4-3-2-1… RUN!

At Tocci, we just completed a company-wide phase of nutrition. It was just a time where employees learned about nutrition and were encouraged to establish healthy diets. As our next phase of health and wellness approaches us (which is “exercise more”), I thought it would be fitting to share how much fun, yes fun, I had this Summer while participating in a speed series race challenge.

Who says it’s a marathon not a sprint? Not The Winner’s Circle Running Club of Salisbury whose motto for their Speed Series 4-3-2-1 race combination is “It’s all about running faster”.  I decided to take on the challenge of completing 4 separate races with the goal of improving my per mile pace for each race.  The four races consisted of a 4 mile, a 5K, a 2 mile, and a 1 mile.  Awards for personal performance were given to every runner whose average per mile pace over all four races was faster than their average per mile pace for the first race.  Race profits benefited organizations such as the American Red Cross, the Alzheimer’s Association, A Safe Place, the Jeanne Geiger Women’s Crisis Center, and Adaptive Sports Partners.

I don’t consider myself a runner, by any means.  I have exercise-induced (accompanied by allergy-induced and weather-induced) asthma and sometimes just the thought of running gives me anxiety.  When a friend of mine, a certified personal trainer who runs half marathons for fun, suggested that we participate in the race series I was hesitant to commit. The competitor in me immediately thought, “She’s going to kick my butt.” And the asthma-prone scaredy-cat in me thought, “Will I be able to make it through without losing my breath and stopping?”  Well, I decided to take on the challenge and truly enjoyed every minute of it.  With each race, I felt more and more motivated to beat my last race time.  With each stride closer to the finish line, I felt more and more proud of myself.  And I realized, for me at least, that running in races is far more exhilarating than running on a treadmill. My favorite part was having strangers cheer us on – no matter what your goal, people were rooting for you. I loved running in the sea of people, all moving together toward the finish line.  And after all of that worry, I ended up coming in first place in my age/gender division. I look forward to signing up for the 2014 speed series!

For our “Exercise More” phase of our health and wellness plan, I encourage all of you to do something outside of your norm. Push yourself, conquer a personal fitness goal, feel great about yourself!

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