5k Races, Emotions and Pride in Accoumplishments

5k And Training Where I Am

There was a point in time when I could grab my headphones and run for nine miles. I was training for a half marathon with one of my best friends. After I had stopped swimming in high school, I needed some other form of cardio. I was a little different than my fellow swimmers; I loved running. I needed convincing at first; my strength and conditioning coach related it to swimming with a breathing pattern. She asked me to go running with her on weekends, and really was an inspiration for me. I can honestly say, I never would be where I am today without her influence. Anyhoo, after high school, I couldn’t bring myself to swim. I felt that I was betraying my team if I swam with anyone else. For me, swimming was always social. I loved my team like family. Without them, I couldn’t possibly swim. So I picked up running. Freshman year, I ran a lot. I was terrified of gaining the freshman fifteen (I actually ended up losing five pounds; granted, it was probably all muscle but still :P) so with amazing willpower--which I wish I still had today--I worked out at least once a day and ran like crazy. I realized that finding a sport or workout regime that you like is pivotal to long-term success.

The Almost Half-Marathon

It wasn’t until my sophomore year when my best friend at the time convinced me I should run a half marathon with her. I was on board. I had just acquired new running shoes and was ready to dive into a new goal. I got really close to running a half. The farthest I ended up running was nine miles. I had a 2.4 mile loop near campus, and I would run around that until I made it to nine miles. To this day, I don’t understand how I was able to fight the boredom with running in a loop :P. Four weeks before the race, my friend bailed on me. I stopped all my training. I didn’t want to run the race alone, and so I just stopped. Disappointment set in, but it wasn’t enough to propel me to continue with running.
Fast forward a few years, and here I am struggling with my weight, size and body image. After transitioning into work, I have found it difficult to eat healthy and exercise while still putting in extra hours and meeting our tight deadlines. I know these aren’t excuses. There are plenty of examples of moms taking care of kids, working and staying fit. My priorities just have not been where they need to be for me to see results. I’ve had a new roommie move in, and she is all on board for running a half marathon in October. And this marathon happens to be the exact same marathon I was supposed to run almost five years ago! I could not be any more excited. I have gathered a group of humans together at work. We keep each other accountable and have created a plan that we can all follow. Having a reliable group of accountability buddies is imperative to me keeping on track of my goals. It is important that your buddies are willing to push you farther and harder than you would on your own.

After The 5k on the Left and Before Picture on Right.  

Half Marathon Training Round 2

We decided that we probably should run at least one race before we venture on to do the 13.1 miles of a half. We found a 5k, and all signed up. We ran it this weekend, and it was incredible. I always love races. The energy from all the people fill me. Their cheers and encouragements to me and each other fuel my hunger for the race. Races always bring up emotions bubbling to the surface. We as a group of people--who don’t know each other, aren’t friends, come from different backgrounds, have different political beliefs--we all run together, encourage each other and lift each other up. It gets me Every. Single. Time. So there I was rounding the last corner of this 5k, tearing up. This isn’t my first 5k; this isn’t the longest distance I’ve run, but the humans around me are causing tears to well up out of my eyes. I always sprint the last little bit of any run I do. It reminds me of that movie Racing Stripes with Frankie Munez as a Zebra who wants to run in the Kentucky Derby like the thoroughbreds, and his crochety coach would say, “Don’t look back leave it all on the track”. That quote always goes through my head as I race across that finish line. At the end, I met up with my friends; we high-fived, and then headed to brunch. The 5k was important an important intermediate goal. Completing the 5k has given me more confidence in completing the 10k, and then of course the half-marathon. These intermediate goals will give me baby steps to complete while also helping me work towards the larger goal.

Running Itch and Race Excitement
This race was so important. It gave me the hunger and itch to keep running. It gave a purpose for the training that I’ve done, and it reinvigorated my desire to eat right, train right and improve my health. I’m excited for my next race! My final advice, find a running plan you can stick with!

Comment below about your first race/favorite race! Do you feel any emotions while running?