We've come to one of the best parts in our eight-week journey. It's the moment we can look back at the training period and pick out what made us feel the most proud. Our Strong Together participants have made a commitment to pursue health and take care of themselves and you all have so much to feel good about! We can't wait to see you at the Redbud Classic next weekend.
What are you proudest of from the progress made throughout these past eight weeks?
From Courtney: It started off innocently enough. It was a sunny spring Tuesday. My husband anticipated wrapping up work early. So, I suggested that the three of us walk the 2.5 miles I was scheduled to complete along Lake Hefner before sunset. Simple enough.
But things didn’t go as planned. Unfortunately, work lingered and the sun didn’t. The proposed pre-sunset walk turned out to be an early evening run.
The truth is, I had no intentions of walking.
There we were jogging at dusk and into the early night. Our path was lit only briefly by the sun. Then, the moon and a few cars occasionally passing on the nearby street took over. My husband mostly kept my stride while pushing a sleepy Parker along in her pink trike. The air was just warm enough to pull sweat from our glands. The wind blew only when we needed it to.
When we crossed the imaginary finish line, I realized how important my role is in co-leading my family’s health and fitness goals. Not only had I completed my training for the day, but I also had enjoyed valuable quality time with my family. The run wasn’t record-breaking in terms of pace or distance, yet it was my proudest moment in the last eight weeks. We were engaged and focused on one goal together. That felt so good.
From Kristyn: When this process began back in early February, I had just celebrated my 47th birthday by boldly registering to run both the Go Girl Half Marathon in March and the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon Half in April. When I did that, I really wasn’t certain I would really be able to complete either because it had been a couple years since I ran that distance, but I signed up anyway.
As the Go Girl Half Marathon approached, the little voice of self doubt kept creeping in. My schedule was busier than ever and finding time for those long runs was becoming increasingly difficult. By the morning of the race the longest distance I had managed to complete was just eight miles. That’s a good distance but a long way from 13.1. Instead of giving up I decided to look at the race as a training run and do intervals of walking and running. The pressure was off.
Race day was March 22. The weather that morning was just about perfect for a run; a little cloudy, 50 degrees and no wind. As the runners began to line up, I found the 2:30 pace group and waited. When I’ve raced before, that’s been my pace. I figured that they would eventually pass me by, but it would be a comfortable place to start. I was surprisingly calm. Typically my adrenaline has kicked in and that little voice starts. This time I was perfectly relaxed. Then we were off!
As I passed the first mile marker I thought to myself, it’s time to walk the next mile. But that seemed silly. I was feeling great so I kept going with the pace group deciding I would run four then walk a few. As I passed mile four I still felt great and kept on running. When I came to the point we were running through the Plaza District and I could smell bacon being cooked at The Mule (approaching mile 11) I realized two things; I could actually finish this thing and brunch at The Mule is always a good idea! I was suddenly starving!
Well, I did it! I finished the race with a time of 2:40. It turns out this girl’s still got it! Bring on the next race!
From Mae: For most of my life I have exercised to be skinny (with varying levels of success over the years). Beyond my waist size, I have recognized and enjoyed other benefits; such as being able to backpack with friends, feeling more healthy, getting the "runners high," etc. But I noticed a change this past month in my motivation to run and it wasn't until I starting thinking about writing this post that it occurred to me.
I was laying in bed the other night trying to relax and I started thinking about how much I was looking forward to the next' run. Just thinking of running and the feeling I get after helped me relax. I realized, I am no longer running just to be a certain size, I am running because I feel better, mentally and emotionally, and I love it.
Running to lose weight isn't bad but at this point in my life I need a different motivation. I no longer feel the need to run so I can stay a certain size; I run because I feel better when I do and it is something I look forward to and enjoy. It is a much better motivator for me because the reward is immediate. I feel good as soon as the run is over. Maybe over the long run I will trim up but in the mean time I have one more thing in my life that makes me happy.
Exercise is really about being our best selves, physically, mentally and emotionally. Just because one of the areas isn't progressing as you would like doesn't mean you should give up. I have been able to stay more positive about exercising by focusing on the benefits that are there instead of the ones that aren't.
From Georgeanna: It's race week! It feels great to be race ready. I have been very consistent with my running and training. It feels good to be well prepared.
But beyond getting myself ready for the race, I am very proud to be bringing a friend with me who will run her first 5K in years. She has been working out with me and we've done several training runs together.
For me, knowing what it's like to be out of shape, I have a real desire to help other who are in that same boat. So, working with my friend has meant so much to me. Her weight has been an issue for her. We've been working together since the first of the year and she has lost 20 pounds.
But, beyond the scale, seeing her push herself to be better makes me feel like a proud mama. We won't be near the front of the pack on Sunday, but crossing that finish line together will be a big moment for us.
Sure, I was proud of myself when I lost my weight. I was proud of myself when I ran a half marathon last fall. But nothing brings me more satisfaction than helping someone else reach their goals.
See you at the starting line! I can't wait!