On Saturday, fiance and I ventured over the state line to St. Marys, Ga., where I ran a 5K race. Proceeds went to the local Kiwanis.

In this photo I am approaching the finish line, but I am really running for the car so we can get out of St. Marys and back on the interstate. Everyone was really friendly, but when you ask locals for breakfast recommendations and they answer with “Cracker Barrel,” run for the hills. One of the reasons I like doing races in nearby small towns is that you can usually find some out-of-the-way place to eat, a place you’d never know existed otherwise.

As for the race itself, it was definitely not my best effort. I finished in 35:30, a time that I would find embarassing, had I not put forth so little effort. That’s what, an 11:30 or 11:45 pace? I don’t know, and the truth is, I don’t really care. I did sprint to the finish, but that’s only because I’d have never lived it down if I’d been beaten by the two women twice my age who’d been breathing down my neck the whole time. I signed up for this race right after my 10K on Sept. 4, but since then, I’ve taken up with an old flame: the gym.

When I signed up for my gym membership at the end of August, it was really for cross training as I started to prepare for a half marathon — or so I thought. Then I started going to group fitness classes that somehow manage to combine cardio and strength in one sweat-soaked hour, leaving you sore for two days afterward. I gave Spinning a try and really, really love it.

My wedding gown will arrive Dec. 14, and the big day itself is fast approaching. I am going from working part time to full time, we have a new dog, and my time is precious. I don’t just love how group fitness and Spinning make me feel; I love how efficient they are. They are the most bang for your calorie-burning buck, so to speak. I’m already seeing some small changes from the classes.

Running helps me maintain my weight, but it is no longer helping me to lose weight. I would have to run up hills (which do not exist in Florida) or really pick up my pace (no) to burn the same calories I do at these classes.

 I like long runs, and I like running races. But I don’t like short runs on weekdays. For the same amount of time I put into getting ready for a weekday run, running, and then cooling down, I can go to Spinning or Body Pump and feel like I’ve genuinely worked out. When I’m running, I just feel sweaty, and then I feel hungry all day, which is not conducive to weight loss at all.  

There’s also the risk of injury. After my 10K, I could hear my knees clicking when I went up and down the stairs, and I’d think what a shame it would be to have freed my joints from their 300-pound prison, only to injure them by running. Running is really, really hard on the body.

So, I sat down and worked out a whole new exercise regimen for each week, and it does not include running. It includes Spinning, group fitness classes, and a ton of dog walking (if I ever need to get pumped to walk Hector, I’ll just re-read Rachel’s Walking > Running post).

I know how important it is to re-vamp your workout routine from time to time, and clearly it was time for a change. I put a lot of time and effort into the Couch to 5K program and training for my 10K, but my goals are very different now. My wedding dress is more motivation than any finish line.

How often do you re-vamp your exercise routines?

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