I am training for the Disney Princess Half Marathon at the end of February. I did the Princess Half last year and impressed the heck out of myself, if I do say so. Before I started training for the half marathon last year I had never run more than 4 miles. I ran all the time and sort of considered myself a runner, but not really. I met a great group of women who had done the race before and had invited me to train with them for the race last year. I looked at them like they were crazy and let the opportunity pass. After I thought about it for awhile, though, I became interested in the possibilities. It seemed like an impossible task, but I set out to try it anyway. Luckily, the first training run was only 3.5 miles which I figured I could handle. Slowly but surely as the weeks went by leading up to the race, we built our mileage, going further and further. It was so exciting because every week was what they called a “PR” or a personal record because I had never run that far before. As I ran with my girls on Saturday morning (9.25 miles :), I reflected on the fact that we what we all say so frequently when congratulating each other at the end of a run – I couldn’t have done it without you guys and I wouldn’t want to!
So for all of you trying to reach the New Year’s Resolutions that you have set for this year…whether it be weight loss, better health, improved physical fitness or more balance in your life, realize everything is easier when you have friends to do it with you. So, if you have a friend or group who you have a nice coffee ritual with, why not turn it into a healthier habit, like some kind of workout session. In addition to running, boot camps, fitness classes and biking can be great fun to do with a group.
Finally, I think part of what really keeps us going is keeping our eye on the prize. We know if we don’t run and train then we won’t do well on race day. Now, we are not championship athletes. We are a bunch of 40 something year old mommies who want to stay healthy and in shape. Having the race as a goal definitely helps to keep us motivated and gives us something to focus on. So even if you have never raced before, consider setting your sights on a 5K coming up in your area. This race was the start of something great for me. I went on to do 2 triathlons last year as well, but that’s another whole story…
My girlfriends and I keep training every week, getting out of bed on the weekends at 6a when our families are all asleep, because we have each other and we have a goal. Whether you can ride a bike or walk, power walk or walk/run, find a race and get out there with a friend or friends, establish a training routine and make it happen. Then, enjoy the benefits of better health, fitness, feeling strong, enjoying your friendships in a whole new way and the joy and satisfaction you will feel when you reach the finishline!