So this post is about my personal experience completing a 5K race! Yes, I actually ran (and of course walked…I’m no pro here) a 5K race.
On my Letter of Accomplishment, which is a tool put in place by the leadership & personal development program I was enrolled in, Gratitude Training, LLC I set the goal to complete two 5K events within a 108-day time period. Sounds like a breeze for runners. Sounds like a joke to me (a non-runner). It was a stretch I was ready to choose!
The first 5K I committed to participating in was easy, enjoyable, and laid back. The second one however, I decided I was actually going to run! Coming from a person who never thought they would be able to run a long race due to medical conditions in the past, worry, fear, doubt, all those self-limiting beliefs, I actually decided and committed to running the race only one week before the actual race!
I found out about the race online and searched for a cause worth donating and running for. It was perfect. The Hugs for Hope Annual 5K Race was to raise preventative awareness for child and adolescent suicide. Children are dear to my heart and my dream to being a “non-bullying” advocate was perfect for this cause and why I wanted to run. The excitement and momentum had started.
The night before the race I had a lot to complete. I was sore from previous gym workouts. I had done zero “real” preparation for the race. Didn’t look up tips or even really hydrate as I felt that I should have. Upon arriving extremely early to the park, I checked in, got my runner’s number (realized oh sh!t, this is legit), did an extremely quick and honestly not that great of a warm up and prepped for the race. I was nervous and had no idea why. I was out here for fun and for a cause I cared about. So I got out of my head and said “Hey, have fun and see what happens at the end“.
Race starts and I begin my light tread along the road. It was an amazing park and it felt really great to have runners around me. Jogging along desperately waiting to see the 1 mile marker, it’s there. Okay, not so bad. Let’s keep trucking.
Banking the 3 mile mark at about 37:00 minutes I was beat. I knew I was close to the finish and I knew I could complete this. Time at this point wasn’t a factor for me because in my mind I wanted to be at 30:00 (Don’t laugh, it’s true).
I see the finish line and I thank God I made it. Also just extremely proud of myself that I actually did this 5K! I see the time and it’s not incredibly satisfying for me so I decide to walk to the finish line. WHO DOES THAT RIGHT?! I mean even if you’re dying at the end, you still burst out those last bits and pieces of energy to make that ish happen.
Listen, novice runner here, so…I walk through, time is clicked in for me, I grab an ice-cold bottle of water and I find the nearest bench. I reflect on how awesome the entire experience was and then I make my way back over to the tents.
Walking to the tents I see papers. Papers? What’s that? I walk over and they are TIMES! What?! You mean this thing is legit legit?! With medals?! Wow. Well where am I?! How does this work?!
FIFTH?! FIFTH PLACE?! You mean I didn’t just end up last?! You mean if I would have potentially ran the last full couple of meters I could have had a metal with an actual Top 3 spot?! Wow. Just wow.
I honestly tell this story because this is how life and the universe will tell you to WAKE UP! My goal was not necessarily to place top 3 or get a medal, it was to complete a 5K race. I met my goal. Yet, what if my goal was to place top 3, push through, keep going through the pain and soreness no matter what. I was RIGHT there. I was so close. This keeps showing up. Being RIGHT there, SO close. And I get to check in with myself and see what I can do to break through. It’s not bad and I’m not punishing myself. I am celebrating my results AND I am looking at what I can improve. My advice to my now and future self…run like HELL to the finish line!
I have grown and stretched myself so much the last 7 months. Seriously, it’s been a ride. And I am so incredibly grateful for the experiences I’ve had.
This is always just the beginning.
Be Healthy & Finish the Race,