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Sunday, August 5, 2012

My 5K Training Experience- Fall 2011

Our Midtown Moms on the Run 5K training program is gearing up to start again on August 20th! This will be our 3rd time offering the program and we can't wait to see some of you cross the finish line for the very first time!

In honor of this exciting program I (Missy) am going to share my experience as a participant (yes- that's right, the teacher became the student!) in the Midtown Moms on the Run 5K program last fall (2011). There are a few things you need to know about me. The first is that I love to exercise- but I strongly dislike distance running. I used to joke that the only time I ran was if something big and scary was chasing me and I was generally referencing an opponent on my high school field hockey and lacrosse teams. The second thing you need to know is that in mid-August of 2011 I had arthroscopic knee surgery for a torn meniscus. I was bound and determined to be back teaching Stroller Strides by the 4 week post-op mark and I did it! But boy- did my cardio suffer while I rehabbed that knee. And in truth it had been suffering all summer as I limped through class getting ready for my surgery. So with the goal of increasing my stamina, speed, and overall desire to go for a run- I decided to participate in our inaugural 5K training program and this is my story...

Our 5K program started in early October with a great 1 mile run/walk at Shelley Lake with kiddos along for the ride in their strollers. Even though it was a short run it gave me the confidence I needed to make it through the rest of the program as we gradually increased the duration and distance of our running over the following 8 weeks. As the program progressed I found myself reading about and trying out new running form. I downloaded the RunKeeper App on my new iPhone and became a distance and speed tracking nerd! I even braved the treadmills at the YMCA (which I had always found to be ultra boring) and loved switching my usual stroller-pushing outdoor run with an easy, flat, cushioned, solo run every once in a while. I had just one physical set-back during the program when in a moment of stupidity, I attempted to retrieve my fallen iPhone while still running on the treadmill and was launched off the back. Despite a bruised and scraped up shin (on my post-op leg no less) I soldiered on and decided that next time I would turn the treadmill off before trying to retrieve anything that fell.

As the weeks went by and the weather turned chillier I found myself enjoying our Saturday runs on the Capital Greenway the most. I loved to layer up and slip out of the house by myself for a group training run. Amazingly, running felt like such an indulgence! The pavement seemed to pass under my feet as I ran alongside other chatty moms like myself. My speed increased as I learned how to be a more efficient runner. My stamina increased and I was able to run for 4+ miles- and enjoy it! My confidence increased and I approached our goal race, The Jingle Bell Run, with the goal of finishing in under 30 minutes.

Team Stroller Strides at the Jingle Bell Run 2011

I'm happy to say that I achieved my goal that chilly December morning- wearing a ridiculous snowman hat, knee-high red snowflake socks and a jingle bell of course! I loved being a part of the program and I don't think I would have made such a speedy and fun recovery from my surgery if I had attempted a 5K training program on my own.

No matter what your motivation is or what your goals are- if you're thinking about signing up for our 5K program YOU SHOULD DO IT! Here is a link to the program details for THIS fall's program- feel free to share with friends, spouses, neighbors, and other family members:

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