Thursday, November 1, 2012

Running Resolution Revolution

Can you believe that it's November? This month marks the beginning of a crazy time in my family. After polishing off the Halloween candy, my daughter and I share a birthday on November 5 (my 40th, her 9th), my twin stepsons share a birthday exactly one week later on November 12 (14 this year), and then we free-fall into Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas. After we ring in the New Year, my husband's birthday is the exclamation point at the end of all of these festivities on 1/7. Whew!

The app that started it all.

So, yes, in a few short days I will be 40 years old. And, several months ago, in preparation for my big 4-0, I decided to start exercising. It has been hard for me to fit in a consistent exercise routine with my busy schedule, but I recently read that the single worst thing I can do for myself is be sedentary. As an in-house attorney, I sit at my desk for eight hours a day, five days a week. I decided it was high time to get off my butt. I noticed that our very own Junior League is sponsoring a fun run in January, and I made it my goal to run a 5K. I downloaded a really cool app to my iPhone,'s Couch-to-5K, bought a pair of good shoes, and took off walking and running. In 9 weeks, on September 17, 2012, I met my 5K goal. I kept up my running routine and decided to start training for a 10K on October 8, 2012. This past Saturday I ran the longest I ever have, continuously--40 minutes. Folks, I have asthma, and I really thought I would never be able to do such a thing. I feel great, my body is remarkably stronger, and my pants fit better! It was, and still is, shocking to me that something so good for me can feel so good!

Enough about me--I want to tell you about a group of runners in the League who made an exciting resolution this year. Erica Ellis (Communications Council Chair), Kristen Henry (Treasurer), Ariana Barbour (Community Council Chair), Mireya Gideon (Membership Development Chair) and Anne Farringer (Prevent Blindness Chair) made it their collective goal to run in a race every month in 2012. They are well on their way to meeting that goal. All in all, they have run in over 20 races so far this year, many benefiting a variety of our JLSA community partners, and these ladies are heading into this month with their sights on the San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon on November 11! It's pretty amazing that one person would set out with this kind of goal, much less a group. Says Ariana, "Not many people dedicate themselves to some sort of resolution as a group and actually make it happen! With friends waiting at the finish line for you, it definitely makes it more fun."

The "Resolution Runners" were ready to hit the ground running at a race in May.

Erica has been running regularly since May of 2008. She ran the full Rock 'n' Roll Marathon here in San Antonio last November. Even though she decided she wouldn't run a marathon again, she wanted to stay with the training. When her friend Kristen decided to start running last winter, she told Kristen about her idea to run a race every month for a year. Word spread to Ariana and Anne, who had recently talked about doing a "Couch to 5K" training program while they were attending a JLSA social event, and then Mireya jumped on the bandwagon once she became "addicted" after running in the first few races. Anne even encouraged her husband, Mike, to run with them. They all believe that running together has been motivational--they challenge each other, encourage each other, and commiserate with each other. Kristen, who is excited about running the half marathon later this month, sums it up, "I could have never done this without the support of my friends and running partners. In the end, I feel better, have more energy, I get sick less, and, best of all, I have a great social activity!"

These ladies are also a part of the JLSA Running Club. This group meets twice a month, usually on a Sunday evening and a weeknight, in a variety of different locations in and around San Antonio. Erica says, "Everyone is welcome, if you're a walker or a runner! We're nice and not crazy runners, I promise." Anne adds, "Running Club is welcoming to friends and family outside of the League as well. Members can bring along a sister, husband, mom or boyfriend and get them hooked on a fun, healthy lifestyle." If you are so inspired, meet up with the Club for their next outing on Sunday, November 4, at the Valero Trailhead, Leon Creek Greenway, at 6:30pm.

I will be telling you a lot more about the JLSA's Resolve for a Better SA 5K, scheduled for January 12, 2013, as the race date approaches. In the meantime, get out there and get running! Even if you have been super sedentary for a few years or have never run before, you have plenty of time to train. Find a friend or a group of friends to motivate you, or download an app to your smartphone. And just think of all the calories you will burn as we head into the indulgences of the holiday season. You can do this!

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