Avera Race Training: Lace Up!

Is it just me, or does it feel like this winter has been especially long? This icy and cold season has been hard on a fair-weather runner, such as me. Usually I get out more often despite the cold.

I’m a mom who works a lot of late hours, and I’m also in school to finish my MBA. These are all excuses I have given for why I have not been more active this winter. It’s either too cold or I’m too busy to exercise. Well, excuse time is over. I am going to train for the Avera Race on May 11 and I’m inviting you to follow my journey.

For full disclosure, I am not an exercise specialist, so any advice I give is purely my experience. If you want to consult real experts, there are talented trainers at the Avera McKennan Fitness Center who have guided many of my friends to become runners. I’ve always been an active person, but I definitely have room to improve and pounds that could be shed.

Getting Back into the Routine

Growing up in a small town, I was active in several sports at school, including basketball, volleyball and track. My husband is very outdoorsy, and when we were dating we hiked almost every weekend. Life gets in the way of these activities, and small children don’t especially like long walks in the woods, so my exercise time has greatly decreased.

Two years ago at my son’s third birthday, I realized how tired I was of looking and feeling the way I did. So, I returned to running, mostly because it was the only type of exercise I could fit into my schedule. I had never run three miles straight in my entire life. Regardless, I decided to train for the Avera Race. I’m not a fast runner; more of a “slow and steady wins the race” type of person. I literally went from lying on the couch to running that 5K in six weeks. I trained slowly, but diligently. I told myself that if I had to walk, it was OK, and that at least I tried to run the distance.

Race Day

Finally the morning of the race came. I had butterflies in my stomach and was scared to let my family down if I wasn’t able to finish. Those feelings all went away when I arrived at the race. There were thousands of people there. The crowds didn’t scare me, they energized me. There were cancer survivors without their hair, families who had lost loved ones, and walkers and runners of all shapes and sizes. People cheered all along the race route, so it was hard to feel tired. Before I knew it, I was at the finish line and had finished with a time of 30 minutes.

I plan to run this wonderful race again to jump start my fitness routine. I hope you’ll join me in my training this year and at the race on May 11.

By Lindsey Meyers

Director of Communications at Avera McKennan

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