Joy Nagal will tell you she’s a late bloomer when it comes to running. “Believe it or not, I wasn’t always a runner!” Nagal said. “Nine years ago, I was approaching 40 when I started running. Joy got the itch after her friends invited her to the Silver Strand Half Marathon in Coronado back in 2009. She only did the 5K, but those three miles are all it took to get her hooked. She graduated to a 10K the next year and a couple weeks after that she braved the Carlsbad Half Marathon in January 2010.
Later that year in October, she found a local running group in her community to be a part of. That’s probably when I started taking running more seriously. They had structured and regular trainings, which helped Nagal become a better runner. Her times started improving, and the group provided inspiration and motivation. She says the improvement didn’t happen overnight – in fact, it took years for her to shave significant time off her races. But it’s those small goals that keep Nagal going.
“I loved that feeling of accomplishment each time I attained my goal,” she said. “Although I was getting older, I was getting better and recovering faster as well; not to mention I was more energized, and also feel great about myself.”
Since then, Joy first qualified for the Boston Marathon in 2015, ran it in 2016, and will be returning to Boston in 2020. She also qualified for the NYC Marathon with her half marathon qualifying time for her Age Group and ran it in November 2018. This October 2019, she will be running the Chicago Marathon. She hopes to complete the Abbott Marathon Majors in the near future.