How many people do you know who are fifty-seven years young, gets up every day at 4:30 a.m., and finishes a marathon in three hours and twenty minutes? Well, look no further, Methuen resident Nancy Corsaro is one of the few. Weighing in at a slim one hundred twenty five pounds at five feet five, she looks like a professional athlete ready to have that beautiful olive wreath draped around her head.
Her desire to become a runner started back in her late teens when she was forty pounds heavier. Nancy said, “I can remember the specific day I started getting into running, it felt like it was yesterday.” One evening Nancy decided to join her Father who ran with their dog around the neighborhood to see if she could make it up the street, and that was the start of her love for running. The fresh air and physical movement of running energized her enough to turn it into a daily exercise. Nancy noticed with each mile of running, she became leaner and more confident. After a few years of running under her belt, she decided to enter some local five and ten mile races.
Growing up in the seventies and eighties, there were no Fitbits or apps helping Nancy design her workouts, but an old watch around her wrist and sheer will power. Perseverance and mental fortitude kept Nancy going every day. Her first Boston Marathon was run in 1984 and the excitement of finishing 26.2 miles gave her the confidence to complete thirty more marathons. With all of this experience in running, Nancy’s strength of character has won her many accolades in her fifties. At the Boston Marathon, Nancy at age fifty won 2nd place with a time of 3:06:57, and 3rd place at fifty-one at 3:10:01 both in her age category.
In keeping with her fitness regime, Nancy follows a clean diet of eating a bagel with peanut butter or an avocado for breakfast. Lunch consists of a half sandwich and dinner is chicken, rice and a variety of vegetables. In between meals, she nibbles on pretzels, crackers and cheese and stays away from sugary desserts.
Since she trains seven days per week, Nancy doesn’t feel the need to take a day off unless she is injured. According to Nancy, “I run for my mental health.” Running one hour and fifteen minutes per day coupled with one long run every week keeps her aerobic health in check. She also does some weight training three times per week, and some spinning and elliptical to enhance her running program. This kind of routine keeps Nancy’s running at around a 7:30 to 8:00 minute mile pace. On bad weather days, she trains on a treadmill and logs in anywhere from seven to nine miles per day.
With her busy schedule of being a Mom to two boys and a wife, Nancy also participates with the Whirlaway Running Team in Methuen. Whirlaway Sports Center is a sports store in Methuen, and many years ago the owner started a running team which Nancy was asked to join. The team has five categories of runners: twenty open members which goes up to thirty-nine year olds, five masters, six seniors and three veterans and men’s divisions as well. Since Nancy does not do speed workouts on the track, she opts to join her Whirlaway running mates for her long runs on occasions coupled with weekly 5k races in Tewksbury.
Next Monday, look for Nancy Corsaro as she finishes her thirty-first Boston Marathon.