Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My First 5K

I'd been thinking about doing a 5K for the past couple of weeks, and last night I signed up for one. It's called the Virginia Run Turkey Trot, and it's taking place at 8am in Centreville, VA on Thanksgiving Day.

I have mixed emotions about the race.

I am not at all sure that I'm prepared. I haven't been doing a 5k training program and have barely run outside at all. What if I collapse in a heap on mile two? Also, I have never run a race before and I'm not sure about the race preparation/ race day protocol. What should I wear? What should I eat? When should I arrive at the race? All these questions are making me feel anxious, so I'm going to do some research today and try to figure them out.

But on the other hand, I feel enormously proud of myself that I have decided to take on a huge physical challenge, especially on one of the most gluttonous days of the year. And I do feel stronger than I have in a long time. I can run for 30-40 minutes on the treadmill (usually about 3-3.5 miles) and I recently increased my weights in my Body Pump class. For the past 6 weeks, I have exercised regularly 4-5 times a week, and for the past 7 months I have exercised regularly 2-3 times a week. I am not in bad shape. I am absolutely certain that I could walk the 5K, and I think it's possible that I could run the entire thing.

But on the OTHER other hand, I am incredibly nervous about the prospect of lining up with a bunch of athletes to compete in a race. That brings back dreadful memories of high school gym class, where I would huff my way through the mile run as my other fitter classmates would run past me. I hope that I don't feel that sense of panic on Thursday.

But on the OTHER OTHER other hand, I am volunteering to do this race--it's not a mandatory gym activity. And even if I come in last, I will feel proud of myself for doing a 5K.

But on the OTHER OTHER OTHER other hand, I really hope I don't come in last.


  1. Great job to sign up for the race, that's the first big step. I'm going a 5K December 4th and I'm pretty nervous, too. Let me know what you find out about what to eat, when to eat it, how early to arrive, etc. I could use the advice, too!

  2. I did my first 5K last saturday, and I grossly underestimated how much harder running outside in the cold air on pavement would be than running inside on a treadmill. I Averaged a 13:50 mile, and definitely walk/ran it, and while at the time I felt like kind of a failure for not being able to run the whole thing, when I saw my time being so much less than I thought I realized that I have to work my way up to running the whole thing, and there is no shame in walking a bit.

    And for mine at least there were a ton of people walking the 5K, so the chance of me coming in last was slim :-) Good Luck! And have fun!!

  3. I totally understand your anxiousness, but rest assured you will be SO happy when you cross that finish line! I thought everyone would be so athletic and there really are people of all shapes and sizes who compete in races - especially 5ks! I think you'll be TOTALLY fine if you've run 3 - 3.5 miles. My best tip for a first time racer is to start at the way back and start SLOW. If you try to go too fast at the beginning you'll burn out quickly and its very easy to do that with all the adrenaline pumping. Good luck and congrats!!!