Saturday, July 30, 2016

A Goal Reached!

Since the summer of 2015, one of my goals has been to walk a half-marathon.  My friend Connie asked if I'd ever thought of doing one and she offered to walk it with me.  Connie has run several half-marathon before, so it meant a lot to me that she was offering to WALK the entire race with me.
Immediately, I got so excited just considering doing a half with her.  I knew I wanted to do it, but would I be ABLE to do it?  Of course I could!  But I knew I would need to train for it.  I read all that I could find, to prepare myself for the race.  Connie and I trained together, too.

Training is so important.  We did a training walk, probably about 10 miles, a week before the half.  This particular session taught us a lot.  Hydrate more and EAT more during the walk.  I had read about suggested snacks to eat during a long race and I took one snack with me.  But realized, when I began feeling drained, weak, wrung-out...that I hadn't eaten enough.

For the half marathon race I made sure I took along more snacks.  What a difference it made!
I felt good throughout the entire race.  Of course I got tired, but I felt good.  Never weak.  And my recovery time after the half was quick. It was an amazing experience!

The race we chose, was the 2016 Inaugural Naperville Women's Half Marathon in Naperville, Illinois.
It was a sunny and cold morning on April 24.  Just 45 degrees F.  I was shivering while we waited for the race to start.  Maybe just a little bit of that was nerves...but mostly cold. :)

Here's a pic taken just before the start.
Then...............when we finished.  It was awesome!

Crossing the finish line together!

Waving to our personal photographer.  Thank you Tara!

Connie and Me.  Do we look happy...or what???!!!

Elated me!

The medal and tshirt I earned.

 All throughout the half marathon (by the way, that's 13.1 miles) there were volunteers handing water and gatorade.  And there were "Volun-cheers".  That's what their tshirts said and they indeed cheered us on.  The place where it meant the most to me, was leading up to the finish line.  Both sides of the track were lined with volunteers cheering and yelling for us.  Encouraging us to finish.  It gave me such a boost and I even had tears in my eyes.  It's an experience I'll never forget.
Oh.  By the way....Connie and I have already registered for the same race in 2017.  Woooo hoooo!!!

Go for it.  Do it.  Whatever it is you really want to accomplish, you CAN do it.
A few years ago, when I was 77 pounds heavier and did no physical activity, no one could have convinced me that in 2016 I would complete a half marathon and love it!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Friends in Fitness

Hello!  Long time, no talk.  Actually no writing, right?

Like most everyone else, my life has been full.  Full of many things.  But, let's talk about fitness friends, walking buddies...whatever you choose to call them.  They are such a blessing to me!

Most of my fitness walking is done by myself, simply because my schedule doesn't coincide with those of my walking friends.  But on those occasions when several, or even 2, of us can meet up to walk and brings me such joy.  I love walking outdoors and enjoying it with friends makes it even better.

Since my previous blog post (yes, many months ago) my friends and I have done several 5k races.  It was so much fun!  Such a difference from participating in a race on my own.  Until this year, I only knew these from church.  Except one.  We were neighbors many years ago.
Once we realized that we had this common thread of getting/staying fit, one thing led to another.

We've been racing together and having a lot of fun.  These women are funny, motivating and supportive.  Who could ask for more?  Not me.  :)

I'll share a few photos of what we've done so far this year.  Some are from races and some from our group walks.
April 17, 2016

May 22, 2016 - It was hot!

May 30, 2016 - 8 miles!   
June 4, 2016 - Rochelle Hospital Hustle 5k.  Several members won medals!
July 5, 2016 - It was a long, hot & sweaty walk in the late afternoon!

March 12, 2016 - The Lucky Hub Dash 5k.  What do you think of our home made tutus?  This was SO much fun!
Not a group photo, but I just had to share this goofy "ballerina" pic of me. :)
We've walked all kinds of weather.  ALL kinds.  We walked in a blizzard of blowing snow/sleet and very cold, last November in a 5k race.  Connie and I walked about 8 miles early on a Saturday morning this spring.  It was 24 degrees F and windy.  Wow, so cold.  Lots of mild, pleasant weather.  We try not to go out in hot weather, but sometimes the weather gives us a surprising warmup as we're walking!

We have more races planned for this year.  A 5k in early August, a 5k in early October and a 10k in late October.  I can hardly wait!  Oh. I'm still trying to decide whether I'm signing up for that late November race this year.  Snow???

Hey, get out there and move.  You'll be glad you did!