Getting Fit

Jodi Blohme

I began running in June 2015, two months shy of my 46th birthday to reclaim “ME” and get back in shape. I was challenged to run or walk one mile every day for a week.  

When I tried to run, I couldn’t do it for even a minute. I completed the week challenge and pretty much walked most of the miles that week, but on occasion I would run a little (30 sec) at a time while also walking. A little discouraged that I couldn’t run a mile, I decided to set out and accomplish this goal no matter how long it took me to master. 

First things first, I realized I needed to “learn” how to run.  I began reading everything I could about proper running form, breathing, etc. and every day I attempted to run a little longer than 30 sec and walk a little less. It took me a while but eventually I ran a full mile (without stopping) and I felt like I won the lottery!  

I quickly became addicted to running, realizing the wonderful feeling it gave me.  I had such a great sense of clarity in my mind when I ran and when I finished, I always had a ton of energy with such a “runners high”. I soon had the desire to do some races starting off with 5ks and 10ks.  

After some success on those distances I quickly decided to train for my very first half marathon, just 6 months after I started running. My new goal is to one day run in all 50 states. What a great way to travel and see the world and also do what makes me feel so wonderful (with such wonderful people).  To date I have participated in 5Ks, 10Ks, 12Ks, and half marathons.

ADVICE FOR BEGINNERS:  Get out and give it a try but always listen to your body.  Run when you feel good enough and walk when you feel you need a rest or walk break. Don’t get discouraged if you feel you cannot run far, it will happen over time. And find a running buddy for a couple of reasons: it’s safer to run with someone outdoors and It’s more fun to run with someone. Lastly, enjoy the run!

Training With Friends

Members of the Baton Rouge-based triathlon training group Group3 know the difference a dedicated and supportive network of fitness friends can make. Adrien Gingles Busekist, a founding member of the group, says the group transpired from a chance encounter during The Louisiana Marathon in 2014. During a conversation on the course that lasted 2-3 miles, Adrien and new friend Jennifer Macha decided that a triathlon training group was essential.

Members of the newly established group with go for long cycling trips together, not only to support and to motivate, but also for added safety. The group quickly grew as original members invited more friends and acquaintances who were interested in running, cycling and swimming to join in on the fun.

Adrien says, “We’re always looking for people to train with. We keep everyone updated through our Facebook page because you will always find someone who will run or ride with you.” She adds, “I love running, but sometimes if you’re doing long runs and don’t have a set pace that you need to keep, you can get bored. It’s nice to have someone to talk with. I’ve had some of the best conversations with friends while running because it just comes naturally.”

She has advice for those interested in training with a group for the first time: “Don’t be afraid to be social. If you show up, you will always know or get to know someone. People that are into endurance sports love to have someone come in and join the fun. They are very inviting and hospitable, and they can’t wait for someone else to be as crazy as them. We have a weird idea of fun.”

We have to add that Adrien is no stranger to endurance events. She took up cross country running in middle school and found that she really loved running long distances. Adrien completed her first full in 2008 during the New York City Marathon. She says, “You can run your entire life. I’m a lawyer now and I train, but I also run because it helps me think more clearly.”  

Thanks so much for sharing your running story with us Adrien! We can’t wait to see you at the finish line in January.