The Jacksons, Week 20: The Awaiting Race

Filed under: Healthy Families Challenge

Don't look for the Jacksons' health-and-fitness behavior last week to be on any highlights reel. Not many shining moments were had this last go 'round.

Cheeseburgers, pepperoni pizza, chicken strips and assorted snacks ruled more days than I care to admit. Between lackadaisical and frequent snow days, illness, intense work demands, volunteer labor and all the official duties that come with parenting, I've simply been too tired to cook as healthily as I'd like. It seemed impossible to eat right and stay on course.

So, as I slinked back into the Turner Center this week for a late-morning workout session, I had to ask myself, would my personal trainer be mad at me? Was she on to my junk food misadventures? Did she think my passing diet deviation will be my Waterloo? I had to wonder why she was giving me such a thrashing. This was a pure beat-down. And it was being delivered with a smile.

She battered me with across-the-floor lunges, punished me with up- and downstairs sprints, and trounced me with multiple tricep lifts and shoulder presses.

But, really, this was just like any other day at the gym; it was business-as-usual for my girl, Jenn, the personal trainer who has guided my fitness regimen since Day One of this Healthy Families Challenge. After a week off from training due to snowy weather and illness, and a brief return to some of that (good) bad food that got me here, it just seemed like she was beating my posterior especially enthusiastically this day.

Following my body thumping, tomorrow we'll speed-walk around campus. I'm preparing for my first 5K run coming up in -- yikes! -- four days. I can't say I'm "competing," because I'm really not challenging anybody, except myself. I'm hoping to at least finish the darn thing, but not be the last to pull her body across the finish line. I and the other participants in this event can choose to run either the 5K, which is roughly 3.1 miles, or the half-marathon, which is about 13.1 miles. I'm going for the 5K, a more realistic jaunt for me.

deidra jackson marathon picture

In a few days, I'll be pounding part of this pavement in my first 5K run. Credit: Deidra Jackson

My friend Eric, a poet and devoted family man, who's run marathons before and is training for one this spring, put things into perspective for me when considering marathons. "Imagine trying to run the length of a soccer field 10 times. That's just 1K," he says.

Eric says he averaged about six minutes a kilometer, and ran an entire 5K in 29 minutes after training for about one month. His advice to me? Switch between running and walking, one minute each for 30 minutes, and do that for a week. Then run for five minutes, walk for a few, run for another five, etc.

And stretching numerous times before and after is a must.

He said a "real" marathoner told him that.

My son Jackson told me he thinks I'm "going to be great" in my upcoming 5K walk/run. I hope so. And based on my fitness level, Jenn thinks the smaller run will be a piece of cake for me. If I survive it and, maybe others, I'd like to go all in and maybe try running a half-marathon.

As I've said before, getting my mind to buy into my health-and-fitness goals is more than half the battle.

Who's the rest of the competition? Check out all the challengers' latest updates here.


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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.