Last Saturday I ran my very first 5k. Seems kind of crazy that I’m 29 and just now running my first 5k. The truth is, it never occurred to me to even do one until now. A 5k is 3.1 miles. It’s not really that bad. But I wanted to run the whole thing straight through and running 3 miles straight was something I have never done. I just started running one month ago.
The Thursday before I wanted to kind of preview what the 5k would be like, to test myself. So I skipped ahead in my 10k trainer about two weeks to a twenty minute run. And I did it! I was so impressed with myself and felt a lot more confident about the 5k. The night before I slept terribly, I was so nervous. I don’t know why I was nervous–it’s not like there would be people jeering at me if I slowed to a walk or if I finished last. But I woke up at 6 am and got ready.
I start each run by eating a half a granola bar before doing anything. Then I take this little electrolyte pill that helps you to have more sodium that you lose when you sweat. This really helps me not have cramps or side aches. I drove to the location and walked around to warm up and wait for the race to begin. And then it started and we were off!
Everyone was so pumped at first and just took off. I started slowly as I always do because I like to save my energy for the second mile. And I was seriously the last person for the first mile. But I started seeing people slow down and walk and I passed them. The first two miles were fine, almost easy. But that last mile—dang! It was uphill and my legs were on fire. I thought about stopping so. many. times. But you know what kept me going? YOU! I really wanted to be able to blog about this and proudly say that YES–I did run the entire 3.1 miles without stopping! It would have been such a letdown to say “I ran about 2.75 miles and then…just puttered out.” Sometimes I have no idea how I even keep going when every muscle in my body is crying at me to stop. I tried counting to 100 but I found that it took more energy to keep track of the numbers.
But yes, I’m here to say that I DID run the ENTIRE 3.1 miles without stopping. My time was 35:04, which was another goal. My fastest mile was in the 10 minute range which surprised me. I’m a very slow runner, although I’m getting a little faster. I didn’t win any medals, that’s for sure. But I did it and I’m proud. And I was exhausted the rest of the day.
So all you runners–What are your best tips for running long distance? Or for running a 5k? How do you keep going when you hit that wall? What was your best 5k time?