The Race Goes to the Driven, Not the Swift
By Sarah Simonelli, RN
This year will mark my 13th consecutive year running the Boston Marathon. It will also be my 15th marathon overall. As a busy mother of four children, working as the Behavioral Health Nurse Case Manager with Cape Cod Healthcare’s ACO and pursuing my Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Degree, there is always one question I am most often asked about my running: “Where do I find the time?” It is a great question. The answer is really very simple.
I was fortunate enough to figure out early on in my quest for a healthy lifestyle that time management and commitment would play an equal role in my success of balancing work, family, school and my love of running. One of the most common excuses that prevent most people from working out is simply that they “do not have the time.” Let’s put time into perspective. If you had a dollar and someone asked you for two cents, would you give it to them? Of course, you would. Do you realize 30 minutes is roughly 2 percent of your day? Would you devote just 2 percent of your day breaking a sweat if you could improve your overall health?
Commit to walking 30 minutes each day
Exercise is known to increase your energy level, work productivity and improve your balance, strength and coordination. Exercise also helps you sleep better, look younger, decrease disease risk, reduce depression and anxiety, and improve bone density. The list goes on! I can assure you we all have 30 minutes to spare. Give yourself the two cents. Your body will thank you for it.
Secondly, commitment is crucial to any exercise routine. Setting small goals will help you stay focused on achieving them. I would never advise someone to start with lofty expectations on their fitness journey. Running a marathon is not for everyone, especially those just beginning. Why not commit to start out walking briskly for 30 minutes each day and build from there? You can always incorporate more time as your endurance improves. Consequently, you can incorporate brisk walking combined with a few interchangeable minutes of jogging as you feel stronger. The plan is simply to make a goal, stick to it and achieve it. As you reach your goal, make the next one bigger and keep building.
Start by signing up for a 5k race
Consider signing up for a 5k race as spring race season closes in. They are slightly over three miles long, making them perfect to start your fitness goals. Also, consider getting your friends or family involved. Additionally, most 5k races benefit a cause you may feel good about supporting, too. In my racing experience, people who join races get just as much inspiration by watching and encouraging fellow participants to cross the finish line. We all start somewhere, and most of us join races for the same fundamental reason, to reach a goal!
As this year’s Boston Marathon approaches in April, I am in full training mode with several of my running friends from the Cape. The cold, wet weather and endless barrage of snowy days have been challenging to log the miles in preparation for the big day.
“We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse.”