Sheri Salata, one of Oprah's workout partners, chronicles the ups and downs of staying motivated and preparing for a half marathon with the Spa Girls.
It's Thursday
Oprah, Ellen, Harriet, Lisa E., Lisa H. and I are sitting around a table in the conference room chatting nervously. We are about to make a huge decision, and Oprah has insisted we hold a group vote—fair and square. We are stalling.

In front of each of us is a secret ballot. We all have identical pens. To avoid undue pressure, we will remain cloaked in anonymity. Oprah has agreed to fill out a ballot for her best friend, Gayle. (That vote will be a resounding nay; Gayle has made no bones about it.)

The issue at hand is whether our workout group of seven women (a.k.a. the Spa Girls) will continue to train for the America's Finest City Half Marathon in San Diego, which we found out we were running while watching our boss and head Spa Girl, Oprah, on The Rosie O'Donnell Show. In the midst of their banter (I swear it was like slow motion), we heard Oprah say the following to Rosie: "I work out every day with the Spa Girls, and we are going to run a half marathon." Just like that, in front of millions! To this very day, she doesn't think it was her idea, but nobody else in our little workout club made that claim on national television. This is what that one conversation has meant for us.

In the beginning
During the past year, we Spa Girls have literally dragged ourselves out of bed six days a week at 5 a.m. to work out or run.

We probably would have been quite content dillydallying around, resting on our laurels, but the big race has changed all that. We now work from an 18-week training calendar prepared by our friend and Oprah's former personal trainer, Bob Greene.

Two months in—and tired of it
For the past two months, we have followed the plan pretty religiously, pushing our bleary-eyed selves and one another, and we are just plain sick of it. Our resolve is wobbly. One nagging question hovers over our workouts like a storm cloud. Can we do this? More important, do we even want to run this race anymore?

Thus, the dreaded vote. Around the table, our faces register neutrality. Harriet, our Spa Girl secretary, slowly opens each ballot. I tally the results. Yes. Yes. No. No. Yes. No. (Deep breath.) Yes. Four to three. There it is. Four votes: Yes, let's do it. Three votes: No, are we nuts? Not a landslide for the we-can-do-it coalition, but each Spa Girl has agreed to abide by the final count. Majority rules. We will continue to train.


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