It's just after one o'clock in the afternoon in Los Angeles and I'm on a treadmill again. The good news is that I've started my training a month ahead of schedule; the bad news is that my calves are beginning to hate me and I'm barely to four miles. It's hard to believe that in a matter of a few months I'll be running over 13 miles. In fact, it's the first time in a long time that I've donned athletic apparel more than two days in a row.
The girl on the treadmill next to me is very intimidating in her matching Nike workout apparel. I can't let gym-induced anxiety get to me though; I'm on a mission now. I've signed up for my first half marathon and I've vowed that I'm going to really make it count. If you follow me on Twitter, you've probably realized by now that I'm pretty outspoken and love standing up for causes that I care about, including animal rights. So when I heard that one of my favorite animal rights charities was coordinating a running team to benefit animals, I was on board.
At first, I thought I was going to stick with the 5k, but my mind slowly began to change as I thought about what it would mean to step outside of my comfort zone and do something bigger than I've ever done before. In my late teens, I got pretty heavy into running. I even won first place in the 18-21 year old women's category for an ovarian cancer run a few years back... Okay, several years back. Anyway, it gave me inspiration knowing that with a little hard work and a lot of perspiration, I could one day run 13.1 miles and raise money and awareness for a cause that's close to my heart.
So, I logged on to the PETAPack website, registered online and printed out my training schedule. (Note: If you're interested in joining in on the fun, the half marathon training doesn't technically start until August 12. So it's not too late to register!) I'm already well into my second week of workout now, starting to really feel the burn and get excited for what's ahead. I've decided to donate a dollar for every mile I run in training between now and November and to keep blogging and tweeting about my training to help hold myself accountable and stay motivated. (It's harder to fall off the wagon when all your friends and family know about your goal!)
The PETAPack website has some fantastic training advice and a training schedule that I've already began to utilize. If you care about animals and need a good excuse to set some fitness goals, I definitely suggest checking out www.peta.org/run or if you aren't feeling active but want to do something to help end animal cruelty, check out my fundraising page to make a donation or sign up to "Sleep in for Animals" come race day on the PETAPack homepage.
I'll be giving thank you shout-outs via Twitter to everyone who donates on my fundraising page!
Follow Renee Olstead on Twitter: www.twitter.com/renee_olstead