Recently I have had some great fitness moments. I absolutely love to see people meet goals and accomplish things they never dreamed possible. This past Saturday, about 16 of my friends and family joined me for an Extreme 5K at a farm in Owensboro. A few of the participants were very hesitant about registering as this would be stepping way outside of their comfort zones. I assured them that we were just doing it for fun, and that no man – or woman – would be left behind.
As the day approached, I prayed that the race would be fun; I didn’t want all of those I had convinced to try it to be miserable, and even worse, angry at me. None of us knew what exactly to expect. The website boasted a tough terrain and some obstacles, and I had heard that it was a challenging course. This was one of those races at which I was not concerned with my time, but rather wanted to see that everyone finished, and had fun doing so. I ran a little, walked a little, and waited a little. We laughed, cussed, and snapped photos. Most importantly, we cheered each other on. We, as a team, let no one give up.
The course was quite challenging. It was literally through cornfields, and the hills were killer. Thankfully, it wasn’t hot. The obstacles, well, they were a bit disappointing. There were only two, and both consisted of haybales. I was looking forward to the obstacles, but these didn’t present much of a challenge. The last one was a mountain of bales that we had to climb over.
The day brought some joyful moments. When one of the ladies who is in my Tabata group pushed through and finished, even when it was super hard, and then came up to give me a hug at the end, I was thrilled. Seeing my husband encouraging her and pushing her to keep running made me so proud. And when my friend Mary placed in her age group for the first time, I couldn’t have been happier. My daughter Addie and her friend Mary also participated, and both scored medals and corn hats. What could be more fun than a corn hat? And, our team won the team competition! We were the only team that had everyone finish the course!
That race was possibly one of the most fun I have done. This weekend Gary and I are running a 5k in Newburgh, and this one will be for me. I want to see what I can do (which might not be much since that will be my 69th day straight running…I have some tired legs!).
I also had a couple of great fitness moments this morning. After I teach my HIIT class at 5:30, I do some weigh-ins for our Biggest Loser and Corporate Challenge competition. One lady was doing the weight-loss challenge for the first time, and had been going to classes for the last week. When she got on that almighty scale and saw that she had lost eight pounds in a week, the tears started flowing, so, of course, I got all teary because I was so happy for her. She had just done spinning and HIIT, and it wasn’t an easy morning for her. Seeing that number on the scale made it all worth it. I bet she’s still smiling!
Before I left the gym, one of the weight-lifting guys stopped me and asked just what we do in the morning in the studio. When I explained the HIIT class, he said, “Oh! So you really are doing something! It isn’t just cardio.” Nope. We are busting out squats, push-ups, burpees, crunches, planks, and so much more. We talked about how beneficial HIIT workouts are, and he told me he would show me how to flip tires. That might not sound appealing to everyone, but I really want to try it.
As I mentioned above, I am still going strong on my running streak. I completed day 66 today. The first forty days I had to stick with one to three mile runs because my legs were so tired; I wasn’t used to running every day. Now that I’ve gotten used to it, I can run three to six miles, but at least a day or two a week I only run a mile so my legs get a little rest. My running can be so inconsistent. Yesterday, I was sore from Monday’s Tabata, so I really struggled to run five miles at a slow pace. Today I planned to run three flat miles, but felt so good during the first couple of miles that I ran five hilly miles. For some reason it just felt great today. It certainly helps that the weather has been cool in the morning. My goal is to get to 80 straight days of running, and then I plan to take some rest days to begin training for a 10K in Chicago, and a half marathon in Indianapolis this fall. After all the knee problems that caused me to be unable to run much of last year, I am so grateful to be able to get out there and do what I love.
What are you doing to challenge yourself? Step out and try something new. Get out and exercise. I promise, you won’t regret it!
Peace, Love, and Running….