I believe one of the first 5K races I ever did was freshman or sophomore year at college. It was probably the farthest I’d ever run and I’m positive I didn’t train. After that first 5K I continued to run, added longer distances to my work-outs, and found myself signing up for 10Ks, 10-milers, and finally half and full marathons. Now after a nine year hiatus from 5K races I’ve done two in three weeks and am loving the 5k race! Continue reading
This spring I volunteered as one of three assistant coaches at Windsor Farm Elementary in Arnold, MD, for Girls on the Run. Every Tuesday and Thursday 15 third through fifth grade girls plus the coaches would meet to talk about life, confidence, making healthy choices, family, friendship, trust, self-respect, and a host of other topics designed to encourage positive emotional, social, mental, spiritual, and physical development. In short, the program teaches girls how to avoid getting stuck in “the girl box” all while training for a 5K.
Each class day had a lesson paired with a running activity in which we practiced proper form, pace, breathing, and the basics of running. When I think about the types of games and relays we played we were actually doing the type of running you’d see on any training schedule–sprints, hills, tempo runs, and race pace. Even the day we played sharks and minnows had a lesson of teamwork in it and certainly some sprinting involved! Continue reading
Every time I do a run I am forever grateful to the volunteers who line the course at the water stops, the start and finish line, the packet pick-up, the gear check–they seem to be everywhere. I’ve never really stopped long enough to think about where all the volunteers come from, or what happens behind the scenes of a race, but I know it’s a lot of work no matter the size of the race. In March I met the organizers of the ZOOMA Women’s Race Series and realized my opportunity to learn more about how a successful race comes together as well as what it means to volunteer, rather than run, a race.
On May 31st, hundreds of women (and men) will line up to run either the ZOOMA 10K or half marathon in Annapolis. This is peak tourism season and the town will be buzzing with out-of-towners, boaters, history buffs, shoppers, dog walkers, and hordes of other people who are drawn to our waterfront town every spring. The addition of a busy tourism season to the many details of organizing, moving, and communicating to hundreds of runners no doubt presents challenges to the ZOOMA race organizers, which is where volunteers come into the picture. Continue reading
Usually whenever you are most tired, least motivated, and want to do anything but exercise is when you really should just strap on your running shoes and do something to get your heart rate going. I can think of many a run I dragged myself out to do and at the end I was always glad I had gone. Today was one of those days when I really just didn’t feel like putting on my running shoes.
The good news is that I had to. I committed to be an assistant coach for a Girls on the Run program at an elementary school near my house and I do not want to back out on my commitment to show up, no matter how tired I am. There is no doubt that the girls will always have more energy than me, even on the days when I’m at my peak energy level. I knew pulling myself away from the computer to get ready to go meet 15 girls in 3rd through 5th grade who are training to run a 5k would give me the boost I needed. Volunteering with GOTR is absolutely about the girls and helping them get out of the girl box, build confidence at a young age, and develop a sense of self-respect as well as respect for others, but I think the program is almost as much for the coaches as it is for the girls. Continue reading