnson decided to take matters into her own hands.
She started working out, and decided to do all she could to get healthy. If it didn’t work, then she’d reconsider getting the second knee replacement, she said.
A whole lifestyle change was in the cards for Johnson. She joined Weight Watchers to learn how to eat properly and started working out regularly.
In the two years since her surgery, she’s lost 115 pounds.
Johnson said she knew she wanted an active lifestyle, not a stationary one.
“I just don’t want that for myself,” she said. “I know in order for that to not happen, I have a part to play in that. I said, ‘Wow, how do we let ourselves get to here?’”