Staying active is not an easy task when you’re juggling responsibilities like work, family, friendships and personal time. But, fitness has always been important to me and possibly even necessary to keep my sanity. I enjoy exercise. It’s not just something that I have to do. It’s something I want to do. If I go too long without exercising, I feel cranky and unfocused.
I used to teach group fitness before I had children and I can honestly say that group fitness is my passion. I love working out with others and hearing the motivational music. I feed off of the energy of the other people around me. After I had kids, group fitness didn’t fit my life anymore. I wasn’t willing to give up so much family time to go to the gym. So, I started running.
Running is not as natural for me. I like running but I don’t love it. The only way I’ve been able to stick to any kind of routine is to buy a treadmill for my house. It was an expensive investment in my health but it was so worth it. I mostly end up running at night after my kids go to bed. Sometimes, the only way I can get a run in is if I let Big G watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in the room with me while I get in a quick 3 miles. Have you ever tried to run to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse? It’s not the most motivating thing I can think of to run to. But, I still get on that treadmill. Or squeeze in a long run outside if I’m lucky on the weekends. All to keep my sanity and to stay fit.
Another motivator for me is racing. I’m not fast by any means, but having a goal race to train for makes all the difference in getting out (or staying in) to run. I’ve been getting more proactive about signing up for races lately for the very reason of staying motivated.
I’m saying all of this to get to my point. I ran the St. Pat’s Get to the Green 10K last weekend in Columbia. My plan was to use it as a training race while I’m training for the Governor’s Cup 1/2 Marathon that’s coming up in May. I like to run the shorter race distances before my goal races so that I can get some race jitters out of the way before my more important races (important to me…not more important in the grand scheme).
The St. Patrick’s Get to the Green race has options for a 5K, 10K and fun run. I opted for the 10K for more of a challenge. The course winds through 5 points and starts off the big St. Patrick’s Day celebration for the weekend. The reason I like this race is because I LOVE a good dress up race. A chance to run in a costume or at least a sparkly skirt…sign me up!
My race outfit. I’m not kidding about loving race clothing. I love this racer from
I started off on the wrong foot the morning of the 10K when I realized that my phone didn’t charge over night. The reason is still a mystery to me. But, it caused a whole lot of stress when I was supposed to be getting into race mode. I was afraid my music would stop working mid-race (which it did at mile 5) and afraid I wouldn’t have a phone to contact my husband after the race if I couldn’t find him at the finish line. So, my husband gave me his personal cell to carry so that I could call his work cell after the race if needed. This meant that I was carrying two phones. That is not awesome. If that wasn’t enough, we ended up getting to the start of the race about 5 minutes before I needed to run so I had very little time to mentally prepare.
All these excuses add up to a not so great finishing time. A 10K in 1:01:59 isn’t terrible but it’s not my best time. My poor morning prep made me feel anxious so I started too fast. Instead of pushing myself, I decided I’d slow down and try to enjoy the rest of the race as if it were a training long run. I didn’t love my finish time but 6.2 miles is 6.2 miles no matter how long it takes you to get to the finish line. Every time I get out there and get a good work out is a step in the right direction for good health. I’m still training for my next half so I ran 7 miles this morning and felt absolutely awesome afterward. Some runs are great and some are not. I don’t always know when it’ll be a great one but, no matter how I feel afterward, it’s always an investment in my health.
Post race hugs from Little G.
What are your fitness goals and what helps keep you motivated?