Running Club: Or How I Run Without Headphones

I had the privilege of lacing up and meeting up with some of our moms at Shelley Lake last week. Elaine led FIT4MOM Running Club. I was thrilled to have my kids at school and my husband back in town so I could breathe in the lake air and feel the pavement beneath me.

When I came up I was so excited to see new faces. A few moms like me came solo. Others had little people strapped in their strollers. It was cool, sunny and everything was as it should be for a good run. I loved that Elaine led us in something I NEVER do before a run. A warm-up.

I know! I know! I should warm up before running. Thank goodness for Elaine. I was worried I couldn't go the distance if I didn't have my headphones in listening to music. That is what keeps me motivated to run.

With so many new faces, I really wanted to know what brought them to Running Club. I chatted with a smiling red haired mom and her adorable new baby daughter. It was Stephanie Orihood with little Maggie. I asked her what inspired her to lace up with us.

She said, "I met one of the other instructors, Cindi. She encouraged me to get involved after I had Maggie and I wanted to train for a race! I needed some people, some encouragement to get out."

We talked about how we couldn't believe our oldest kids were in Kindergarten as we rounded the corners of the lake. Elaine had us do different exercises like jog for one minute, then walk for one minute. Stephanie said her personal goal for the Jingle Bell 5K at the end of the course is to be under 30 minutes. She laughed and said "My other goal is to not have a stroller with me that day!" I told her strollers were absolutely welcome at the race if she needed to bring Maggie with her, but I understood the freedom of running without one. I could feel Elaine pushing us towards achieving goals like the one Stephanie has as we headed up a hill.

We stayed together as a group, leaving no mom behind. Kate and I were discussing Halloween costumes when suddenly our hour class was nearing the end and we had gone all the way around. What?! But, I didn't have music!

Elaine led us in strength exercises, a cool down and stretching. I will say, I do make an effort to stretch and cool down after running, but it was nice to have some strength in there too.

A couple days later when I went out to run on my own, guess what I did first? I warmed up! Guess what? I went further and had a better run after a warm-up. I think we're all going to have a great Jingle Bell 5K. Happy Fall, Runners!

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