courteney-damoreI’ve always prioritized living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Whether its playing lacrosse in the Spring or training at the gym in the off-season, I love to sweat it out and keep my body active. This summer however, I decided to switch my routine up and begin training for the BMW Dallas Marathon.

In July, I mapped out my 5-month plan to success. I started off slow. My plan was to run 3 miles every other day for 2 weeks, then merge onto my official training program with three, 4 mile sessions throughout the week and one long run on Saturdays. My first week of training happened to be my sorority’s 5K run, which was a great way to push myself with friends and start off my program to a great start. To put additional motivation on myself, I also joined the Dallas chapter of Team-in-Training. Team-in-Training is an organization that raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. They manage all race registration through their website, and even provide a team of regional coaches to run with and keep you on track to success. By December 11, race date, I have set a goal to raise $1,200.

What is also great about my training is I’ve had the opportunity to take advantage of all the trails and neighborhoods in Dallas. My favorite trail to run is the Katy Trail which begins right of campus and leads all the way downtown. On the weekends, I usually opt for a more scenic route and run the trails along the Trinity River and White Rock Lake. Growing up near the ocean, I find the lakes and rivers around Dallas the perfect substitute! Even though Dallas has a myriad of running options, the great thing about training on campus is when I have limited time, I can head over to the SMU gym. Open 6am to midnight each night, no matter my workout schedule, Dedman Rec Center will be open to accommodate my training requirements.

Today, I am in week 8 of training feel better than ever! I begin my days with the routine morning miles, then head off to class feeling awake and energized. I am stronger, more alert, and overall happier than I ever have been, even with my previous workout routine. I’ve grown to love running and am excited to finally achieve my both my personal fitness and fundraising goals this upcoming December.

-Courteney Damore