This is a photo of my best friend, Laura, and I before we ran a 5K on Sunday. It was my first 5K.
Don’t we look cute?
This is a photo of us mere minutes before we started to run. I am on the right with a bow on the top of my head. Laura has the braids.
In August, I revealed I was beginning a training for a 5k (read here: Millions Have Moved From This Couch to Become 5K Distance Runners).
I decided that my first 5K should involve beer and pretzels and found a wonderful one in Boston called Ocktoberfest 5K. They encouraged you to wear costumes and we are dressed as German Beer Goddesses (in case you are wondering).
This was the first time I have ever run in a “race” and only the third time I had attempted the 3.11 miles (5k) distance while running. I am a pretty good walker.
What can I tell you? I can say that I found it SO exciting to be surrounded by other like-minded healthy people on a beautiful morning in the crisp air of fall. The energy was infectious and the silly costumes made it even more fun.
The race started and I turned on my Nike+ app so I would know how far I was travelling and at what speed. I was concerned that running with a crowd would cause me to speed up and then I would have to walk to catch my breath.
My goal for this face was to run it without having to walk at all – which I thought was doable.
The WORST part of running with a crowd is that if you are a slow runner (like a tortoise pace) and you pick a race with many 20 year olds (Boston is filled with college students) you will have a ton of people passing you. I HATED all the people passing me.
At Mile ONE, a funny thing happened – these same speedy college students started to walk! What? So, I cruised my slow pace right on by a few of them. Ha! (then they passed me again)
I kept listening to my tunes and focusing on my pace – and then voila, I was a mere .05 miles from finishing! I thought I saw the finish line so I checked my internal tank – and decided to sprint the last section.
Yes, I thought it would be fun to dust the five or so college students in front of me. Turns out the finish line was farther than I thought and then (crazy) I kept speeding up.
After crossing the finish line, I felt my peanut butter sandwich hit the back of my throat as I ALMOST puked in front of like 1000 people.
I staggered toward a quiet spot in the hopes that I would get away before I tossed my cookies all over someone’s favorite Nikes. I made it away from the crowd and got it together.
Then, the good part started!
The after-5K-party was a blast with lots of beer and pretzels.
What did I learn? First, you can run 5K (finished in 36:32) and live to talk about it. Second, do not decide to be a hero and sprint if you are a beginner. Third, hanging out with your best friend should happen more often.
Finally, moving toward a fitness goal (with or without a glistening cup of beer as a reward) can be inspiring. I am in getting in better and better shape and now have signed up for 2 more 5ks – one a Halloween run (more costumes!) and a Christmas themed one (knitted caps anyone?).
Have you worked toward a fitness goal? What works for you?
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