While long distance races are a great experience to train for and also compete in at some point in your life, I think my big mile days are behind me.
When first getting to goal, a WW member might wonder “what now.” The thrill of losing is gone. You no longer raise your hand and collect 5 pound stars, or other awards, where the audience of your peers applauds your hard work. Instead you just maintain your weight in a small window either going “up” or “down” and usually being told “good job” by the person weighing in you in at the scale. Oh, you do get to collect Bravo stars each month you WI at goal and that at least accounts for something.
So, what is a lone maintenance person supposed to do to stay focused? Many turn to exercise, running or jogging, and start competing in road races. I am neither a runner nor a jogger. But I do love to walk. Walking is my most favorite exercise. If I could walk 365 days a year, I would, but not in a Forrest Gump sort of way. Of course I need variety so I also enjoy other activity and have my membership at the YMCA to entertain me.
I have walked several 5K (3.1 miles) races with both family and friends. I enjoy The Women’s Fitness Celebration each September put on by our local hospital St. Lukes. I participated in this 5K run/walk/jog even before I joined WW.
My sister Katie, me in the middle, my sister Jenny on the right and my niece Hailey in the stroller.
And I continued to participate for the last several years.
Here is my sisters and my niece again after starting WW
A few years ago when my group started to dwindle, I joined the WW team and made some new friends. I really enjoy this walk in particular because it is a race for females only and what is better than strong women getting together to celebrate activity?
I started to branch out further in my road races and increased my mileage. I completed in one 10K (6.2 miles) with my friend's mother Arlene. Arlene is also a WW member and works as a receptionist. We spotted my friend Lisa at the start line, who was running the 10K race. It is always enjoyable to walk a road race with somebody else.
There were other 5K races I walked. Kenyon joined me for his first race, Race For The Cure. It is too crowded and the course is not very well thought out so we haven’t done that one again.
There was also the WW 5K Walk It! For some reason WW didn’t do a Walk It! 5K in 2012. It is always fun to get out and walk with your WW buddies and members from all over the Treasure Valley. We have many meetings at our disposable so it is sort of way to meet a lot of people at one time. The leaders that have organized this race in the past did a terrific job.
Some of the Monday night Meridian members
Finally, my last road race challenge was completing two half marathons (13.1 miles). To compete in a road race of this size requires a training plan and logging lots of training miles! My first half marathon (HM) was the Zeitgeist. This was in November and involved more elevation then we first realized. Oh, I need to add that Kenyon also walked both HMs with me! We drove the course to get a visual before the day of the race and saw several hills we would have to walk up. The third hill in was a doozy! Since this was my first HM and the farthest distance I had walked was 10 miles, I hit my wall around that point. I remember telling myself to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. One positive about a road race is that you have to get to the finish line so you don’t really have choice but to just keep walking. We had a goal of finishing in 4 hours. As we both rounded the last little hill/bump and could see the clock at the finish line, I knew we would just barely make it. With all our last burst of energy, Kenyon and I crossed the finish line hand in hand. It was quite the feat!
My second HM was the Famous Potato. I had previously done the 10K so doing the HM meant I would get my first metal! For those of you that do races in your area, Boise doesn’t give out metals. I am jealous of all the “bling” other racers can collect. I was most excited to finally get some bling! This race was in May and was VERY windy and cold at the start. Thankfully the sun came out and it was pretty smooth sailing. Both Kenyon and I had blisters after this race and overall I felt more wiped out after this race too. Perhaps the heat? We were able to shave a lot of time of our last race coming in at 3 hours and 25 minutes. The beauty of this one was also no hills! I am so very proud of Kenyon for continuing to move toward the finish line even though he was in a lot of pain. Unlike my weeks of training, Kenyon sort of just went for it and walked it all at once! Silly boy.
It was all worth it. I got my metal!
While I don’t see any more HMs in my future, I guess you just never know. Having a goal to shoot for can keep you focused during maintenance. I am more interested in 10K races and often on any given day I will get for a walk and go a full 5K. I am also working on increasing my times and can walk 15 minute miles for at least the first 4 miles. As long as I am healthy and active, I am happy.