First, surround yourself with amazing people. In my previous blogs you can see how many people have helped me along the way. I have a husband who supports me in my exercise by running or riding with me to keep me safe when I need to run before the sun comes up. My Team in Training mentor Stephanie who not only prepared me for my first half-marathon at Disney, but she also continues to check up on me and send me information about upcoming races. My friend Mary, who despite being injured, still inspires me to move forward by sending me encouraging messages. I am surrounded by people who make me feel that I am not alone and that my journey, while difficult at times, is completely worth it.
Secondly, I have planned many events that I would not be able to do without continuing to train and get in better shape. I have five half-marathons and one more mud run planned between now and May, and I am sure I will add a few 5 and 10Ks as they present themselves to me. I know that if I do not have a race planned I may have an excuse to hit the snooze alarm when it goes off at 5 AM, or I may make excuses for why I don’t need to ride my bike on my non-running days.
So what does any of this have to do with my mud run? Both of the above secrets remind me of my friend Kay. She is an amazing inspiration to me, and she is the whole reason I added mud runs to my exercise repertoire. She spent part of the summer running with me in the early morning hours, and she thought that it would be fun to run the Murrieta Mud Run as a team. Now what you need to know about Kay is that when she sets her mind to something, she does not do anything halfway. She made sure we trained hills, steep hills, and that we had enough miles in so that we could easily run the 5K mud run. She is the reason that I did almost an entire half-marathon last weekend, the most miles I have been able to do in a while.
As my team, the Dirty Chicks, took off from the start line this morning, I knew that we were prepared. The run itself was a piece of cake, but it was hard to be fully prepared for all the mud pits and obstacles we faced. We ran through muddy tires, climbed over wooden fences and mud walls, and crawled through mud puddles under low hanging fencing material. In addition, after running and wading through the mud, about five to ten pounds of it hitchhiked on my clothes to the finish line—the extra weight made it just a little more challenging.
In the end, we not only had a good 5K run through the mud, we also had a lot of fun. This may be secret number three--enjoy what you do so that you want to continue to do more of it. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family, plan activities that ensure the need to train and keep up with your exercise routine, and have fun while you do all of this. There may be other factors that will move me forward on my road to flabulous, but none are more important than these three secrets to ensuring I stay on track toward lifelong health.