The Personal Trainer: Step out of your comfort zone at the Woodstock 5K
by Ann Angell
Special to The Star
Jul 03, 2011 | 3420 views |  0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I did something this year that I really never wanted to do. I did a half-marathon in Nashville with my 16-year-old daughter. That is 13.1 miles.

I said I “did” a half-marathon because I never got around to training. Neither did my daughter.

She breezed through and ran the whole thing in two hours and 25 minutes, while I ran and walked about 50/50.

I certainly was under no pressure, since I knew no one there and I was one of 30,000 people at the race. I am pretty sure around 10,000 other people had the same training plan I did.

I was inspired to do this by two people: my good friend Bill, who ran the New York City Marathon last November even though he HATES to run, and my 16-year-old daughter and her friend Mary, who ran a half-marathon last winter with very little training. They did great.

In my life, I have run many 5K and 10K races. I have never been fast, and never really cared that I wasn’t. In fact, I do not consider myself a runner anymore, even though I still like to run a few races a year. Rather, running is something my middle child and I really enjoy doing together.

I never thought about doing a half-marathon. It wasn’t on my radar. All I knew is that it would be an amazing experience, and when it was said and done I would have great memories of being with my daughter and she with me. I was right. It was a BLAST!

My point in telling you this story is that even though you may not feel any desire to run a 5K, try a triathlon or attempt the Cheaha Challenge, maybe you need to step outside of your comfort zone in order to experience more in life.

You have a great opportunity to step outside your comfort zone right here in Anniston. The Woodstock 5K (3.1 miles) will be held in front of Anniston High School at 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 6. This race takes a village to put on. I know because I have been a citizen of that village.

We are so lucky to have such a dedicated Anniston Runners Club, with its 600-plus members doing the work along with many hundreds of volunteers from local businesses and some great leaders. From the vendors, the volunteers, the sponsors and all the rest of the many workers bees, these guys have pulled together another great accomplishment. This year’s race will be the Road Runners Club of America’s National 5K Championship.

So this is a call out to all the people who think this is not for me, or I cannot do a 5K. Guess what? You can! There is no pressure to run, no pressure to be fast, no pressure to do anything but be a part of this huge event right here in Anniston.

Many of you may have thought that you really want to try this, but don’t want to be last, or for your friends to see you. Really, it comes down to you. What is stopping you?

The organizers of the Woodstock 5K are expecting more than 1,500 runners and walkers this year. You need to experience the electricity that is Woodstock. You will see old friends, meet new friends and may even begin a new habit of stepping outside of your comfort zone and never stepping back in.

I promise that if you do this particular race, you will have fun and be inspired. The next thing you know, you might be checking out the Anniston Runners Club website to see when the next road race event is in our area. Don’t let your mind put limits on what your body can do. Go ahead and step out of that box.

Ann Angell is program center manager at the Oxford Y for Now.
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