Journey to becoming Army Fit

drink water during the day on the warm daysWeek 5

Texas weather can be a challenge to beginning runners.  Since the new year, we’ve had very cold days followed quickly by warm days in the 70s and 80s. Cold and hot temperatures take a little more planning and preparation.  We learned the hard way that you have to drink water during the day on the warm days because it's too late to try and hydrate once you begin to run. 

When we run this week in the warm weather, both of us comment that we have a tough time swallowing because we are so parched and did not drink enough water.  We also have the pleasure of running with colleagues CPT Wayne Marrs and Amy Cowan. Their speed is quicker than our speed so (of course) we pick up our pace, only to be heaving and gasping for air and wanting water at the end of the two miles. We feel proud of ourselves for not quitting, and even prouder when we see that we took a minute off of our run time.

As for the pushups and sit ups, both of us are plodding along.  Tracy has found that having her 15-year-old sonhold her feet while doing her situps and saying, “Come on Mom, you can do a few more!”  helps her keep going and crank out a couple more.  Thanks to his coaching she is up to 18 situps.  Courtney's pushups look strong and she is able to have parallel arms on many of them.  She too is able to do 18 sit-ups.  That's only 14 short of her goal of 32.  

Physical Fitness Tips (learned the hard way):

•    Drink plenty of water throughout the day.  Recommended is 64 ounces. (Tracy finds that adding electrolytes by drinking coconut water or Emergenc-C Electro Mix packets mixed in water seem to help with cramping).
•    Running with people faster than you can motivate you to pick up your pace. 
•    Asking family members to help you makes the challenge of exercise more enjoyable.   
•    Having a goal about three months out helps keep up motivation when your body aches from the new activity and you just want to sit and watch TV.  For example, set a goal to participate in a 5K race. Make sure you pay for the race and get the T-shirt and the packet to remind you to keep training.  Old Race Rule- you can't wear the shirt until you run the race. 

Mental Fitness Tips: 

•    "For mild depression, physical activity can be as good as antidepressants or psychological treatments like cognitive behavioural therapy.”
•    “In some areas in the UK, GPs (family doctors) can prescribe exercise”.
•    “Exercise can also help you to cope better by improving how you feel about yourself and getting you together with other people”. 

from: Royal College of Psychiatrists (

Commentary by Courtney J. Lynch and Tracy K. Ward, Psychological Health Coordinators