Tomorrow I run my first 5K

I haven’t posted here in a while.  It seems like time has been going so much faster since the beginning of September, and I feel like I’m having to be really picky about the things I chose to do in my “down-time” (which really translates into an exhausted clean up of the house after the kids go to bed, followed by an hour of reading, tv, or blogging).

When my boys went back to school, my sickness karma kicked in and decided it was time to make up for all those months that I enjoyed being cold-free during the summer.  It was a doozy of an illness, too!  Full on hacking cough,

This is how my soul felt.

fever, stuffed nose, the works.  I totally lost the ability to smell or taste, which was not the end of the world, but made cooking food edible for others a challenge.

It also totally halted my active life.  No lifting, running, yoga (upside down poses sounded like torture) for a week and a half.  I had just finished Stage 1 of

NROLFW, and even though I was excited to get going on a new stage – begone prone jackknife! -, it just wasn’t going to happen.  So I laid down a lot, become friends with my heating pad and pillow, and caught up on missed episodes of Sons of Anarchy.

Just as I was coming out of this cold-stupor, a friend of mine asked me to run with her in the Twin Cities Marathon 5k, coming up on October 1st.  I said “Yes!  That sounds great!”, and thought it would be a good motivator to get me up and off the couch again.  What I didn’t factor in was how close it was to October 1st.  You see, one of the things about being a (mostly) stay at home mom is that you shed the need to stay on top of things like dates and calendars – unless it has something to do with your kids needing to bring something to school.   So in my head I felt like it was still weeks away from the 5k, but in real-time it was only about 10 days away.  Ten days away after a long sickness and an interruption to my exercise program.  But I didn’t really put together how far behind I was until I went for my first post-cold run.  Let’s just say, it was a wake up call to how tired I had gotten and how quickly things can start to go backwards when you take a workout break.

Fast forward a week, and tomorrow is the big day!  I’ve been running every other day, about three miles each time, and I started Stage 2 of NROLFW.  The runs have been getting better and better, but I really wish I had another week to get myself comfortable.  As of yesterday, I’m averaging about 14 minutes a mile, with a walking break thrown in about every three-quarter mile.  I’m hoping to be able to do the 5k in around 40-45 minutes, but I’m nervous!  It’s going to be hilly, it’s near our State Capital and I haven’t run this course before.  In fact, I’ve never run in any event before!  I totally have pre-event jitters (What if I can’t find parking? What if I forget my papers? What if I am late/can’t find it/get lost/wear the wrong clothes/etc/etc/etc).

 I’m starting to remember this feeling, it’s pretty similar to the one that sat like a brick in my stomach as a teenager in junior high gym class (performance/body anxiety and just hoping to god that I don’t come in last).  I realize that this line of thinking is really un-productive, and so I’ve been countering it with thoughts like:

  • I’ve never done anything like this before;  just by signing up and showing up to run I have accomplished something.
  • I never thought I could run at all, much less in an actual event, and doing this 5k is just the beginning of my fitness future.
  • As long as I finish the race upright, and feeling like I enjoyed challenging myself, it has been a huge success.

And finally, this one (a little less optimistic, but still helpful):

  • Just assume now that I will be last.  Get over the fear of it, and if there is any other result besides coming in last, it will be like a special bonus.

    I'll be part of this crowd tomorrow!

I’ve been reading 5k running books.  It may not have been the best plan, because it gave me a clearer picture on how far behind in training I am, but it did teach me some important tips for tomorrow.

  1. Don’t eat anything too heavy the night before.  It sits in your stomach for a half day, and who wants that for a morning run?
  2. Eat 2 hours before you run, but nothing too fatty or multi-grainy.  I’m thinking a small cup of coffee, a banana and maybe some toast.
  3. Bring some kind of replenishing drink, a protein and a carb to eat after it’s over.
  4. Just try to have fun and remember it’s my first time!

I hope it goes well. 

More than that, I hope I can chill out and just have a good time.  I signed up for this because it sounded fun and challenging, not because I thought I needed some special torture in my life.  8th grade gym class is over, and this is something I can do.  I got this.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Good luck!


  2. Have a blast & focus on feeling good. Congrats on signing up! I bet a bunch of the other runners were also laid low by the kids-back-to-school germ exchange. 😉


  3. Good luck with your first 5K. Just relax and do your best.


  4. Congrats on your running accomplishments!!!


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