Running: Now a Spectator Sport

Participating in a race previously meant one thing: running in it.

I didn’t volunteer (until this summer) nor had I ever attended a race to watch someone else run. My reason – why not just run it with them? But, as the adventure of being pregnant continues, I have found myself doing things I never thought I would….like standing on the sidelines.

This Sunday, I attended the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Denver, CO as a spectator. My dear friend, Amanda, was running the 13.1 mile race (at an elevation of 5,280 ft) and I wanted to cheer her on. Side note – Amanda, the superhero, had a baby 5 months ago. Hello, motivated mama!

Excited to participate as a fan, I made a little sign for Amanda and our two other running pals, Sara and Fawn.

Notice the plastic wrap? It was raining cats and dogs when I made the sign and I was fearful that it’d get ruined on race day so I weather-proofed it (this is the kind of time I have now).

I rose bright and early on Sunday, slipped on rain boots (instead of my running shoes), grabbed my sign, and made my way to Denver. Upon arriving, I was surprised that the weather was perfect for running (and not raining) but I was truly overwhelmed by all the people! The number of runners was over 15,000 and the number of fans and spectators cheering them on was shocking! I snagged a spot as close to the race path as I could and waited for my friends with eager anticipation.

As I watched runner after runner, most smiling while they finished their half-marathons, a surge of envy overtook me. I’ve never wanted to run more in my life than that morning. The energy, excitement, and sheer joy I witnessed by so many as they pounded pavement to reach their goal was more than I could handle. I choked back a tear. Then I let one escape. Can you even imagine being so moved by watching people run that you cry? I might be insane.

When I saw Amanda, I immediately started jumping, whooping and hollering for her! She looked awesome – calm as could be and killing her goal time! Here she is post-race…letting those endorphins take over and celebrating her victory!!

I greeted her, Sara and Fawn at the end to congratulate them, listen to their race recaps (mentally deciding to run the race myself in 2012), and snapped a few photos of the hot mamas! They all did amazing!

Great job ladies on an awesome race. You are an inspiration!

Workout Wednesday Returns!

via Pinterest.

I accidentally tried a new workout this week. I’m purposefully not going out of my workout comfort zone of moderate runs and yoga just to be sure we’re keeping the baby safe, but I stumbled upon a new class that I think I might do again.

I went to my usual Monday night yoga practice (after two weeks of missed classes) looking forward to a relaxing stretch session. I was surprised to see a substitute instructor who looked really amp’d up. I thought to myself…why is this mystery lady so perky for yoga??

She explained that Kim (our usual gal) was out that night and she would be teaching a modified version of Will Power & Grace to us in place of yoga. I considered leaving until she explained what the class would include. Will Power & Grace is essentially a cardio workout combined with yoga/pilates basics (that’s a really simplified version of the description). It included a lot of lower-body strengthening moves with light cardio to keep up our heart rates and get us moving. We used our yoga mats and remained barefoot using only our body weight for resistance.

I found myself LOVING it! Getting an unexpected sweat session and a good strengthening/stretching workout in one class was AWESOME! The core moves were all plank-style (totally okay for the one in-utero), the cardio was equivalent to a light jog, and we worked leg muscles I forgot I had (until yesterday when I woke up a little sore).

I’m not sure if there’s a 24 Hour Fitness in your area but I’m sure a lot of gyms offer some kind of cardio-infused yoga or pilates. I definitely recommend checking them out!

P.S. After posting this, Stacey Lei Krauss, founder of the willPower Method, contacted me! She was thankful that I gave the class a try, was very sweet and even offered advice for continuing the willPower & Grace class in my pregnancy. Isn’t that awesome!?!

Stop by her site, like them on Facebook, and definitely give one of her classes a try!

Workout Wednesday: Volunteer

Good Morning!

I haven’t written a workout post in a while and that’s because I’ve purposefully scaled back my sweat sessions over the past couple of weeks. I’m slowly getting myself back to a normal routine but it’s taking some time.

As I’ve been taking it easy on the running, I realized that I’m really falling behind on my goal of participating in one race a month this year. So, instead of skipping August (as I did June and July) I decided to participate in different way….as a volunteer.

I volunteered to be a route marshal at the recent Fossil Frenzy 5k in Fort Collins last Saturday. The race was a fundraiser for my church and held close to home so it was the perfect race to volunteer for.

I arrived (a bit late as per usual), was shown to my spot and basically just sat in the morning sun for a good 45 minutes. It was lovely. I snapped a few photos of the view.

Then suddenly, the runners started to come up over the hill! I snapped into action, cheering them on and providing route instructions. It was actually a lot of fun to stand on the sidelines and cheer for others instead of actually running.

I was surprised at how many of the runners thanked me for being a volunteer as they ran by! It was really sweet. I made a mental note to thank all the volunteers on the courses I’ll be running in the future.

Overall, it was a great morning and a successful fundraiser. Since I usually take a post-race shot of myself, I didn’t want to disappoint you. Here I am post-event picking up cones….I think the running shots are a bit better so be ready to see more of those soon!