Fit Together  Monday, February 25, 2008 | 12:34 p.m. CST

Cindi Heese and Linda LaFountaine
By Megan McCalla

Names: Linda LaFontaine, 56, and Cindi Heese, 43
Workout: Running five miles a day (Cindi usually does a few more) on trails and roads around their Rock Bridge homes
Diet: Eating healthy, although desserts are not totally banned
Started: 10 years ago, after Cindi came back from Arizona
Payoff: Staying healthy “so we can eat the desserts,” Cindi says
Advice: “It’s a good thing to have a running partner. Find someone compatible. It keeps you motivated and consistent so you stay with it,” Linda says
For the past 10 years, Linda LaFontaine and Cindi Heese have started almost each day with a 45-minute run.
Waking up by 5 a.m. and running five or more miles a day is all part of their daily routine.
“We usually skip one day a week, Sundays usually,” Linda said.
Yet they don’t seem to mind waking up that early for a daily workout.
“It’s a jump-start to the day,” Cindi said.
The running partners met when Linda was director of the day care center where Cindi took her children.
They began running together and training for road races. Now they stick to running for exercise.
Although the weather can get nasty in Columbia during winter, they brave the elements.
“We won’t go if I can’t get out of my driveway, Linda said. “But that’s the only time we don’t run together.”
Cindi added: “Rain, snow, whatever.”
They run on treadmills only as a last resort, preferring to run outside.
“We belonged to the same gym for a while, but my membership expired, and I didn’t feel the need to renew it,” Linda said.
The two have become close as running partners and friends over the past decade.
“No one knows more about my life than Cindi,” Linda said. “We do talk while we run. We cover kids, job stuff, family, politics, movies, medical things, aging parents. You name it, we’ve discussed (it) while we run.”
Both cite benefits from running with each other, especially the motivation to get up and moving.
“Having a running partner definitely keeps me going. It keeps me accountable. I try harder,” Linda said.
“And I do depend on her. When she’s out of town, I don’t get up and run. That’s the proof.”

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