13.1 Miles in Glory Active
Let me begin by saying that I am not a runner. I am not even a borderline athlete. Of all the sports available to play in high school, I chose French Horn. Sedentary is my favorite kind of lifestyle. I am convinced that the concept of a runner’s high is a conspiracy theory, because the only high I’ve experienced is shoveling a guilt-free high-calorie meal down my gullet after running.
That said, I am not getting any younger, and apparently exercise is an important part of staying healthy as you age. Unfortunately for me, unless there is a high risk of very extreme, very public failure at some point, my hatred of exercise is so great and my willpower so small that I just can’t stick to a consistent workout routine. This is where the half marathon comes in: the $100 registration fee coupled with the fear of face-planting or having to walk in front of thousands of spectators keeps me sufficiently terrified enough to stick to my training plan.
If you’re thinking, “I can do it if she can do it!” then you’ve never been more right. If you’re thinking, “I want to know her exact routine because it’s probably great!” then allow me to encourage you to check yourself before you wreck yourself because I have no idea what I’m doing. But here’s my step-by-step routine anyway:
Execute 12 week training program found through the power of Google (2 short & 1 long run each week).
Run race. Goals are: (1) don’t walk and (2) don’t die, in that order.
Cross finish line. Swear off running forever.
Take 9 months off, during which period no running occurs unless an ice cream truck is involved.
Start all over again the next year. You will have retained exactly 0% of your progress from the prior year. You will start over at 1 mile and think, “Not only will I never be able to run 13 miles in 12 weeks, I don’t think I ever have. It must have been a hallucination.”
I would not recommend this exercise ‘routine’ to anyone else, nor would a doctor, but this is my truth and I share it with you.
As terrible as I am at this, both years I’ve run the half it has amazed me what my body can learn to do by just sticking with the training plan. This year I finished in 1:59:37, shaving a whopping 14 seconds off of my time from last year (I’m nothing if not consistent). I attribute that 0:14 burst of speed to my high performance apparel this year: specifically, the beautiful tank my sweet friend JoAnna sent me from the clothing line she started!
JoAnna and I met several years ago on a sunset cruise around San Juan, Puerto Rico. I’m not sure what the odds are of meeting another Oklahoma girl on a 6-person sailboat in the middle of the Caribbean, but probably about the same as running into a colleague at the Pantheon in Rome (which I’ve also done- I have an odd knack for this kind of thing). Anyway, as fate would have it, Noah and I hit it off with JoAnna and her brother Jon and spent our romantic evening sunset cruising and eating dinner with our new pals. We’ve kept in touch, and since then I learned that JoAnna started Glory Active- a Christian faith-inspired active wear line for women that I’d like to highlight.
I am constantly impressed by the creativity and ingenuity of people, but I reserve a special level of awe for those who summon the courage to go out on their own and start a company from the ground up; JoAnna is one of those people. After spending years marketing a wide variety of products for different companies, she reached a point where she needed a change and craved a career doing something she was passionate about. When I told her how brave I thought she was, JoAnna laughed and said, “I really wanted to ignore the idea in my head because it was so scary, but I just couldn’t let it go.” Her idea, combining quality women’s athletic apparel with faith-inspired messages of affirmation, went live in 2017. JoAnna hand-selects the apparel, chooses the Bible verses, oversees the design process, and has even been known to press some of the designs herself. What started with just a few items has grown into a full-fledged athletic apparel company, complete with everything from tennis shoes to skorts.
What I love about my Glory Active tank, and everything that JoAnna has carefully designed, is that they provide constant reminders of a woman’s strength and value from God’s view. As discussed above, there are few things more humbling for me than exercising (am I doing this right? Is that body part supposed to jiggle? Is everyone staring at me and silently judging me?). The affirmation that “I can do all things” or “He makes no mistakes” is surprisingly effective at reminding me that all I need to worry about is taking good care of the vessel I was entrusted with. It also doesn’t hurt that the Glory Active designs are feminine and understated, and printed on high quality, comfortable apparel for the 98.7% of our lives where it’s now socially acceptable to wear athletic apparel with or without any intent to engage in actual physical fitness the times you need to run a few errands on the way to the gym. Plus- should that ice cream truck happen to drive by, you’re prepared!
The very best part of JoAnna’s company, though (and JoAnna herself, for that matter) is that she donates a portion of all of her proceeds to charities benefiting under-served women and children. When I asked her what her goal for this company is, her immediate response was to be able to give jobs to women who struggle with employability due to disabilities or other personal challenges. Eat your heart out, Lululemon- this is the kind of company I want to support. If you agree, you can learn more about the company and browse all of JoAnna’s lovely designs at the Glory Active website.
Here are a few of my other favorites: