Fitness Quest: 5K’s and Me

So, a few months ago I signed up to run in a 5K which is held in my home town – and oddly enough in Los Angeles as well – called the Rose Run (more info at http://www.theroserun.com). It’s for cancer research which is a cause I whole heartedly support since in the past three years my father, mother, and sister were all diagnosed with various cancers (I supported funding for research before as well, just not as earnestly). My intention at the time I signed up was, of course, to train all out for the event. But, as so often happens with me it seems, my good intentions were for naught and now the date is quickly approaching and I’m afraid that not only won’t I break my previous time but that I’ll have trouble finishing the race. It will be a little embarrassing because a good friend, who regularly runs marathons, will also be running in the race as well. Don’t worry – I will still show up and “do it” as Nike urges and since it’s for a good cause I’m not really to concerned about my time anyway.

So why do I bring this up you ask? Well, it occurs to me that though I set a goal for myself I failed (or will fail) because I really did not take the goal seriously. I think that this is a trap that many of us may fall into with our training. We say “I’m going to get in shape” or “I’m going to be huge” or “I want to be ripped” or whatever but with out a definite and specific end in mind or a plan to get there. What’s more is that we are often unrealistic in our expectations. For example, if I wanted to do well in this 5K I should have started training months ago during the dead of winter. I remember back in my early lifting days I would somehow have in my head that I could work out hard for a couple weeks and I’d have to start buying new shirts. Ours is a lifestyle of patience. Biceps don’t grow overnight (well, they kind of do along with other muscles but not very quickly) and races aren’t won the week before. Fitness is a lot of small activities and commitments which add up to big changes in months and years not in days and weeks.

How many people have started a training program only to quit in a couple weeks because they weren’t seeing results? Then blame genetics or some factor outside their control for failing. News flash folks – genetics comes into play only at the elite levels of any given sport. We maybe can’t all be Mr. Olympia but we can all be a whole lot fitter than we are today and certainly fitter than the guy chowing down on Fritos and watching TV all weekend.

So, join me in getting out there and just doing it!

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