Strong Together Fall 2014—Week 8 - MetroFamily Magazine
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Strong Together Fall 2014—Week 8

Reading Time: 6 minutes 

Just one more week to go until the Susan G. Komen Oklahoma City Race for the Cure! We couldn't be more proud of our bloggers and all our Strong Together participants. 

From Coach Sara: 

Well ladies, you have made it to the final week of training. It's race week!

You may be experiencing mixed emotions and questioning what you got yourself into as we approach race weekend. However, this is completely normal and to be expected. For the majority of you, this is your first race so there is a lot of “unknowns” and “what ifs,” but you are not alone. You are surrounded by many ladies who are feeling the same thing! You will complete this together, feeling more empowered than you ever thought possible!

Here are a few tips to help get you prepared this week and ready to go:

  • Maintain a healthy, simple diet this week and the night before the race. You may also consider cutting back on your fiber intake.  
  • Keep your regular schedule.
  • Try on your race attire; make sure everything is comfortable and ready. A good rule of thumb is to dress 15-20 degrees warmer than actual temperature. It may feel cool when you start but you will quickly warm up.
  • Do not wear or try new things. This goes for food and clothing. You do not need any surprises for you halfway through your run.
  • Hydrate, repeat, then repeat again.
  • Try to rest your legs and mind as much as possible. 
  • Do not try any new activities that might affect your running.
  • Arrive to the race 30-45 minutes before to allow for parking, bib pinning, etc. (We will post details where our Strong Together group meet-up will be located later in the week.)
  • Remember to start out slow! Adrenaline will be running high but do your best to hold back and save your best for the end of the race.  
  • Above all else, have fun and enjoy the journey!

This is going to be an amazing experience for everyone and we cannot wait to see everyone cross that finish line. Try not to stress or worry too much, have trust in your training and faith in your ability to complete what you started.  When all else fails, just breathe! You are going to be great. You are truly an inspiration to many people, even if you do not realize it. Let's get ready to run!

This week we asked our bloggers to reflect on how far they have come to make it to the final week of training. Read their answers below.

From Georgeanna: Even though I spent the last year working out, I didn't run a lot. I did cardio every day, and occasionally ran, but it was never my favorite. So I often opted for the elliptical or the rower. But since I began this process, I started running more. And lo and behold, I actually enjoyed it! I have run three miles unbroken before, but had not tried in several months. So running the Susan G. Komen OKC Race for the Cure was a new challenge for me. 

During my training, I have really enjoyed running intervals. I typically run two minutes, walk one minute. It has really helped me speed up my 5K time. The one-minute breaks give me a minute to catch my breath and allow me to run better during the two minutes. I have never felt like I'm a good runner and I'm definitely not a fast runner. But when I do run, it makes me feel strong. It feels great because I spent years being so out of shape I couldn't run. So even though I may never be great at it, and even though I may never run a marathon, I have a newfound love of running. These past several weeks have made me realize I don't have to be great, I just need to try. 

From Christina: Wow, it’s hard to believe that we have been on this journey together for nearly two months. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting some amazing women, reading about your progress and getting useful training tips and advice from the runhers team!

This week we were asked to assess our progress to date. There are several ways I could measure progress: distances walked, pace, cardio endurance, weight loss, muscle tone, etc. Can I jog for more than two consecutive minutes? Not yet; but I can jog farther than I could when we started. Have I lost a significant amount of weight? Nope; but I have shed a few pounds. As my fellow bloggers have previously noted, physical fitness has a mental component. This is perhaps where I have seen the most significant progress in myself. I am much more confident in my ability to set fitness goals and work toward achieving them. I have the motivation to stay consistent with the training, and when I miss a workout or don’t give a workout as much effort as I had intended, I push forward in the new day. I am most excited about that because I know that this is a mindset that will keep me working toward my fitness goals long after the 5K. 

In my bio, I had written that my goal was to complete the 5K with a 14-min/mile pace. I set that goal by searching online for average paces for novice walkers. I set that goal with the thought of not embarrassing myself by coming in last and to compete with others. As I mentioned last week, I was a bit overambitious. A runner friend recently gave me some encouraging words about my progress. She reminded me that “running is always about competing with yourself, no one else.” Thanks, Jenn! This is so true. A major sign of progress is the competition I’ve given my former non-active self. At the start of our training time together, I was walking/jogging between 18-19.5 min/mi. I am now averaging 16 minutes with a few miles at 15 min pace! If I never get any faster than that, I can still say that I made progress!

A couple weeks ago I took a photo of a tree while I was walking. The bark on the tree had been shed, exposing the underlying layer of the tree.  Sometimes tree bark shedding is indicative of a problem such as rot or disease. However, most of the time, this is just a natural process of growth for the tree as new bark develops to replace the old. During our training we have shed layers of fear, lack of motivation, complacency, excuses and more. Our progress has led to a new layer of confidence, motivation, sense of accomplishment, determination, perseverance, and persistence.  

Just by starting this training and staying in it is progress you should feel good about! Let’s finish Strong Together!

From Shannon: I am feeling very confident, running seems to have its good days and bad days. I have noticed when I take a day off of running, I seem to have a better and longer run after I take a day or so off. I have to be honest, a few days ago my run was slow, had to walk a bit more then I would have liked, but then the next run after that was one of my fastest to date! Keep positive, do my best. I am also trying to be more mindful of my water intake and getting the right kind of foods in my body to fuel my exercise routine. This is just as important as the actual running. Overall I am running faster, and hope to set a personal record at the upcoming race! 

From Piper: As the Susan G. Komen OKC Race for the Cure gets closer each day, my excitement and nervousness for the day is growing! The first five weeks of the training program I did really well keeping up with all of the training and really making it a priority. I was able to meet up with old and new friends and really enjoyed the entire process. My husband even jumped on the bandwagon and helped keep me company in several of my longer runs, which was a lot of fun since we both have been trying to make progress towards a healthier lifestyle. 

The last couple of weeks have been really difficult, though, trying to balance work responsibilities, being mom to a sick kid and keeping up with everyday life duties, so the training has not gone exactly as I had hoped. While I don’t view the last couple of weeks as a huge setback, I think it is a good time to reflect on how to make the best out of a tough situation. There are always going to be times where life gets in the way of goals you want to achieve but I think it is how you choose to handle these rocky times that really shows the person you have become through the training process. 

For me, the training wasn’t just physical, there was definitely a mental component and I think I have finally convinced myself that I am worth the time it takes to get a work out in. As a wife, mom and leader of an organization, if I’m not physically at my best then the work I do and the kind of wife and mom I am isn’t as good as it could be. 

I can’t wait to see everyone at the finish line and more than that I can’t wait to be part of such an amazing group of women who conquered their fears, their schedules and their doubts to cross the line with me.

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