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Getty Owl 5K & 10K Race – Healthy Strides Race Series

Author: Cara Walsh

February 02, 2015

Getty Owl 5K & 10K Race – Healthy Strides Race Series

Author: Cara Walsh

February 02, 2015


Having goals along the way is an important part of any diet or weight loss plan. One of the best goals is preparing yourself to participate in a race that supports a good cause. Preparing for the race provides a good reason to keep exercising and working on your diet, and knowing that your participation in the race benefits more than just you or your weight loss is another powerful motivator to keep on going even when it gets really difficult. That is why at Medifast we have developed the Healthy Strides Race Series that encourages a healthy lifestyle and supports the advancement of health medicine. Join us at our next event, the Getty Owl 5K and 10K race on Sunday, February 22 in Sacramento at Crocker Park.

Who is the Getty Owl Organization?

Getty Owl is an organization that aims to help families affected by Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), as well as to raise funds for SMA research and raise awareness of SMA in the community. The foundation was founded by the parents of Getty, a girl who was diagnosed with SMA at just 4 months of age. The organization helps families through sharing personal experiences and tips, as well as by helping to provide supplies and equipment that are not covered under the families’ insurance plans. The foundation fundraising efforts support the SMA Gene Therapy program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital that is headed by Dr. Brian Kaspar. There is currently no cure for SMA, but Getty Owl believes that a treatment or cure can and will be developed as long as public awareness and research funding continues. One of the ways Getty Owl raises awareness is by holding the now 4th annual ¼ mile kids run, 5K, 10K race.

What is Spinal Muscular Atrophy?

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a neurological disorder that causes extreme muscle weakness. The condition is genetic and occurs approximately once in every 6,000 births. SMA is the most common cause of a genetic-related death in children under the age of 2 years old. The majority of children with SMA do not live past this age. The muscle weakness they experience is so severe that the children face difficulty swallowing and breathing. SMA does not affect the child’s cognitive abilities or functioning.

Preparing For the Getty Owl Run/Walk Race

  • Come up with a plan – The great thing about training for a race is that every workout has a specific purpose and is getting you one step closer to accomplishing an amazing goal. However, to make each workout count the way it should, you need to do some planning so that you know that you will be ready by race day.
  • Build up your endurance gently – Being able to run for long distances takes endurance training, and when preparing for a 5K or 10K race your body needs lots of time to recover between long runs. Trying to run a 10K on your first day of training to see how you do is a dangerous and generally unproductive idea. If your muscles are not accustomed to running long distances, start with a mile or half mile run and work your way up from there.
  • Train with a friend – Running with a friend can help you to run more consistently and, probably related to consistency, can help you to run longer distances than individuals who train on their own. Social accountability and responsibility can give you the motivation needed to wake up early on a Saturday to continue your training.
  • Prepare mentally – Preparing your muscles is only half of the battle. The other half is preparing your mind. This is important during training and during the actual race. Part of learning to love running is telling yourself that you love running and telling yourself that you can do what you have never been able to do before. The other side of the mental game is about holding back when you need to. Many runners get anxious as the race day approaches and want to get in as much practice as possible. This backfires when the race day comes and the runner’s muscles have not had time to recover from his or her last long run. Pacing yourself during the race is also vital. If you start the race running as fast as you can, you are going to run out of steam pretty quickly.

About the Author:

Cara Walsh
Counselor at The Carmel Mountain Ranch Medifast Weight Control Center
Cara Walsh is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Weight Control Counselor. Cara received her bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Science from San Diego State University and completed her dietetic internship to become a registered dietitian through the Utah State University. Cara is currently completing her Masters in Dietetic Administration through Utah State University. Cara has always had a passion for healthy eating and cooking. She loves to focus on how food can heal and provide nutrition-while tasting delicious. Cara thrives on helping others reach their full potential nutritionally. In her spare time she enjoys reading, going to Pilates and running the boardwalk on the Pacific Ocean with her son and husband.

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