When I decided I was going to run the Hot Chocolate Race, I had one goal and one goal only. It was to cross over the finish line if I had to crawl, be dragged or walk/run myself. So, it was only fitting that once I completed the 5K, I felt it time to have another goal, after all I did crossed the finish line on my own two feet so I was feeling pretty good that I was on to something in the running adventure.
I was in full gear to continue my running regiment working towards future races. However living in the Midwest this time of year (December through March) can prove challenging when trying to train outside for additional races. Mother Nature limits the actually outdoor running. In addition, throughout this journey, I have understood that not only is running about the endurance but also the need to strengthen my whole body, including my lungs. I quickly learned that becoming a (longer distance) runner meant taking great care of my body. I had spoken with my doctor to determine the right exercise regimen for me so, I joined a Fitness Center.
I will be the first to admit that being a solo mom, I don’t have much free time and thought joining a gym was just not in the cards. But with anything of importance, we make time for the things we enjoy… so I made a commitment to myself, spoke to my kiddo about my choices and then we moved forward. (I also felt I was providing a greater example of health and wellness to my kiddo and knew this could be a hobby we could do together). I am proud to say he was full in!
When looking for a fitness center, it is important that you find one that is a good fit for you. Ask yourself
- What types of exercises am I looking to do?
- Do I want just an indoor track and/or treadmill or am I going to include strength training too?
- Does cost play a factor in my decision?
- Does the gym have hours that work with my schedule?
- For parents with children, does the gym offer child care on site while I work out?
- Do I prefer to exercise with the same gender or mixed?
These are all great questions you should ask yourself and the fitness center before choosing the right one for you. When you find that right fit, go for it. I am confident you will not regret your decision. I know I didn’t.
Now it was time to focus on my breathing and endurance stamina for increased running distance. I knew I could finish a three-point one mile race walking more than running, thus I quickly decided I wanted to run more and walk less as I continue in my running journey.
Determined I was going to walk less, I began more cardiovascular workouts at the gym for cross-training all while continuing my actually running 2-3 days a week. Depending on the weather, some of those running days were at the gym on the indoor track. (I am not a treadmill kind of gal!) On the days I was in the gym, I also added strength training using weights. A reputable gym will always have staff on hand to assist you in learning how to use the weight machines and ensure proper techniques to keep you safe and injury free. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance; chances are most everyone in the gym was a beginner at one point too.
During all my workouts, I soon began thinking of future races and with the end of the year fast approaching; I pondered New Year’s resolutions. One thought was what better way to start off 2015 than with a 5K on January 1st.
And so it begins … again!