My First 5k

A few weeks ago, I ran my first 5k. I hate running, I have always hated running, but I wish I was a runner. I made the unfortunate mistake of mentioning this to a runner friend of mine. He has been on me for the last two months about getting out and running and to sign up for a 5k. In an effort to make him leave me alone, I finally signed up and began running several days per week. I prefer to run on a treadmill because it’s easier, but I knew the 5k was going to be outside. Therefore, while training I ran outside one or two days per week. Another two or three days per week, I would run on the treadmill. On the other days, I either walked, did the elliptical, or rested. I loved having low impact days because I have an old knee injury that would sometimes nag at me. Rest days were also very important, especially in the beginning or when I upped my mileage. My muscles were definitely sore. To recover and build my muscles, I made sleep a priority. The body needs to recharge, so giving myself some rest was vital.

I preferred to run in the mornings, so whatever I ate for dinner the night before was my fuel. I stayed away from fried foods and simple carbs which made me feel heavy and a little sick. I also didn’t eat just a boring lettuce salad. If I did, I wouldn’t have enough calories to go as far as I needed to. Delicious complex carbs and protein is what I stuck with. I also included healthy plant fats and vegetables. On the off chance I didn’t get enough food, or the right food, the night before, I would grab a bit of fruit for some energy. A few grapes or a glass of orange juice gave me enough energy for the run.

On my first run I couldn’t do .6 miles without burning out. But I ran 3.1 miles in 33:33. I was very nervous on race day. I arrived early to give myself plenty of time to work myself into a tizzy then calm down and focus on the task at hand. I picked up my packet, got my t-shirt, and pinned my on bib. When pinning, I read the instructions. Mine said it had to be on the front of the body, facing out, right side up. I warmed up using dynamic stretching and smiled at all the cute kids and dogs running around. I also recommend you check out the tents and jam to the music being played to help get you hyped. I didn’t, but I was there alone and too embarrassed to let loose.

When it comes to lining up, I chose the middle. I’m not an expert runner, nor am I complete beginner. I kept my muscles loose so when the race started, my legs were ready. Like most first timers, I went too fast in the beginning and I didn’t rehydrate at the station. I would say those are my two biggest mistakes. Another observation of myself and my personality that I will take into my next race, is I don’t determine the weather or the trail. There were small hills and it was very windy. I let these environmental factors slow me down, when I should have persevered. I was pleased to see the finish line and I pushed myself to finish strong. Tip: when you finish it is good to walk around a bit to let your muscles cool down. Oh and a tip I didn’t know I needed was to remember where you park. I walked around for about as long as my race because I couldn’t find my car in the parking garage.

After the race and I returned home, I ate…a lot…of carbs. I enjoyed my race and I was very proud of myself. I’m also pleased to say my running accountability partner was proud of me, too. So proud in fact, I have just signed up for my first 10k at his insistence. I’m nervous because it’s longer, in the city, and there will be a lot of people there. But I’m going to start training tomorrow and will be ready come race day!

I Hate Running

I want to be a fit chick, but I hate to run. Is it a prerequisite for all fit chicks to be marathon running, yogis? I have the yoga thing, but the running is such a drag! I’ve always wished I were a runner, runners have such great legs. I have…had dancers legs. They’re fine but they tend to be a bit more bulky and less lean. I’d like to have lean, strong legs. So I’ve decided to try running. A couple people at work are runners and they swear by it! They love it, and run several days a week, one runs everyday. After talking with one of them, he said the running isn’t so much fun but the feeling afterward is what you run for. The high you get from all that endorphin rich blood in the brain, I guess is worth the torture. He is pushing me to do a 5k in a couple weeks, but I’m not ready. I can’t run 3 straight miles. I can run 1 straight mile, which I am very proud of. I found this running article that said if you followed their plan for 30 days you would fall in love with running after two weeks. I made it the two weeks–I still hate running. I am surprised by my improvements though. On my first day I was able to run .6 miles, by day seven I was able to run a full mile. I say run, I mean a REALLY slow jog, like turtles on beach slow. Slow and steady wins the race right? I looked at the 5k times from last year for the race my co-worker recommended, and people were finishing them in less than 30 minutes. It takes me 12 minutes to do one mile! I don’t yet have my confidence, and I haven’t been running in a few days. I’m calling it the weather, but I think it’s more my loathing attitude toward the activity.

I guess sometimes you gotta do what you don’t wanna do, right?