Sara Bown: Spring Update and Virtual 5Ks

Reader Sara Bown is staying motivated for her half-marathon training with virtual 5Ks.

Here we are, almost May, and the snow on our property here in New Brunswick, Canada, is almost gone. I am just waiting for one of my favorite nights of the year: the first night I hear the frogs. I love sitting outside at night, or in our sun room after dark, and listening to the magnificent song they sing. It reminds me of why I love living in the country, and it’s a promise of all the beauty the warm months will hold.

SaraBown_springIn waiting for those first signs of spring, I experienced a wonderful first last week: Getting in our first 5K as a family of five. With the snow off the sidewalks allowing us to use the baby carriage, the walk felt amazing after a very long winter and having had our third son in November. There I was, walking with my husband and boys, who are 12, 8, and 5 months. It felt wonderful being able to lace up my Mizunos and get some miles in, and it was great practice for my virtual 5K that we participated in just a couple days later.

What virtual 5K? I started hosting a virtual 5K through my Facebook page as a way for everyone, from all over the world, to participate and stay motivated in their fitness goals. Every month I come up with a date for our 5K and no matter your location, shape, or size, you can get involved and participate. You can run/walk it on the road, or on the treadmill — the idea is to get moving. Many people shared with me that they started by walking in 2012 and are now running strong.

Don’t think you can accomplish a 5K? You may be surprised. Even if you don’t finish, it’s a wonderful feeling to try and do your best!

Sara’s virtual 5Ks include a race bib and support from a community of over 700 participants.

As participation grew, I was able to gain sponsors and offer prizes: Currently there are three official prize winners per month, with prizes graciously provided by Mizuno, Clif Bar, and Lola Getts Active. I do want to stress, however, that each participant wins, as we all accomplish a 5K as a team from all over the world. The virtual 5K is absolutely free to join, and participants will be joining a great community of over 700 health-motivated people. (If you would like to get involved, please send me an e-mail at or find more here.)

Each day I can barely believe how blessed we are as parents with our three amazing boys, and I also realize now more than ever how important healthy living truly is. As parents, we teach our children with all of our actions. We teach them with what we do, and also by what we don’t do. So living our best and healthiest is part of daily life.

Now that Andrew is 5 months old, I am getting back into pre-pregnancy shape, and working on surpassing my previous health and fitness level. I know one thing: When it comes to running, I have a lot of training ahead of me to be able to participate in my second half-marathon come October 2014, but I’m excited about the continued training and progress.

One thing I learned to do when I began to make life-lasting changes at the end of 2011 was to really love the journey, and not view it as a diet or work. To love the process, because the process is my life. It’s family memories, and time we are blessed with that should be cherished and lived to the fullest. So every day I am getting stronger physically, and every day my goal is to live with no regrets, as we just never know how much time we have. I intend to rock every moment with the ones I love.

I hope you had an amazing April, and wishing us ALL a fabulous May — maybe one where you rock major miles in a 5K or our virtual 5K.

Sara Bown is a certified life coach in New Brunswick, Canada. Her success story appeared in the May 2013 issue of Experience Life. She hosts virtual 5Ks through her site and Facebook page, and is currently hosting an 11-week health-makeover challenge. Find more info on the challenge here.

Share your thoughts: Join the conversation (1 comment)