In Sunday’s issue of Her Times magazine (in home delivered issues of the Erie Times-News), I interviewed two women who have pledged to lose 50 lbs. each (a combined total of 100 lbs.) by this year’s Her Times 5K. They’re well on their way with each of them having lost 30 lbs. already!
Get Ready to Run the Her Times 5KBy Heather Cass
Cassy Frey and Lacey Ziegler, both 30, have 75 miles between them, but you’d never know it. Frey, who lives in Corry, and Ziegler, who lives in Jefferson, Ohio, talk four to five times a day. They met their freshman year at Thiel College and have been close friends — in heart, if not distance — ever since.
Right now, the two are working on common goals: Each wants to lose 50 pounds and jog the entire 3.1 miles of the Her Times 5K on Oct. 5. They are well on their way to the finish line of both. They have each lost 35 pounds and are running three days a week.
I first heard from Ziegler in February when she sent me an e-mail to ask if they could have their lucky numbers — 27 for Ziegler and 17 for Frey — on their race bibs if they achieved their weight-loss goal.
I agreed and asked if I could share their inspirational story with readers.
Q. What is your goal for the 2013 Her Times 5K?
Ziegler: To run the entire race. We missed the Her Times 5K in 2011, as we were both pregnant, and last year we mostly walked, so it would be an accomplishment to jog the whole 3.1 miles.
Frey: And, if we reach the 50-pound weight loss before this year’s race (and we will!), we’ll be rewarded with our lucky numbers on our race bibs.
Q. How do you keep each other accountable?
Ziegler: We chat every day and share our struggles and successes and encourage each other to stay active every day.
Frey: We remind each other daily of the Her Times 5K countdown. And once a month we try to send each other care packages with motivational phrases, healthy snacks and even smaller clothes! We also plan monthly fitness get-togethers in Erie, it’s a nice halfway point for us.
Q. What have you been doing to lose weight?
Ziegler: I go to the gym six days a week and do cardio machines and various classes. They have free baby-sitting for my 16-month-old daughter, so we have a routine of going every day. It’s become our lifestyle.
Frey: I load my kids in the double stroller,and we walk every day. On a good day we cover 4 miles. People don’t realize the power of walking. Then, later in the evening, I jog in my local church parking lot.
Q. How did you get started running?
Frey: I had just had my second child and was at my heaviest weight. My husband and I decided to invest in a treadmill to avoid my fear of working out in public. The first time I got on it, I could barely go two minutes. But I gradually worked my way up. I did my first 5K in the fall of 2009.
Ziegler: My first 5K was in Cleveland in 2008. Then I learned about the Her Times 5K for women. Cassy and I started doing it together every year. We just love it.
Q. You’re both busy moms. Why is it important for you to fit exercise into your life?
Ziegler: It gives me time to think. Also, I’ve been heavy since I was 12, and I know I have to make fitness a part of my life every day to stay healthy.
Frey: It’s my time. Being a mother of three, it’s sometimes the only time I can think and process my thoughts. My children deserve a healthy, happy mother. Investing this time in my own health teaches them good habits.
Q .Why do you enjoy running?
Frey: It’s an activity that grows with you — you can gradually increase your goals (time or distance) little by little. And anyone can do it.
Q. What is your ultimate goal?
Ziegler: I want to get down to 150 pounds, which would be a total loss of 105 pounds, and I want to develop the mindset of a healthy person.
Frey: To stay motivated and improve my quality of life by developing healthier habits. It’s easy to start losing weight, but it’s hard to maintain. So my goal is to stay motivated.
Q. What advice do you have for other women like you?
Frey: The Her Times 5K is a great race to do because there are both runners and walkers. There’s no better time to start than right now. Just take it one goal at a time. Accomplish one goal and move on to the next. You’d be surprised the things you can do.
The Her Times 5K, a 3.1-mile run/walk for women, will take place at 8 a.m. in front of the Rotary Pavilion at Presque Isle State Park on Oct. 5. Cost is $17 if you register by Sept. 20. Register online at www.bigwhitetrailer.com/Races/HerTimes (case sensitive). Bring the kids. We’ll have free baby-sitting during the 5K and kids races after.
Free 5K training
Best Fitness has partnered with the Her Times 5K to offer a free couch-to-5K program for women. It kicks off on July 13 at 7:45 a.m. at Beach 1 at Presque Isle State Park. Runners will meet for an hour every Saturday for the 12 weeks leading up to the Her Times 5K on Oct. 5. Participants will receive a free T-shirt, instruction and special Her Times 5K insider perks. After the run training, Best Fitness will be offering a free yoga class (for men and women) at 9 a.m., also on Beach 1.