Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Getting Started Again: Our friend Sarah on running groups, being "40 something and fabulous" and "after the initial 'I think I'm going to die' feeling, it actually feels great."

#3MomsRunning Group
Pamela Anderson, Lisa Salas, Sarah Page, Keiawnna Pitts, and Wendy Faherty. Also pictured is Chaps the Border Collie, our official mascot. Photo credit goes to Josh Faherty, Wendy's son and journalism student.
Sarah Page of
Round Rock, Texas
From time to time, we want to profile friends who are working to get into shape or working to get back into shape.  Today, we visit with Sarah Page, 44, of Round Rock, Texas.  We LOVED her idea for a #3MomsRunning group to keep her motivated.  (More on Sarah at the end of the post!)

When did you start running?
I've always run - but in short bursts rather than anything consistent.  I ran track in high school, ran for fitness with my roommate in college, and ran some 5Ks and 10Ks in my 20s and 30s as a way to stay in shape. 

I blew a tendon in my knee in the mid-90s, and after that I've done more couch-surfing than running.  Add to that another blown tendon - this time in my ankle - a few years ago, and I just haven't done very much at all since then.

Why did you decide to get serious about running ? What prompted that decision?
Everything changed last summer.  I was tired of being "fat" and 40 something.  I always wanted to be 40 something and fabulous.  I got back into running, and after a few stops and starts, I'm finally ready to stick with it.

Why do you enjoy it?
It's a great way to clear my mind.  After the initial "I think I'm going to die" feeling, it actually feels great. Also it's a challenge.  Can I go just a little bit farther or faster this time?

What's your favorite run? (distance, location, time of day,other?)
I'm more of a short- to mid-distance runner.  I prefer to stay in the 5K and under range.  In a perfect world, I would run in the evenings before the sun goes down.  But with kids, work, and stupid daylight savings time, I have to get it in at 5am.  

There are tons of great places to run in the Austin area.  My favorite of them is the trail around Town Lake (now called Lady Bird Lake).  It's beautiful and there are always excellent people-watching opportunities.

My running group mainly runs in our neighborhood.  But on the weekends when we do our long runs, we go to a nearby trail in Round Rock called the Brushy Creek Trail East.  It's a beautiful paved trail with canopied trees, and is a great place for running, walking, cycling, or scootering (as my son calls it).

What are your fitness goals for 2012?
Overall conditioning is a definite goal, but in reality, it is to lose weight.  I would love to lose 40-50 pounds. I know I'll feel better, possibly ditch a prescription or two, and I'll hopefully look better too.

What keeps you on track with your goals?
I weigh in weekly to track my progress ... or sometimes lack thereof.  I'm trying to do a better job with my diet and portion size too.  But mostly there's the tried and true method of how my clothes fit.

I've also signed myself up for some 5Ks in a couple months time.  It always helps to have something to train for.  I'm also being coerced ... er, persuaded ... to do the Capitol 10K in April.  We'll see about that one.

I also have an amazing and supportive network of friends.  I've got some friends that I converse with over Twitter and Facebook who inspire me on a daily basis and keep my feet to the fire.  I probably wouldn't be as motivated if it weren't for you, @theresaoverby, @beaumartian, @RunBimma, and @decillis.

But probably the coolest thing that keeps me on track is my new running group.  Some PTA/neighborhood  friends of mine and I decided to get serious about a running program, but needed the additional encouragement.  So we banded together and formed a group we call #3MomsRunning (our Twitter hashtag).  We started with 3 moms, but are ranks are growing daily.  We hit the road in our neighborhood at 5am 3 to 4 times a week. This way, we get our run in and can still get out the door in time for work.  We've found that it makes getting out of bed a little easier when you know that someone is waiting for you out in the cold and dark.  A little peer pressure never hurts, right?

You use RunKeeper, right? What do you like about it?
I LOVE RunKeeper!  It's a great tool that's so easy to use.  I'm very much into social media, and RunKeeper has a social aspect to it in addition to tracking your runs.  You can post your run results to Facebook and/or Twitter, but you also have a "Street Team" (like your Facebook friends) to help motivate and encourage you.

RunKeeper tracks distance, route, calories burned, average minutes per mile, speed, and elevation all from your iPhone or Android phone.  You can pipe in your own music to keep you going.  There are also coaching programs you can purchase in addition to the regular app.  They provide daily programs with audio cues to help you train for specific races.  It also tracks other activities like walking, hiking, cross-country skiing, or even machines like treadmills and ellipticals. Love, love, love it.

How do you balance fitness with job, husband, kids, friends and the other important parts of your life?
That's just it.  I haven't been.  I'm making ME a priority this year.  It's so easy - for women especially - to feel like we have to take care of things.  Everything and everyone but yourself.  I've been happily married for 13 years and we have two awesome kids.  But I've been putting them first.  I need to learn that I'm important too.

It's a constant challenge to balance a full-time job (that often includes travel) and a family with the things I need to do for me.  I know there will be times when other things will be more important than running.  But I will make it up and get it done somehow.  I'm turning 45 in October.  I plan to be fabulous by then.

What's your favorite fitness tip?
Shoes, shoes, shoes.  I've had a hell of a time finding the right shoes.  But once I did, it made all the difference.

In addition to being an all-around nice person and great friend, Sarah is also one of Texas' leading tourism professionals and a social media guru.  She's the Senior Economic Development Specialist at Lower Colorado River Authority. Check out her blogs, Tourism Tech and Traveling on the Colorado River Trail.

1 comment:

  1. Sarah, I'm so proud of you! You are right - it is a constant challenge, but it's worth it. You'll never regret going for a run. I can't wait to keep up with how many 5Ks AND 10Ks you blow out of the water this year!