I did it! I really did it!
I ran my first 5K – ever!
My goal was to run the whole way through and I did! No walking, not once. And I had fun too.
Here are a few thoughts to share from my first 5K experience:
~ It was a very enjoyable run, the weather was beautiful, mid-60’s, no wind (for once in Kansas!), not too sunny, muggy, or foggy. Just right.
~ The course goes through a quaint older neighborhood with beautiful houses and giant Oaks and Maples all the way through. Residents sat on their front porches or came down to the street corners to cheer us all on, it felt like a real community.
~ I’ve been running for a while but it’s been a long time since I’ve run more than a mile or maybe two if I’m not feeling too lazy. I’ve been content with running a nice and easy mile and calling it good. In the past, I’ve participated in a few other shorter (2 mile) road races and ran in my high school two-mile cross-country races but haven’t had a desire to try for more. Then, a few months ago, the idea of running a 5K started simmering around in my head.
~ I have to admit, whenever I’ve seen others post their 5K selfies on social media I’ve thought, “Oh that’s nice, good for them,” but I held myself back from even thinking about trying it myself. I didn’t want to let myself think about trying something I didn’t think I could do. Protect yourself from disappointment by keeping your bar real, real low.
Then I realized that by not setting higher goals, I wasn’t really protecting myself from disappointment – I was blocking myself from growth.
~ I made the decision to see if I could run 3 miles straight through – and I could. That day, a week before the race, I signed myself up for my first 5K race!
~ Obviously, I didn’t spend a whole lot of dedicated training time before the race so my goal was very simple: Run the whole thing without walking. Endurance first, speed second.
~ I put my endurance goal above my speed goal so I feel like I probably could have gone faster but I didn’t want to go too fast and end up tiring out and walking. I was hoping to finish in 35 minutes (based on my usual comfortable 11- 12 minute mile pace) but guessed I would probably come in closer to 38 since it would be a new course to me with some hills – different than my usual flat track or treadmill running. I crossed the finish line right at 38:04!
~ At the last minute, my phone didn’t work so I ran “unplugged” and even my stopwatch failed me and reset after 28 minutes, leaving me completely clueless to what my pace was. Though I did get to enjoy hearing the sounds and taking in the scene and the atmosphere of the course better because I was unplugged, the course was poorly marked and no one was there to tell me if I was at the 1 or .5 mile left-to-go point so I didn’t know when I should start picking the pace up.
~ Now I know I’ll definitely make sure my phone is set up ahead of time or see if I can find an affordable gps watch that I can easily look down and see my pace as I go along. Any tips?
~ A friend of mine warned me 5Ks are addictive and now I see why! Once I finished my first I couldn’t wait to try it again! Just not on the same day. 😉
I have so much more I’d like to write about running, exercise and how it relates to deeper things like life and faith and God. Until another time…