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First 5K!

Okay, I had my first "official" 5K last night. I was planning on walking the entire time, but actually got some running (okay... jogging!) in. Even two 10-minute segments! I finished at 38:19. I am going to start training for a 5K in September on May 8th. And this time, I'm going to run (okay...maybe jog) the entire thing.

Anyway, I can't believe how amazing I felt when I finished and the feelings while being out there in the race. You feel comaderie with those around you and a sense of achievement and a sense of competition. Not to mention a burning face and throbbing calves and in-grown toenail pain. :<) And man, warm water never tasted so good (mid-race.)

All I can say is that I'm hooked, and happy to be here!


Fri. Apr 28, 8:40am

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Awesome. I'm running a 5k tonight, and this post is getting me pumped!


Friday, April 28, 2006, 9:10 AM

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I am going to run my first 5K (since high school) on Saturday. Thanks for posting this, it really gives me encouragement.

Friday, April 28, 2006, 9:29 AM

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Congrats on getting hooked on running! Good for you! I ran my first 5km roiad race with my brother last month. It was great!

Sunday, April 30, 2006, 8:43 PM

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OP here... Just wanted to post this. The following material is owned by me and may not be copied or used without my permission.

From Walker to Runner in 38:19

I’m 29-years-old and have always been called – a walker. I had good reason to be. I never ran in gym class and was always close to being the last one to finish walking the track. When we played hide-and-seek I always chose a close hiding spot so that I wouldn’t have to run. And tag? Forget it. Didn’t play that game.

But I’ve recently finished my first 5K. Sure, I walked. But I also ran. It was a respectable time for a walker – 38 minutes and 19 seconds. For a runner, not so respectable. But then again – for a first-time runner with no training, understandable.

It was a race, from the start of the gun to the cheers at the finish line. I won no titles or medals or ribbons. But I did win something that no one else could give me – self respect. Not to mention, a hunger for more, because I am hooked on this running stuff.

Standing around before the race, it was easy to pick out the walkers from the runners. The runners were sporting running shorts and tanks with the newest, most modern technological advances designed to wick away sweat from your body, to streamline your body, and to help your body look great. To help you look like, well, a runner. The walkers, on the other hand, were wearing stretch pants, yoga pants or sweats – a lot of them black. I fell into this last group.

It is hard to describe the many emotions and mental battles that transpired in those 38 minutes and 19 seconds. At first it was defeat. And I had only just begun. The gun was fired and we all began in what seemed slow motion – hundreds of runners filling the empty spaces of the black top before us. I heard a runner behind me, “Most of these people will be walking soon,” and knew that I would be one of them. A minute later I was.

Then I did what most respectable walkers wouldn’t do. I told myself to start running again. Spurred on by the overheard words of a runner who was surely way in front of me by now, I was determined to walk as little as possible.

I have never been to a runner’s workshop or read on the correct way to run. I wasn’t sure if I was causing irreversible damage to my knees from the way my feet were hitting the pavement, but by the halfway mark, I didn’t care anymore.

I reached the midpoint table where volunteers were quickly filling little paper cups marked with “Coca-Cola” with tepid water. Warm water has never tasted so good. The ground was littered with hundreds of empty cups of the runners who had come before me, and as I threw my own cup to the ground, I got a glance at the people behind me. We were now turning around, traveling back to a finish line close to the starting line.

Before this point I had not dared to look behind me, because I absolutely knew that I was the last person, never mind the people who were still passing me. But turning at the midpoint I saw that I was completely wrong. There were others behind me – a lot of them. And most of them walkers. Suddenly I felt more light on my feet. I concentrated on gliding, on lengthening my stride. “One foot in front of the other,” became my mantra, in time with my footfalls.

And just when I thought I couldn’t run anymore, we were reaching the end. From a quarter mile away from the finish line, the runners who had finished before us stood cheering us on. Screaming names at those they knew, meeting eyes with those they didn’t and giving them the international “way-to-go” gesture – the thumbs-up.

Unbelievable, but I picked up my pace, lost in the camaraderie, the competition, the adrenaline of it all. And when a man I had never seen before yelled at me, “You can do it!” I sprinted to the finish, the time above my head in red, dot-matrix splendor.

I have another 5K in a few months, and this one I’m training for. And just to prove to myself I can, a 10K the following month. I’m 29-years-old and for the first time in my life – you can call me – a runner.

Monday, May 01, 2006, 10:16 AM

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I ran my first 5K this weekend. I was passed by a couple of 8 year olds, a mother pushing a stroller with 2 kids inside, and also passed by a nigerian man who ran 6.2 miles in less than 30 minutes. Ironically, it was one of the best experiences of my life.

To the Op...keep up the good work!

Monday, May 01, 2006, 10:55 AM

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That is a great time and effort 38:19 for 5K. Congrats and keep it up!!!

Monday, May 01, 2006, 2:35 PM

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Thanks for linking running & self-respect

I can't believe somebody actually said "most of these people will be walking soon." What a jerk! I've only run two 5ks (one in March and one in April) but I've found people to be friendly....more like the others you described cheering you on at the end.

I agree that there are reasons to be hooked on "this running stuff." I also have turned to running this year (at age 31) to help me develop self respect. My career isn't where I thought it would be by now and I realize that I need other goals to help me feel good about myself in the meantime. And with more self esteem from running, I'm hoping I will get up the guts to push harder to get my career "off the ground."

Tuesday, May 02, 2006, 12:03 PM

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You write very well. Runner or not I sincerely enjoyed your post. You really gave a sense of what it would have been like to be there with you.

Congratulations!! We here are so proud of you! That is a great accomplishment and an inspiration to keep up the good work!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006, 1:54 PM

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Wonderful writing, Star! Keep up the great work, running and writing!


Tuesday, May 02, 2006, 2:47 PM

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Star--your post reminds me of the 5K I did last year.

It was bitterly cold AND windy. I would do intervals of running (jogging) when I felt comfortable and walking when I needed to "re-charge". I wasn't very fast (in fact, there was a race-walker who finished before me and HE was about 80 yrs old!) However, when I got to the last 1/4 mile or so, and I could see the finish line, I put on my all, and crossed the finish line running.

I wasn't fast at all, but the feeling of FINISHING (and NOT last in my division) made me feel really good! Hoping to get the hubby psyched up to do a few 5-Ks this summer. It might be fun to see if I've improved since last year!

I'm actually looking into trying to WALK a few 1/2 marathons before August as a warm-up to the actual 3-Day walk. We'll see if my schedule and time permits....

Tuesday, May 02, 2006, 4:44 PM

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Oops forgot to sign my post (above).
Funny thing-- my hubby finished LAST in his division among his age group... :-)


Tuesday, May 02, 2006, 4:47 PM

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Thanks everyone for your comments!!!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006, 3:23 PM

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Congratulations on a great acheivement. Soon, you'll be running the whole thing in less than 30 minutes!
I started running in October, and did a half marathon in January, a 10k in March, and 5k in April. I ran the whole time for all of them. So, you will get there!
If I can do it, you can do it!!!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006, 4:58 PM

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