In January, I shared some insight on my personal journey back into fitness. Over the past couple of years, between pregnancies, my consistency has been... well, it just hasn't. I committed to a gym membership back in January and also signed up to run a 1/2 marathon in March. Since moving to Hilton Head in 2005, running has become one of my favorite hobbies. During my training for the race I participated in a few weeks ago, I couldn't help but wonder how hard I would be on myself the day of the race. With a pace about 2 minutes slower than my race pace was a few years ago (you runners know that is a significant difference) I was sure I wasn't going to be proud of my performance.
But you know what? That's not what happened. Instead of spending those 13 miles comparing where I was the last time I ran a 1/2 marathon, I began to truly acknowledge the change I've made over the past couple of months. At mile 10 I realized that my arms and upper body weren't tired. A couple of years ago when I took up running again without a strength training program, my back and arms would always fatigue before my legs or stamina. This was just the “ah-ha” experience I needed. When it comes to weight loss, I'm like everyone else - I initially gravitated to just focusing on cardio workouts. This race demonstrated on a more personal level how crucial it is to also focus on strength training, core strength, and even balance and flexibility for overall success. The running portion of my training played a significant role in my preparation, but now I see that my strength training and core routine was just, if not more significant.