I’m glad to finally introduce you to the fourth Real-Life Exercise Hero – Aimee of “Amazing in Motion” fame. 🙂 Aimee belongs to the slighly intimadating group of atheletes (intimidating in my mind)- marathoners – even though she claims she started as a non-runner.
I absolutely love the name of Aimee’s blog and also her tagline which says: “I’m a mom, a wife, a nurse and now I’m a runner…catch me if you can!” 🙂
I also found it especially inspiring how Aimee takes pains to schedule exercise into her busy life as a mom, wife and employee.
But read for yourself.
Why did you start exercising? How long did it take before you started liking it?
I feel like I’ve always tried to incorporate exercise into my life because I’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember. Exercise for me was always associated with attempting to lose weight.
I joined the gym about 9 years ago. At that time walking and light strength training were my main forms of exercise. I love to walk and I could walk quickly for long periods of time. I would be diligent for a time and then I would slack off for days at a time. It was always difficult to start again.
It has taken me a very long time to appreciate and enjoy exercise.
Last year when I was training for the Disney marathon I had to take some time off to deal with an injury and I realized that I truly missed running. About 2 years ago I returned to the gym to take up strength training again and to vary my cardio. I take an occasional exercise class in my town like Zumba or Pilates and I have discovered a love for hiking.. Exercise is a part of at least 6 out of 7 days a week. Though I still have weight loss goals I now exercise because it makes me feel amazing and strong.
I know you’re a runner. How did you become a runner, i.e. did you want to become a runner from the very beginning?
I was always a self-proclaimed non-runner. I anyone had told me that I would run a marathon I would have laughed.
As I mentioned I loved walking, but never felt the need to run. After the birth of my son I knew I needed to lose weight and develop a healthier lifestyle overall. IAbout a year after my son was born I decided to try running because it required little equipment and a shorter time commitment than walking or going to the gym.
My sister suggested I start running the long sides of a local college track and walk the short sides. I did that for a while and then built up to eventually running around the entire track. It took me, probably, another year and a half to really come to love running. Running races really encourages me to continue with it on a regular basis. Having something to train for is motivating and running the actual race is a lot of fun.
How do you train at the moment?
I use Hal Higdon’s training plans from his website. I adapt them to work with my schedule. Hal Higdon has run over 100 marathons and is a longtime contributor to Runner’s World magazine. His plans have seen me through half marathons and a full marathon.
I just designed my current marathon training plan which began on Sunday. I will be running the Philadelphia Marathon in November. I tend to train at least a few weeks longer than recommended because I want to give myself enough room for flexibility. I run about 4 times a week and try to cross train twice a week. Fridays are reserved for my long runs and Tuesdays I will be doing speed training. One day a week is a designated rest day.
What kind of challenges have you had during your “exercise career”?
I always had trouble committing to exercise and making it a part of my life. Since incorporating training schedules this hasn’t been a problem. In years past if I stopped working out for even one day it often led to a month or more of inactivity.
Back in September during Disney marathon training I broke a toe and then a rib. I had to stop running briefly with the toe but even longer until the rib healed. I was frustrated and also a bit scared about getting back to the same level of fitness I had been at before the accidents.
I think one of the biggest challenges is finding the time to fit exercise into a busy schedule. It’s so easy to make excuses. I think this is where the training schedule really helps. My husband and I discuss the week ahead of time and I schedule a sitter if I have to.
Do you have any tips for “prospective exercise heros” or people who think they hate exercise?
I think everyone can find some activity they can tolerate for a little while. So I would say do something active that you actually enjoy doing. Do it a little more each time. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
In order for exercise to become a habit it has to fit into your life. Schedule it and make exercise a priority.
Try to make goals realistic and don’t compare your progress to others.
People have very busy jobs these days. How do you manage to fit exercise into your schedule?
My entire marathon training schedule has been entered into a Google calendar. My husband can view it as well. For the past two years I have been able to count on exercising during the few hours my son was in preschool. Sometimes I have to wake up very early to get a workout in or I am at the gym late at night. Other days I have a babysitter here for a couple of hours.
What is your biggest fitness related accomplishment so far? Crossing the finish of the Disney Marathon has been my biggest fitness accomplishment by far. The feeling was like nothing I have ever experienced before.
Do you have any big fitness goals you’re working toward at the moment?
My two big fitness goals are to complete marathon number 2 and to get my 10K race time under one hour.
What do you do when/if you’re not motivated to exercise?
Honestly I usually just go do it anyway but with absolutely no pressure about my time or distance. Sometimes when I really don’t feel like running I go to the gym and lift weights instead. If I am unusually tired or not feeling well then I give myself a pass to take the day off. I always think of the saying, “The only workout I regret is the one I didn’t do.”
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you so much for letting me talk about my fitness story. I know this is a bit cliche but if I can do it anyone can. I honestly believe that we all have an athlete inside of us.
I’d love to hear you comments on Aimee’s interview. And if you liked the post, don’t forget to Like/Tweet it using the buttons below. 🙂