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Who Wants to Get Active? 2010

32 Posts tagged with the whowantstogetactive tag

Well, I have to be honest here. I have been dreading writing this post. Only because I knew it would be my last one, as a "who wants to get active" challenge participant. The race was over 10 days ago if that gives you any idea on how much I've been procrastinating!

So..... here it goes.

Race day. April 18th. Chicago. 36 degrees. COLD!!!!!

Ok, I have to pause and think a little bit about what I want to say. I had so many emotions going through my head that morning.

Well, I made the necessary changes after my practice run. I actually purchased myself a pair of decen running pants, it had an elastic waist band, AND a drawstring. They were NOT going to fall off!. I was excited that my new pants were two sizes smaller than the old yoga pants that I had been training in. They were really awesome, so kind of dry-wick fabric, with "reflectors" near the calf, and even a zippered pocked on the back side to hold stuff.

We pulled in the parking lot early, like around 8:30, even though the race didn't start until 10. I wanted to make sure I wasn't going tobe late and "miss it", and I didn't know how long the packet pick up line was going to be.

It was such a "NO STRESS" atmosphere, I don't know what I had been worried about! Lots of happing smiling people milling around.

I got my number,( # 528) and my  'free race day t-shirt". I snapped a couple of photos of the grounds. Lots of tents set up, with different "vendors", like local Chicago radio stations, a cell phone company, etc.

Right in the middle of the park, there was a HUGE table set up with bananas and apples, and lots of tables with cups of water. There was a giant stage they were setting up, for the post race concert. Lots of media tents, and lots of porta-potties!!

I did my carb loading in the car at 8 a.m., so that it was 2 hours pre-race time. I opted for 1/2 of a bagel, and some strawberries. It was a chilly morning, so I had dressed with my running pants, with another pair of baggy sweat pants over the top. Then of course the running sports bra, the running shirt I bought with the I -pod pocket, and topped it off with a warm sweatshirt. Then when I got my race day "RUN FOR WATER"       t shirt, I put that on over the top, and pinned my number on the back of my shirt. I asked if it mattered where we pinned it, and the general response was as long as it was on, it didn't matter where you pinned it. Ok, I was good with that.

When I registered for the run, I had two options. The timed chip run, or the fun walk/run. Since I was on Team Walk it off, and had been primarily training at the walk. at the time of registration, I decided I better not "bite off more than I can chew", and opted to select the walk/run. When it was time to line up for the race, all the folks who were in the "timed chip" race got to line up first, and they all had these orange tags tied to their shoes. All of us "fun run" folks lined up at the back. When the race began, it seemed like "FOREVER" before I got to actually cross the start line, because I had to wait for all the "official race" participants to go first. Now I have a better understanding of why they had the chips. Time didn't start for them until they actually stepped over the start line. It was a good 30 seconds before I was able to actually start. So I should deduct that from my finish time (ha ha)

Well we were all crammed together, shoulder to shoulder. Folks of all different ages, shapes and sizes. The young and the old. Bridal parties! One girl  wearing  a "I'm the bride" t-shirt, and 4 or 5 others girls wearing "I'm a bridesmaid" shirts.  Even a mom pushing two kids in a double stroller. The youngest person I saw looked around the age of 8. I secretly hoped I wasn't going to be the last one across the finish line, and wished that I would be able to "pass" SOMEBODY!!

Well, off we went. You kinda get moved along with the crowd, and at the crowds pace. Everyone jockeying for position. Someone stepped on the back of my heel. I stepped on the back of someone else's heel.

Oops, just cut someone off because they were too slow. Yes, I realized at this time.... I was jogging, not walking! OK, lets see how long I can keep this up! I'll try to get to the one mile marker without stopping.

Jogging, jogging, jogging. Lots of "police" or "people in authority" roles wearing orange vest holding stop signs, trying to keep the anxious cars back. We are running along Lake Shore Drive. I'm so overwhelmed. The route had not been "closed off" for race day, so people are coming at me on their bikes, couples walking holding hands. HELLO!!! Do you NOT see that we are in the middle of a race here??!!!  Could you please get off the road, and in the grass, and out of my way??

I was glad that I wasn't wearing the I-POD. The thing had died in the car, apparently you have to charge them up once in a while! Good thing to know for next time.  There was so much going on. Cars honking, runners talking. "On your left!" yea, yea, go ahead and pass me. I know I'm slow.

Hey, where was that 1 mile marker? Shouldn't I be seeing it by now? How long have I been running? Oops, forgot to wear the pedometer. Don't have on my watch. Seems like I've been running for at least 20 minutes. Maybe they were wrong when they said they were going to have water stops, and time clocks at the mile markers. Oh well, I just kept going. Getting tired.Having a hard time breathing. Wait! What's that in the distance? Something glowing! Hey, its the time clock! So I must be close to the one mile marker!! Wait that means I haven't even run a mile yet??? But I AM DEAD!!! AAHHHHH!!!! Keep pushing. Get to the one mile, and then go ahead and walk. Why am I so tired? Ok, there is the clock. It probably says 20 minutes or so. WHAT!!!!! It says 11:24 ,  Did I read that correctly????  11:24 ???? I've NEVER run a mile in under 13 minutes. THAT'S WHY I AM SO TIRED !!!! I am going too fast!!, I am not used to this pace! I am trying to keep up with the "fun runners", and they are too fast for me. I've shave a minute and a half off my "normal time". Hey wait a minute. If I keep pushing, then I am going to make my goal of finishing in under 60 minutes!!! This is it. This is what you trained for. Isn't the old saying something like "no pain no gain!". DON'T WALK NOW!! Just keep pushing yourself.

ONWARD!!!

I kept pressing on. And on. Finally made it to the 2 mile marker. 23:24. WOW. That means I just ran the second mile in twelve minutes! I am so psyched. But I am about to hyperventilate. An d the  weird thing. ?  My legs were not tired. My arms were not tired. It was just my breathing! I was out of shape cardio-vascularly. I couldn't go on any further. I needed to walk. I had to walk. I did walk. I walked.

At first I was upset with myself. I can't believe I'm walking. Then some of Coach Jenny's words came in to my head. Hey, you are here to celebrate what you have accomplished for the past 8 weeks.

I've lost 16 pounds. I've dropped two sizes. I'm down 4 inches off my waist, and no longer have the "muffin top". I took two inches off my hips. I've dropped 4 points off my body mass. So what reason did I think I had at all, to be pissed off at myself that I was walking. NONE! I had nothing to prove to anyone. I walked for a couple of minutes, until I was able to breathe again and said to myself, ok, lets do this. Lets finish this up.

I began running again. Run, Run, Run. I got passed up by the lady pushing the two kids in the double stroller. I don't care. I have nothing to prove. I didn't come here to win the race. I came here to FINISH the race.

Just finish. Do your best. This race is all about me, and not about anybody else. This was my dream, my goal. Finish the race Kim, just finish the race. I slowly approached the 3 mile marker. 36 minutes something seconds. Wait, WHAT!!! 36 minutes something???? Why, I CAN FINISH THIS IN UNDER 45 MINUTES IF I REALLY PUSH FOR THE LAST 7/10th of the mile.

Dig down deep. Muster up any last bit of strength and determination and true grit, and what ever else and give it all you got.You've got 9 minutes to go the last 7/10ths of the mile.  Yes, that's it. Look out over the Lake. It's beautiful and serene. Don't worry about the sand all over the path. Keep going. Don't let the sand slow you down. Keep going. Wait! There is a big tent! That must be the finish! There it is GO KIM GO!!! Closer.... Closer!!!  What the?????? Its not the finish! Its a bicycle rental shop! UNBELIEVABLE!!!! Push on, don't get upset by the "false" finish line.

No one is around me. Everyone must have already finished. I truly must be the last one out here on the course. So what If I am.

Around the turn, around another bend. Wait! More Tents!! This time, lots of them. Music playing. People Cheering! Yes, this time, it is the finish! Keep going. There's' my husband taking pictures. There's my daughter yelling GO MOM!  Look at the clock!!!!! PUSH, PUSH!!! Yes, across the line! UNBELIEVABLE!!! The time on the clock was 44:06. I can't believe it 44:06 ! I had done it!  Not only had I finished in under my goal time of 60 minutes, but I finished in under 45 minutes! I was so thrilled! I wanted to collapse. My daughter was right there. Good Job MOM! Don't sit down.! Keep walking! All good advice. I was in this euphoric state. I felt so good! I was so happy to have finished in that unbelievable time . FOR ME!  Couch potato to 6 k in 44:06 in 8 weeks! I had done it. I HAD DONE IT!!!004.JPG

Me in front of the concert stage (90 minutes before the race) Not too many people there yet.....

 

 

After catching my breath, and reveling the the fact that I thought I had done so well, I walked back over to the finish line. More people were still crossing the line. I had not been last. Lots of people were behind me . They kept trickling in for another 15 minutes or so. All the "true" walkers. Wow! Now I wished I had done the timed chip race! Now I was feeling empowered! Lets line it up and DO IT AGAIN!!!  The media crews were there. The concerts were about to start. A man went on stage." Attention, Attention! We need number 258 up on stage"    Oh Gosh! I think that's me? Isn't that my number? What are they calling me up on stage for? Do they want an interview? Do they know I'm an "ACTIVE.COM participant? Do they want to ask me about my training, and get my thoughts on the race? I look around for someone near me. "HEY" Can you check my number? (I had pinned it to my back!), Yeah,um,  you are number 528. YES! So it IS ME that they want. Again, the announcer says, "Can we get number 258 up here please? " oops, I'm 528, not 258!!! What an idiot I am.

258 gets on the stage. Its the winner of the race. They are giving her a medal or something. They announce her time.She finished in 22 minutes something.  She was already finished before I even hit the two mile marker!!! Well you know what!! SO WHAT!!

I had to remember, I wasn't racing against anyone. I needed to stop comparing. I had finished the race. That's what I came to do. FINISH. And I did.  IT WAS GLORIOUS!

 

The "blues" set it on Monday. Just like the big "let down" after Christmas. One day post race, and I already missed getting my email that said "today you are going to walk for 30 minutes at a RPE of 7-8. I missed knowing that I was going to blog about it. I missed everything. I missed my team mates that I never met! It took me several days to get out of my depressed state. I figured I needed to get back to walking, and get another race on the calendar. I'm eyeing something called a "Warrior Dash" that is coming up in June. I'm out of my post race blues, and am back to walking/running every day but Thursday and Sunday, just like before. But now I know I need to work on getting my cardio better. Lesson learned.

 

I jus want to finish my saying, to everyone at Active.com, to Michelle, to Coach Jenny, to my walk it off team mates Ruth, Jason and Megan,  Thank you so much for your encouragement, your support. You mean more to me than you can ever know. Thank you for this opportunity.

 

Until the next race.................

This is Kim, signing off. Remember to always WALK IN THE LIGHT. GOD'S LIGHT!

1,230 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: updates, training, weight, fitness, active, walking, endurance, workout, exercise, energy, moms, beginning_runner, who_wants_to_get_active, jenny_hadfield, whowantstogetactive

What's next?

Posted by mattscot Apr 26, 2010

I haven't posted my results from the Run For Water yet as I've been trying to get a discrepancy with the results resolved. While they still aren't resolved, I will say that unofficially I finished 53rd overall with a time of 32:45.26. However, the results list my name in the 213th position with a time of 58:56.19. When I saw this huge difference in time between the time that I came in and the time I was listed at I reached out to the race director and the company responsible for the timing. I was told by the race director that this was a smaller event, run by a student organization at UCF, and they decided to go with a company that could do a manual timing system to maximize the money available to charities. I could certainly understand the position of the race director. The timing company found that I had been given the wrong bib number. To show that it had indeed been the wrong number, the timing company attached a document listing all the competitors and their bib numbers. And while it showed that the switch did happen it still didn't match the discrepancy in the results. Because the runner with my "real" bib number was listed in the 54th position 15 seconds after I finished. And the kicker to it all...the runner listed in the 53rd position was not listed on the roster. I still haven't received a response as to why somebody as listed as finishing when they were never on the roster of runners.

 

So while I was thrilled with the time I came in...this little issue put a damper on things for me. So as I've come to the end of this training program I can definitely say that I will be looking for races in the future with chip timing capabilities. As my goal is to work my way up to an ultra-marathon, I'm looking for events that go slightly farther than the 6k I just completed like a 5-miler or a 10k. I'll be continuing this blog thing on my own blog. To follow me on this long journey towards my goal check out my blog at mattscot.wordpress.com.

 

Congratulations to all of my fellow participants in this training program and good luck with all of your efforts to stay fit!

1,117 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: updates, active, beginning_runner, who_wants_to_get_active, whowantstogetactive

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Well, the inevitable day arrived. I woke at 5am to make sure I was ready and not rushed. Grabbed my heart monitor, my ipod, and the directions to the event. Check in started at 6am but parking looked limited on the map and I wasn't sure where this race was taking place. I hopped in my car, drove lost for a few minutes, found the check-in booth, got my ankle timer and event number, and reparked my car. Okay, I had an hour and a half before it started so I walked the couple of blocks to the nearest Starbucks, ordered my Pike Place brew and a low-fat coffee cake. That's when I realized my wallet was still in my work bag at home. Opps! Darn I really wanted that warm cup of coffee before the race. It was still very chilly along the coast at that hour! The nice guys behind the counter said to go ahead and enjoy my treat. Wow! Humbly I thanked them and savored every drop. Okay, now it was time to warm up, stretch and get psyched. Back near the Check-In tent a massage business offered free stretching. That sounded cool, so I waited for my turn. I laid down on the massage table where he proceeded to pull my legs this way and that. Wow, I knew I was tight but he made me feel as if I would just snap!  I was coffeed up, loosened up and ready to go! Only there was still a half hour to wait. I noticed a group of people pointing at something in the water. Two harbor seals were playfully putting on a show for the crowd! I thought this couldn't get better. A beautiful morning, generous people and a spontaneous seal show. Then the announcer called us to line up. Since I had a hard time following my training routine, I knew I should stay toward the back with the people who were a bit slower. I was determined to run this thing but knew I had better not push myself too hard.

 

The race was on. I started with a slow and steady jog along the Elliot Bay trail. Okay, this was going well. Slow and steady. First marker states 1K. Great, I'm started to sweat but doing okay. Then the side cramp kicks in. I look at my heart rate monitor. Gee! 168bpm! I slowed down to a fast walk and waited until the side cramps resolved. Feeling better, I began jogging again. Good there's the 2K marker. Awww. The sculpture garden. I had heard about it a couple years ago but now I get to run past it. Keeping the pace, I reach the fountain and my turn around point. I checked my HR again. 174!! Wow, I'm outa shape.  I walked for a bit until it lowered. I didn't want to walk though. I signed up to run and that's what I intend to do! More that half way there, the side cramps returned. More walking. Now home stretch is within reach. The photographers lined up at the finish line, the large timer off to the side, it was thrilling to know I made it!

 

After downing some water and checking my time, I realized I didn't go as fast as I had hoped. But here's my perspective. This event was my baseline for the year. A starting point for moving forward. I did, after all, complete the race in 50 minutes and enjoyed the comradery of my fellow racers.My heart rate concerned me. I hadn't measured it during training so I didn't know where I was at. It was a wake up call. Although I'm a little overweight, I had no idea that my heart had to work that hard to keep me moving. It's enough to motivate me to continue seeking active lifestyle and set new goals for myself. I am proud of this accomplishment though. It was a beautiful day and I couldn't ask for a more scenic location. Slow and steady, I will get there!

 

Gwendolyn

 

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One of my goals as I entered this training program was to re-discover the joys of running that I knew as a child. On the eve of my first race as an adult, I like to think I've accomplished that and a whole lot more. While I'm not as fast as I was as a kid, I think I'm prepared to turn in a respectable time and I'm really looking forward to seeing where my results are in comparison to others in the race.

 

As a kid, I believed the hype and thought that to be fast, I had to buy the shoe that looked the fastest. My parents recently shared with me that I would often try to persuade them in purchasing a shoe for me using this logic. Well...that theory certainly went by the wayside as I got older. Only to be replaced with a theory in my teenage years as I bought into the hype that a certain energy drink would give me wings. Using that product was like the Wright Brothers in the early stages of their work... It certainly got me going, but the crash from the sugar high came quickly and rather abruptly.

 

So now, I've bought into the hype that is the Who Wants To Get Active training program. And I've seen the results that training can bring. I've lost 30 lbs. since the first of January. I've increased my mile time by a minute and a half. And I have thoroughly embraced running to the point where I'm beginning to wonder if what I'm feeling is what they call a runner's high. Just this last week, I started working as a part-time sales associate for a local running specialty store! While the learning curve with the new job is intense as I am beginning to comprehend the technology behind the products, this position and my participation in this program has allowed me to meet and surround myself with an incredible group of people with the same dedication and love for running.

 

But I truly realized that I have re-discovered the joys of running that I knew as a child, while I was doing some spring cleaning. Going through an old box that I picked up from my parents, I saw what I thought was just a ratty- old headband. As a child of the 80s, I made a lot of fashion statements with those sweaty headbands. But this one in particular... it was special. Because this one...came with my own set of wings!  This was a headband that I wore a lot as a kid, and it's an awesome reminder that what I'm doing is helping me find that joy and freedom of running I felt many times as a kid. I've brought along this special headband for tomorrow's race, but I'm not sure the world is ready for a 31-year-old sporting a child's headband with wings!

 

So all along... I didn't need the fastest looking shoe. I didn't need the latest energy drink. I just needed a little push with my training, and now with my new (old) wings, I'm ready to fly around the course tomorrow! So thank you to Coach Jenny, the folks at Active.com, and my fellow participants for the motivation I needed to get me going on this incredible journey.

1,184 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: updates, fitness, active, shoes, energy, drink, beginning_runner, jenny_hadfield, whowantstogetactive, wings, headband

My "Practice" Race Day

Posted by walkinginthelight Apr 13, 2010

So I took Coach Jenny's advice, and today was my "practice race day" . I decided whatever happens... happens. And I'm glad it happened, because now  I know what I need to change before Sunday!

I got up at 6 a.m. (regular time) got dressed, put on my "race day" shirt and my Zumba yoga pants. (yeah.... still haven't bought a pair of running pants....) Put on a good pair of athletic socks, and laced up my ankle brace for my left ankle. Put the orthotics in the running shoes, pulled my hair back in an elastic hair band. Applied the triple action antipersperant/deodorant for the active person! (learned that one early one)

At 7 a.m.,I  drank my  slimfast "meal replacement" strawberries and cream protein shake. Grabbed my pedometer, a bottled water and then realized it was a school day! Where did I think I was going? Then  yelled "KIDS COME ONE, You're going to be late for school!!!!)

Yeah, hello, today was only Tuesday. Can't get a real good "simulated race" on a school day. SO......... piled everyone up in the car.... Drove the high schooler to school first, make a quick stop at the McDonalds drive thru since I hadn't made anyone breakfast. (yeah, I know.... bad mom, right? Too busy thinking about myself this a.m., kinda forgot I still needed to do my "mom duties"!

Got the first child dropped off at high school. Oops, the second one needs a school lunch. Quick stop back to the house. Made the lunch for the middle schooler. Fortunately, this was NOT my week to drive the carpool to the 2nd child's school, and I was just finishing putting pretzels in the lunch box when his ride showed up. WHEEWWW.

Ok, check the time. 8:30, time to get the 3rd child off to shool. OK, nice day outside, she wants to ride bikes to school. Yep, lets do it.! Get the third child at school and settled, and make my way back home. Put the bike in the gararage, check the time. 9 a.m.  RATS! I was supposed to eat something high carb two hours before race time at 10. Went to the internet, google searched high carb foods. Printed off the list. Checked to see what I had in the fridge. Checked the nutrition label on the bagel. 51 grams of carbs. WOW, no wonder I stopped eating bagels! Ok, I'll have one half of the bagel, with peanut butter on it. Double checked : do I have the pedometer? yep. Do I have the I-POD? yep. Sunglasses? yep. Shoes tied with double bows? Yep. OK, drink a little more water, one last visit to the bathroom, and drive to the South Loop trail, and stretch out and be ready to start at 10. So far so good, with the exception that I only had one hour not two to digest the "carbs".

Ok, parked the car. What do I do with this big wad of car keys? Can't leave the car unlocked, purse inside. HHmmm, ok, take  the door lock/unlock remote off the keychain and put it in a pocket. Oops, no pockets!!

Plan B? Hey, how about stringing it on to the pedometer? Unhook the safety clip from the pedometer, string the car remote on it, put the safety clip back on, and hook FIRMLY to my yoga pants. OK. Any other hurdles?

Oh, hey, what about a phone? No place to put it. Leave it in the car. Not going to run with it on Sunday anyway. Water bottle? Take one more sip, just a little one, and leave in the car for when I get back . Roll windows down in car so water isn't too hot.

Next? Ok what do I do with the i-pod? Again, "NO POCKETS!" HHmmm... Lets see, ear plugs go in the ears, L must be for left, R would then be for right. . Stick it in my waist band? Yeah, lets go with that.

Time to stretch. Bend, stretch, arm circles,  OOPS! There goes the ipod down my pants! OK, so waist band was NOT a good idea. Next thought? uh, yeah, lets try tucking it down my shirt, strategically placing it inside my sports bra. OK, little cold at first, but yes I can deal with this. Just shove all the cords in the bra too! Ok, almost 10 a.m. . Get a move on, get over to the starting line ( in this case.... a wooden pole that says "RED LOOP BEGINS HERE. Followed with another sign  " red loop 2.4 miles". Ok so, knowing the trail is marked every 1/2 mile, If I run the whole loop, and then continue on a second time around, going to the 1/2 mile marker and back, that would give me 3.4 miles total. Just short of the 3.7, but close enough for today.

OK, check the time again. 2 minutes til start time. Take a deep breath. I can do this . I CAN  do this. I CAN DO THIS!!!!!    And............ GO

Ok, I'm off! Right at 10 a.m.   Feeling good.  Tunes are playing, arms are swaying. yes, I'm doing it. THIS IS THE  "practice" REAL THING! ! GO KIM! Ok, encountering lady walking her dog. That dog better not sniff me. I hate when dogs sniff me. Ok, lady pulled dog off to side of trail. Thanks Lady!  Ok, man running really fast. Wow, he must be like a marathon guy. MORE POWER TO YOU MARATHON DUDE! Ouch, left ankle hurting a little bit. Ankle brace laced up too tight. Not going to stop to loosen and re-tie. Just deal with it. Try to ignore it. Maybe it will loosen on its own. Focus.

Ok, feeling pretty good. Weather is a little windy, getting blown around a little, but no too bad. Music is pumping, thinking I'm going to move up my pace from Fast Walk to Slow Jog. Here goes..... yep, slow jog, feeling good. Stepping in rythym with the songs my son put on the play list for me. Thanks PJ! You did a good job with the song choice! Black Eyed Peas are making me move!!! BOOM BOOM POW!  Uh, problem here.... yoga.... pants..... not....staying.... up !...... Pants... slipping.... down.... !!!   Down..... by.... my...... hips!!!!!!!....... Quick, pull them up, look around, make sure no body saw. Man smiling. Hi "Man". Hope you didn't see anything you weren't supposed to!!   Try again..... jog jog jog jog jog..... pants slipping down down down. Past the hips this time....... Slip the hand around the back side, try to figure out how much is hanging out...... OK, part of a "crack". Not good. OK, this is "race day" ..... Cant stop. Can't go back to the car. Can't go home and change. Press on, keep moving forward. You don't any of these people, hopefully no one has a camera.

How come all that is coming to mind is that song "Pants on the ground, Pants on the ground, Looking like a fool with your pants on the ground"? UH, thats because YEAH!!! I am looking really stupid  here, I'm approaching the 1/2 mile marker, and my pants are falling off!

Ok, now I shall digress. Part of me wants to be SO ECSTATIC that I've lost enough weight, that my clothes are literally slipping right off of me! Yet, the other part of me is thinking how am I going to finish this race while I'm holding my pants up? Especially since I am only at the 1/2 mile marker? Light bulb moment needed.... ok, you've got the pedometer, it has a clip. Fold 2 inches of the waist band over to one side, and clip it together with the pedometer. Nope, doesn't work. Too thick. Keep running while holding up your pants until you think of something. hhmmmmm. nothing else coming to me. Look way out in front. Anyone coming? No.

Turn around, anyone one behind you? Nope. Hey, how about this? There are actually TWO clips on the pedometer. One is the clip of the pedometer itself, then there is the leash attached to it, with its own safety clip.

Gather up the waist band.... put the safety clip on. Now stretch, stretch .....STRETCH!!  Clip the pedometer part  to the waist band as far away as possible, using the pedometer and the safety clasp as a belt!  This Just Might Work! Keep jogging. Big hill. Ok, walk. Flat path again, pick up the jogging. yes, made it to the 1 mile marker. Pants have drifted down a little bit, but not to the point where I am "mooning" anyone. Ok, keep going. Just keep going. Seeing the 1 and 1/2 mile marker.

OH, Hey! I'ts Marathon Man again! WOW, did he just do that whole loop? Very impressive. Starting to get tired. Ok, just focus. Try to keep jogging til you make it to that tree. Good. Now push on, try to make it to that bridge. Ok, keep breathing. Try to make it to grass land. ....... just can't go ..... any..... further!!!.... Tired. Need to walk. WALK. Its okay to walk. But walk faster. Brisk walk. OK, better. Experiencing "cotton mouth". No water. Left it in car. Would probably cramp up anyway. Breathing heavy through the mouth. Try to breath in through the nose. Not getting enough air. Back to "mouth breathing".

There is the two mile marker. That means just 4/10 ths of a mile to go to finish the  2.4 mile loop. Start jogging. Pretend its a finish line. Thats it. Pretend you see people cheering you on. Listen to the Black Eyed Peas singing.  OOO WHHOOO. TONIGHTS GONNA BE A GOOD NIGHT! Yes, cross the finish line!!! (ok, again, just a wooden pole that says Red Loop ends here) Now turn around, Start on the Blue loop, go out 1/2 mile, then come back. Do whatever you can. Walk a few steps..... start jogging...... yeah, try to keep going...... nope, going back to the brisk walk. Ok. Push it! Stop being a wimp. JOG! yes, JOG! OK. Started jogging. still jogging, still jogging. Seeing the .5 mile marker. Wow, that means actually 2.9. Keep going, turn around, now finish strong. Jog this whole last 1/2 mile. Jog. Thats it. I want to quit. NO! Look, theres your husband! There's your daughter! They are cheering for you (yes, this is just in my mind.... but they will be there on Sunday)  Look! There's a camera crew ! They are filming this for the evening news! Pull your pants up, keep breathing, keep moving foward. Don't worry that Marathon Man has just blown by you again. There is the finish! You can do it! Keep Going KIM!!!!!!!    YES!!!!!   YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Three point four miles. 3.4 yep 3.4 Quick, check the pedometer. Time? 46 minutes! Wow? Is that good? Who knows. Who cares? Does the time really matter? Isn't what's important that I finished!!!!! YES I FINISHED!

My goal for this Sunday's Run for Water  is to finish the 3.7 in under 60 minutes, and based on my trial run today, I think I can do it! Just keep smiling, and thinking about that song Pants on the Ground. Mainly, just keep smiling!

 

 

 

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My feet had been bothering me. Very sore feet, and really, my left ankle was really troubling me!  So I made an appointment with a chiropractor about 3 weeks ago. The doctor looked at my feet, and examined the way I "stood", and then took a foot scan.  A very painless process, you just stand on this glass scanner (much like the same kind of scanner that’s hooked up to a computer /printer), and it scans the bottom of your foot, and puts the image up on the computer screen.

 

Seems that I "pronate" (or maybe it’s "over-pronate?") Bottom line is that my feet cave to the inside. I think he actually said “collapse”.

 

The scan of my feet was interesting to see. The doctor put “my” foot scan next to a "normal" foot scan to point out the difference.  In a "normal" foot, there should be a “kidney bean” shape up by the ball of the foot, and a round circular shape at the heel of the foot. Two distinct shapes. Well, my “kidney bean" was connected to my "round circle” which is not a good thing. It looked like one big “blob”

 

He recommended I order a good pair of orthotics. They slip into your shoes, and it lifts up my non-existent arch. It will help take the pressure off of my ankles, and help my foot get in better alignment with my leg. Seems the tendons in my legs have been working overtime trying to hold the ankle in place, and just can’t hold up to the task anymore. While he suggested some “at home” exercises to try, along with ice and rest...... I explained that I had this Run for Water coming up….. He assured me I would be just fine, and that the orthotics would make a big difference. He actually showed me a special “athletic orthotic”, which I didn’t even know existed. It has lots of tiny holes in it, so that there is air movement / ventilation, and they stay dryer.  So that’s what I ordered.

 

We’ll after walking around in them now for a few days, and I can tell a noticeable improvement. At first, it felt like I had marbles in my shoes that I was walking on, but now my feet must have somewhat adjusted, and they are becoming quite comfortable. The pressure is off my left ankle now, because it’s  being lifted  up , and back into position. Looking forward to wearing them the rest of the week, and hope they make a big difference for Sunday!!

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I am completely and utterly spent. I just spent 12 hours playing volleyball with my wife and the youth group that she runs. This volleyball marathon was a fundraiser for area churches and summer camp, so while it was fun it was for a good cause as well. Even though I've spent much of the day in bed, I'm just about ready to call it a night. So after 12 hours of running and jumping and chasing the little white ball all over the floor, I'm at the point where I think I've done enough cross training to get me through this final week. Right?

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40 Days

Posted by walkinginthelight Apr 7, 2010

So it dawned on me today just how really close we are to race day, and how this program will soon be coming to an end.  I started thinking about these 8 weeks that we will be in training.  It really got me thinking. I mean really thinking deep.... DEEP!

Ok, so I’m training 5 days a week. That’s 5 times a week  for 8 weeks. That’s a total of  40 days.

40 days. 40. That’s’ it. 40. Will I be ready?  Can anything significant really be accomplished in just forty days? Can it?

40 days.  Just 40 days. Well, think about this for a moment….

Noah was on his ark when it rained for 40 days and nights when God decided to cleanse the earth from all evil (see “Genesis”)

Moses went up to the mountain top for 40 days, where God gave him the tablets for the ten commandments (see “Exodus”)

Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days, where he was tempted by Satan ( see “Luke”)

There are 40 days of prayer and fasting during the Lenten season.

After Jesus’  resurrection, he was seen for 40 days, and spoke of the kingdom of God (“Acts”)

WOW! Yes, those are just a few POWERFUL THINGS that happened in JUST 40 DAYS!

***

I  went back and read some blogs from my “Team Walk It Off” team mates.  

Ruth stated she feels in control of her life and of her eating. She has lost at least 9 pounds, and is enjoying time with her 3 girls.  She is saying NO to her temptations!

Megan went to her own mountain top, so to speak, when she climbed to the top of Diamond Head in Hawaii, no small feat I might add!

Jason made his own version of his personal commandments , rules he will follow. He will not give up, he will not let you stand is his way, he will not go down without a fight!

To my team mates, I say “ I SALUTE YOU” .  You are each unique, incredible people, and I am honored to have had the privilege of getting to know you, and see what  you have accomplished in just 40 days!

Stay inspired, do not give in to your temptations. YOU CAN DO IT!  Just see WHAT FAITH CAN DO

I’d like to leave you with the words to one of my favorite songs. It’s by a Christian group called Kutless. I am going to try to attach their You Tube video, if it doesn’t work, please google search it. Below are the words.  Very powerful, and with our recent journey during this 40 day training program,  also very appropriate. 

 

 

What Faith Can Do by KUTLESS

(Lyrics)

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think it’s more than you can take
But you are stronger, stronger than you know
Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

 

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

 

It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody’s scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It’ll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

 

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

 

Overcome the odds
When you don't have a chance
(That’s what faith can do)
When the world says you can’t
It’ll tell you that you can!

 

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do
That's what faith can do!
Even if you fall sometimes
You will have the strength to rise

 

 

TO CAL, RUTH, JASON and MEGAN: THAT’S WHAT FAITH CAN DO!! GOOD LUCK ON APRIL 18th!

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I dread the treadmill!!

Posted by mattscot Apr 6, 2010

To say the least, life has been crazy for me lately! Before I get started on telling you all about the running I've been up to, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate my sister and brother-in-law on the birth of their son, Graham. My wife and I made the trek up to Atlanta to be a part of this incredible experience. Although I wasn't actually there for the birth, I had the opportunity to witness how tough my sister truly was as she dealt with the labor pains. As I've been struggling to get motivated for a 35 minute run...that's nothing compared to her 34 hours in the hospital before giving birth! 

 

 

Driving up to Atlanta, I gave a lot of thought to when and where I would try to get my workouts in. But once again, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry! Figuring that there would be a lot of down time as we waited to hear the news, I thought I would have plenty of time to run. When we got there, the plans quickly changed. I didn't want to be too far from the phone so I wasn't too thrilled about going for a run around the neighborhood. And then my decision was made clear once I realized that they had these really steep things called hills! Now I know that hills are a great workout tool but for a Florida boy who is new to running, these hills were just too intimidating! Besides, the steepest part of the course for my upcoming Run For Water would be a speed bump. So I jumped on the treadmill in my parent's basement for my running days. It didn't take long before I started to dread another step on the treadmill.

 

I hear all these great benefits about using a treadmill for a great run. But running in place can get so boring! Even though I've only been running for a little while now, I've found that the benefits of running outside and enjoying the surroundings are so much better. Treadmills are often promoted for their convenience. "You can watch tv or read a book while you run!" YEAH, RIGHT! I flipped on the tv and had to crank up the volume to a ridiculous level just to slightly hear it as the sound of the motor on the treadmill drowned out the tv volume. Then there's this idea that you can read on the treadmill. Not if you actually want to run. With every step I took, the pages of my book or magazine would bounce around and I would easily lose my place. The only thing really convenient about the treadmill was the ability to end the run with the push of a button. The demands of running can be strenuous and the temptation to call it quits by simply pushing the STOP button before you complete your goal can just as easily hinder your efforts.

 

After our visit to Atlanta, my wife tells me now that she wants a treadmill! I think I'm going to have to find ways to convince her to put off that purchase for awhile. I know the downstairs neighbors in our apartment complex would certainly appreciate it if we waited until we find a place on the ground floor!

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The last few days I've gotten plenty of emails , letters in the mail, and notes home from the kids schools and coaches with the updates on their Spring sporting events and other activities. Letting me know about practice schedules and game days.

 

Madeline, my almost 15 year old, currently has track practice 5 days a week, and her first "meet" is this Thursday. She is also an avid equestrian, and takes riding lessons, and just registered for two horse shows coming up in June. Additionally, she  competes in a "tetrathalon" with her horse, which is a two day event, consisting of four separate phases: she swims, she runs, she shoots an air pistol (target shooting), and she then rides her horse over a combination of 12 or so jumps. Swimming and shooting practices will be starting up soon, too! She also participates in Polocrosse, which is "LaCrosse on horseback". Yeah, its crazy!

 

Patrick, my almost 14 year old, currently has baseball practice every Friday, and has his first game this weekend. Once school gets out, practices get bumped up to 2 or 3 times per week. He also takes guitar, and starting in June, will begin football practice five days a week  for the freshmen high school team. He got so busy, he had to give up tennis.

 

Eloise, my 5 year old, has ballet/tap dance every Monday, Bible school every Wednesday, and Girl Scouts on Thursdays. And she is starting soccer, with her first practice this weekend, and games starting in two weeks!

 

So as I look at my calendar, and update  the days of each child's practices, games, lessons, etc. it reminded me of why I wanted to be an "active.com" participant. I had written to Michelle that I was the chauffeur for my children, toting them  around to all their various activities, and also had the role of the " cheerleader"  on the side lines, yelling "You can do it!" "Good job!"  and "Way to go"!

My goal was to get active myself!  Not just sit on the side cheering, but "get in the game".

I feel now that the mission has been accomplished. I looked at the calendar and saw the entry for April 18th. It said "KIM" : Run for Water in Chicago.

It brought a smile to my face at the realization that "I'M" on the calander. Thats right, ME!  I HAVE AN EVENT TOO! And it will be great when my family will be at the finish line, this time, cheering for ME!

 

Thank you active .com for helping me reach my goal! I am getting off the sideline, and getting in the game!

  GO TEAM WALK IT OFF!

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Well after being gone for a week on Spring Break, we had put our mail delivery on hold. So I went to the post office to receive a huge box of what I presumably thought would be "junk mail". I was so excited to be wrong!!Buried in the 2 foot stack of magazines, papers and letters, were several padded envelopes. One of which was my new Omron Pedometer!!! Hurray!!! It's here!!!' I was so excited!!!!  THANK YOU ACTIVE..COM!!!  I opened it up as fast as I could, read the instructions, inserted the battery, set my weight, calculated my stride, set the time, etc. and IT IS SO AWESOME! I love that is has the extra safety clip, that's a great feature. I've been walking all over with it, and it is so cool to see how many calories I have burned, and how many steps I have taken. LOVE IT! LOVE IT! ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!

But to top it off, ALSO in the mail was the $100 gift certificate to the restaurant of my choice, AND the $100 gift certificate to the sports store!!! Prizes I had won for my blog posts from on of the earlier contests! WHAT A GREAT DAY! Can't wait to go get some real jazzy outfit to wear on 4/18 for the Run for Water in Chicago.  I can't believe its less that two weeks away now!! GO TEAM WALK IT OFF!!

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3rd Goal MET!!

Posted by walkinginthelight Apr 5, 2010

So today was weigh in day.  I decided to break the  "who wants to get active" challenge into four 2-week personal challenges. Not missing a training day, remembering to blog, encouraging team mates, and losing weight. The first two weeks "reward" was to get a pedicure, which was great. My second two week reward was a massage. I got that when I was in North Carolina for Spring Break. We went to a spa, and I had a Volcanic Stone Massage. It was absolutely the most fantastic massage every. Hot stones rubbed all over your body. Oh, it felt so good! Too bad it was only for 50 minutes!

So today was the conclusion of the 3rd two week challenge. I have lost an additional 5 pounds, bringing my overall total in the past 6 weeks to 14 pounds!!!!! I AM SO HAPPY! I am rewarding myself with some new clothes! I was going to get a new pair of jeans, but since the weather is getting so nice, I'm getting a couple pairs of shorts instead. I am now two whole sizes smaller! and my legs look decent enough to be seen!

Now we are down to the final two weeks of the program! I can't believe its going by so fast!  I"m registerd for the race, and my 14 year old daughter is going to walk/run  with me. Going to really push for these last two weeks and finish strong.

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So I am still trying to play around with the whole "adding pictures and video" concept, so bear with my while I am still learning!

 

Yesterday we enjoyed a lovely afternoon with my in-laws, celebrating Easter. Church in the morning, followed by a huge Easter meal of ham and leg of lamb. My mother-in-law is hands down the best cook I know. The meal was complete with sweet potatoes, asparagus , au gratin potatoes, fresh fruit and whole grain rolls. And of course the hard boiled eggs!

Planning ahead, I brought a change of clothes along, and after the meal changed into a pair of sweat pants and sweat shirt. I suggested we all go for an after dinner walk, and everyone agreed! Photos below include my daughter, husband, and both in-laws. It was great to be back out in the fresh air, and a great way to walk off our calories. ( I did still watch what I ate, and made sure to have small portions) I do confess that I did have a couple of malted milk eggs and jelly beans, but not too many!

 

 

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Well, I am back home to the Windy City, after spending a week in North Carolina visiting with family.  If I could sum up the week, I would say it was "VICTORIOUS!". Each day brought new adventures, challenges and SUCCESSES! The weather was gorgeous and we spent as much time out doors as we possibly could. The week was filled with daily walks for me, and bike rides for the kids as they tagged along behind me. We visited several different local parks and forest preserves. and one day even went hiking and climbing where we saw some awesome waterfalls!

 

Our favorite park by far was located in Summerfield, and it had EVERYTHING that the outdoor enthusiast could possibly want. Bike trails, walking paths, big open areas for flying kites (which we did!) , a fishing pond, playground equipment and even EXCERCISE EQUIPMENT!  I have never seen a park that had an "outdoor gym!". What a blast! Not only was I able to do my walking training, but use the "equipment" too, for that "complete workout " experience! I've attached some photos (and I'll try to attach video too)

 

Dining out for lunch and dinner every day was not as hard as I thought it was going to be. I made the best decisions I could for meals, opting for water to drink (instead of the calorie laced "sweet tea", and ordered fresh fruit plates as often as possible. One of the most rewarding days came at the end of the week, when I needed to borrow clothes from my cousin. Since I had only packed  "cool weather clothes", the 84 degree day took me by suprise, and my long sleeve shirts and jeans just weren't going to cut it. When I was able to fit into my cousins shorts, (which were TWO SIZES smaller than the size I wore!!)Then I knew that all my training was paying off! But the best part of the the trip, is the fact that nobody asked "what are we going to do today?" They had all been conditioned by then, they knew we were headed to the park to excercise. It was more like "which one do you want to go to today?"

 

We got home last night, and yes it was great to sleep in my own bed again. This morning I stepped on the scale and I was ecstatic to find I was down 2 and half pounds!!!!! I was hoping just not to gain any weight, but

actually losing weight was incredible. Sweet sweet victory!

 

 

Enjoy the photos!!

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Got injury resistance?

Posted by Jessi Stensland Apr 1, 2010

Hello team!!  Love being here with you all!!  What a cool journey and camraderie you’ve got going. Super inspiring.

 

I’m here to offer up something that I hope may add something to your understanding of how to drastically reduce, if not completely eliminate chronic injury in your sport and your life.  I know it did for me.  I've been free of chronic pain and injury since 2004.  It’s nothing new.  It’s something that’s so simple, yet so overlooked.  The end result of which is…how about this:

 

“...the ability to avoid acts that injure"


and, my favorite, smile more.  : )

 

It’s called being “injury resistant.”  I’ve heard all too often that people are quick to blame everything but themselves for their injuries.  When the reality is YOU can and should, be in control of your body.

 

Think about it this way:

 

Imagine you have to carry around a long, sharp knife all day long. But you zone out, don’t think about it and go along with your day.  You brush your teeth, pick up your child, drive the car, shake some hands, do your job, etc.  There has to be a one in a google’s chance that you won’t “injure yourself” (and someone else for that matter.)  But lets say that instead, that you don’t want to get injured (just a guess…) and you decide you will do all you can to avoid getting injured all day long.  You decide to control the knife, or, more precisely, you use your brain to control the muscles in your arm that are controlling the knife.  You make decisions all day long about how to move so that you wouldn’t get injured.  That way, you drastically reduce, if not completely eliminate the possibility of “injuring yourself.”

 

Now, you have all set a performance goal…the race at the end of this journey.  The not-so-new newsflash:  You can’t even get to the start line, let alone the finish line, if you’re injured.  You could, of course, compete with pain or injury, however it may be a very unpleasant experience.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t run to add something unpleasant to my life!

 

The good news for all of us is that the same choices and training elements that will keep us injury-free are also the same things that will keep us running most efficient and fast (and smiley!) and even better…as we simply LIVE the rest of our life.  You’ve heard them all before:  flexibility, mobility, strength, elasticity (might be a new one – think plyometrics,) stability, and cardio capacity.  (Nutrition and sleep are additional factors, among others, but I’ll stick to the body and its biomechanics here…)

 

Now often this is when people zone out from what I’m saying for two reasons:

 

1.  They have no more time in their day to spend on “this stuff” and/or

2.  They don’t truly grasp how paramount each is to their running experience every running stride.

 

I can prove to you right now that there is something you can do increase your control over your body and its injury resistance while spending no more time in your day…

 

Question: How’s your posture right now?

 

Could you be sitting or standing up taller?  Could your left and right side symmetry be better, i.e. are your hips, knees and ankles in alignment on each leg (i.e. no legs crossed if your sitting down!) feet flat on the floor, toes facing forwards and not at an angle?

 

Injuries rely upon weaknesses, imbalances and compensation patterns to rear their ugly heads.  Don’t let em have it.

 

Let me tell you, your knees likes to stay in line with your hip and ankle, but they have no say in the matter.  The knee itself is just a joint and can only react to what the muscles controlling it do, or fail to do.  You can have control over that when you’re running, just as you did in your posture right now.   That thing called Runner’s Knee?  There’s no such thing.  It’s called “glute weakness.”  Proper, strong posture (i.e. the ability to stabilize and protect the spine) is the “backbone” of being able to control the movement of our arms and our legs and get the most out of them.

 

Posture never used to be as big of a problem, why?  Because 1) We never sat around so much and 2) We used to run for a reason (life or death or to kill to eat) and not just to get from point A to point B, plodding along if we want.  When I start the running movement session of my MovementU workshops I first have everyone run 15 yards like their life depended on it.  That they have to get to that spot as quick as possible or someone’s going to die.  I tell you what, their posture changes, their knees drive upward and they are NOT heel striking.  Try it! [Note: Unless you’re dealing with a current injury, don’t worry about getting injured.]  That’s how we were born to run.  Nothing’s changed mechanically, and we can tone down the intensity for distance and time, but now we have to use our brains to re-create habits that allow us do the same thing, with those same, purposeful mechanics.

 

A commitment to challenging your functional movement, strength and stability training is important to your running.  They aren’t “extras” to be done in addition to running miles.  They are the foundation and should be incorporated into the time you have to spend on your running training.   Resources like CorePerformance.com and TRX Suspension training at FitnessAnywhere.com for example are couple great examples of being efficient and fun with your running fitness.

 

This is all food for thought, but your action step is this:

 

At the very least, sit or stand taller and more symmetrical more often throughout the day.  If it feels hard, it will become easier the more you do it, and this is where functional strength training also comes in.  When you challenge yourself and increase your strength and stability, you’ll find simply sitting or standing properly, with no added weight, becomes much easier, and it will also increase your ability to withstand those additional forces as you hit the ground running, allowing you to maintain proper posture longer during your runs.

 

When running, do the same thing, starting now.   Make it a priority to think tall and strong, as often as you can, and then aim to increase the time you’re able to spend doing it.  It will make a bigger difference than you think!

 

 

I look forward to seeing your journey unfold...

 

Be great and move well!!

 

Jessi Stensland

 

Professional Triathlete / www.gojessi.com

Movement Specialist / Creator of MovementU / www.movementu.com

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