Volunteering and Training – one week until DC!

So all week, I’ve had an op-ed up on my computer that I wanted to blog about entitled “We must get a grip on childhood obesity” written about the very alarming truth that one in three Tennessee children are overweight or obese. As passionate as I am on the issue, I couldn’t bring myself to rant coherently. It’s true that the legislators don’t seem to care about the number of people living in poverty and therefore have fewer nutrition and exercise options, but the whole thing depresses me so much that it’s hard to dwell on.

 

So I decided to do something else:

 

1.)  Put off writing about it as long as possible, and

 

2.)  Sign up to volunteer for a program that makes an impact on kids who have a high risk of obesity.

 

And I did both successfully!

 

Girls on the Run is an organization that helps elementary and middle school girls train for a 5k and think positively about all aspects of their lives.  Nashville seems to have a lot of programs available, but I was so happy to see that there was a chapter at my regular community center just five minutes away from my house, and the 5k they’ll train for in May is at my favorite park, just a half mile away from me.  I’m including a link to an introduction video on the program (though not the specific one I’ll be involved with) so if you’re like me and get teary-eyed easily, grab a tissue and press play.

 

The anticipation of starting with Girls on the Run has also been good for race training. We’re one week away from today is the Cherry Blossom 10-mile run in DC! I feel like I haven’t been totally on top of my training (laryngitis two weeks ago really threw me off) but I ran ten miles on Friday and it went moderately well. I ran around mid-day through the park, across a bridge I’d never seen before, through another park with a giant playground, skate park, and golf course, and to a high school, the turned back. It was insanely beautiful the entire way, with yellow butterflies, red birds, and green beetles flying right beside me, seeming to want to race. I felt like a Kenyan Mary Poppins.

 

Somehow ten miles seemed much different when I was training for my first (and only) marathon in 2010, but Friday felt different; I was tired at the end, and was in a funk all day afterwards. In 2010, it was a mid-week mid-level run. Now it takes much more effort.

 

I went to Zumba at the YMCA with my friend Sarah on Saturday morning, then spent a few hours volunteering at Second Harvest Food Bank with Ryan. It must have been a combination of the ten-mile funk, my first dance/aerobics class in two years, sorting food, and going to a concert last night that made me about as stiff and sore as possible today. It’s ok; it feels good to have your body remind you that you’ve challenged it.

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