Relay For Life

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I am a little behind but I wanted to share something neat that my son and I participated in this weekend.  On Saturday night around 10pm we headed down to my gym, Koko Fit Club – Scottsdale, to spend some time on the treadmills and elliptical trainers.  For every 15 minutes on the equipment, we earn “Koko points” and we update this information via a kiosk in the gym to the internet.  The corporate Koko Fit Club was challenging all the clubs nationwide to earn 5 million Koko points over a 24 hour period (Saturday 8AM – Sunday 8AM) in support of the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life.   My son loves to run on treadmills so this seemed like a fun thing to take him to – plus it was really late and that ups the “cool” factor for a 12 year old.  Anyway, we got IMG_3557started on the available machines – there were actually quite a few people trickling in, even at 11pm, so we had to take turns working out.  I ran the whole time on the treadmills.  I had planned on walking but I guess I am so used to running now, I just did that.  I did about 3 miles then switched to the elliptical for 30 minutes.  We were only planning on staying until about 11pm but since we had some delays in getting on the equipment, it stretched out longer and longer.  Around 11:30 pm it occurred to me that if I stayed until midnight and did one more mile, I could call that my “streak mile” for Sunday and be done exercising until Monday 🙂  Brilliant.  So, that is what I did.  At 11:59 I was in position on the treadmill and at midnight I ran mile #4 (but mile #1 on Sunday).  I’m pretty sure that is the most mileage I have ever done at one time.  I’ve done quite a few 5K’s in my life but that is just over 3 miles.  I can’t remember ever running more than that.  So, that was a pretty big accomplishment.  The cool thing was that the more I ran, the faster I got.  My 4th mile was probably the fastest of the night.  Good to know.  By the time we left, it was close to 12:30 and I was starting to feel the workout.  Boy, did I sleep good that night!

It was such a simple thing to do.  There was a poster that we could write sort of a “dedication” to why or who we were exercising for – what the Relay for Life meant to us IMG_3548personally.  After every mile I stopped to update my Koko key and took a minute to dedicate the mile to someone in my life who has fought cancer or is currently fighting.  That was very motivating.  All of us at the gym that night have been affected by someone battling cancer.  It was a cool experience and I’m glad my son was there for it.

Also, towards the end of the evening, Dave, the owner of the gym said to me “Would you ever have believed just one year ago that you would be 100 pounds lighter and here at the gym running mile after mile at midnight?”  He is one of my biggest cheerleaders.  He has watched me attempting to build up my endurance, even at my heaviest weight.  He watched me struggle to run even one minute at a time.  And, here I was, at midnight, cranking out almost an 11 minute mile on the treadmill next to IMG_3539him.  Wow, I sure have come a long way.  I was sure there was something wrong with my heart and/or lungs when I started.  I do think the inhaler has helped some but just working at it little by (very) little has really paid off.  Still a long way to go … but today my doctor even called me “a runner”.  Wow.  Really?  Maybe I am.

IMG_3534So, “Koko Nation” as we are referred to, did not quite get the 5 million points but they did make a sizeable donation to the American Cancer Society.  More importantly, the participation was up more than 180% from last year (I did this last year but I was in the gym all by myself at 9pm).  And our Koko Fit Club franchise had the highest number of points in the whole country.  We have bragging rights!  We collectively earned over 160,000 Koko points to be THE TOP CLUB IN THE SYSTEM! That equates to over 320 (15 minute) cardio sessions in 24 hours!   Pretty cool.  I wish I could have stayed with the “graveyard shift” all night but with my husband being up north, I didn’t feel comfortable leaving the kids alone for that long.  Some of the guys stayed on the treadmill from 10PM to 5AM – I’m already planning to do that next year!

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