San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

October 13th, 2009
Run with Moe: Easing into fitness

Run with Moe: A Column
By MOE JOHNSON
San Marcos Runners Club

It was good to see a record number of runners show up for the “From Here to Eternity 5K” earlier this month.

The race organizers ran out of race T-shirts for some of the late arriving runners.

I was impressed with the regular wheel chair runner, Kristen, as this is a very difficult course even for a two-legged runner. She made it up the hill and through the roads and turns in the cemetery in fine fashion. She really had an advantage once she came out of the cemetery, as there are some great downhill sections and her specially designed wheel chair was changed to an Indy style car speed. She is headed to Japan to compete later this month, so she is a real serious competitor and San Marcos is fortunate to have her show up for so many of our races.

With the Pet Fest 5K just finishing a run on the River Walk, the next races up are the Pets and Pi 5K, starting at the stage behind the Chamber of Commerce to run along the River Walk again. This race is scheduled for Saturday at 7 a.m. If you are a real serious runner and want a nice challenge, you can enter this race and run a decent time and then head out to the River Ridge Business Park for the popular Red Ribbon 5K and Kids 1 K run starting at 8:30 a.m.

The kids run first and get their medals at the finish from the Hays County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) emphasizing the path to being drug free. The Red Ribbon 5K is well attended and, because the course is certified and flat, many runners use it for trying to establish a PR to register in their logbooks. The race is very well organized with Sue Cohen and the San Marcos Runners Club on hand to make sure runners will be well taken care of.

On Oct. 25 is the Country Roads Half Marathon. If you are not going to run, we can always use more volunteers to help out. Give me a call at (512) 396-2584 if you can handle getting up early on a Sunday morning to assist in making the run a success.

With the number of races San Marcos has had this month and good entries for the races, it is good to see an occasional new face at the run. There are always the regular runners that show up week after week, so seeing a newcomer to the sport of road racing is a welcomed sight.

It seems that this past week I have had several conversations from different individuals about the races and fitness in general. With so much information about the benefits of exercise in various media markets from newspapers, TV specials, magazine articles and the Internet news, it seems that we would not be listed as the fattest nation in the world and Texas as having more cities listed in the top ten fat cities. The benefits really do not cost much as there are no pills to buy or shots to take and to put on some workout clothes and a pair of comfortable shoes and begin to move is pretty much a free effort. Not everyone is going to be able to run, and if a person is overweight, running is just not much fun, as it is hard work and the knees and feet hurt. But as with everything else, it is best to start out slow and do a gradual build up to a goal.

Walking is a good start, and if that is hard on the knees because of weight, then a bike is great, as there is no weight on the feet and the benefits are great. Swimming is easy exercise to start, and even if you are not a Michael Phelps, the exercise will do you good. Tubes are not considered as a swimming exercise, even if it is fun.

The question that seems to be brought up with exercise people promoting a fit lifestyle is, “What does it take to motivate a person to enjoy the benefits of exercise and begin a fitness program in their lifestyle?” If you know that exercise is very good and beneficial and can save you money in medical bills later in life and have a feeling of energy by simply walking out the door, why is it that people don’t take advantage of a bargain like that?

A start does not have to be scheduled. If you are still hesitant to begin a workout, you can still begin by walking up stairs instead of taking an elevator, returning the cart back to the store after a shopping spree, taking the first parking spot you come to instead of driving around the lot several times waiting for a close open spot, or walking down the block to see a neighbor instead of calling them on the phone. Fitness is easy if you will just give it a chance.

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