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5K Number 2

Yesterday I ran my second 5K. I use the term “ran” loosely since I did a combination of running and walking, much as I did the last time. And also because I run really slowly. Really. I was hoping to run the entire length of the course this time but it didn’t work out that way. Let me back up and explain.

I finished the C25K running program last week. My greatest distance was a couple of weeks ago at 2.74 miles and my longest time of non-stop running was 32 minutes last Friday. A 5K is 3.1 miles and even at my best pace of 12:30/mile that meant I’d be running for at least 38 minutes – something I hadn’t done yet. I was definitely feeling unprepared for the race but I’d made a commitment and I wasn’t going to bail.

Let me tell you, though, when I woke up to cold rain yesterday morning the thought of blowing off the race was very tempting. I even texted Jo-Ann and half-joking said maybe we shouldn’t run the race. She reminded me, though, that we had told a lot of people we’d be running and – most important of all – we had told ourselves that we’d be running. She was right, of course, and so we showed up at the local YMCA at the appropriate time. This race was quite different than the Run to the Rock – for one thing, it was 5 minutes from my house. And for another, there were a lot less runners. A lot less. My number was 139 but I definitely didn’t see another 138 people there, I’d estimate there were maybe 50-75 runners. I’m sure the weather didn’t help with the turn out. Also, it wasn’t a chipped race and I’m guessing that discouraged the very experienced runners.


Jo-Ann and I were together at the starting point and the rain had mostly stopped. She got a little ahead of me but then I caught up and we were running together, which was totally awesome. Our pace was really similar and we stayed together, occasionally passing other runners, for the first mile. I was just thinking to myself – hey, you’ve got this and maybe you can actually run the entire course – when Jo-Ann paused to take off her long sleeve shirt. She had to remove her arm band to do it and we were running side-by-side and I was trying to help her and then her phone hit the ground and came apart and she had to stop and pick it up. I started walking, thinking that if I walked while she got herself pulled together then she would catch up with me and we’d go back to running side by side. It didn’t work out that way, though, and I gained some distance on her.

I wanted to stop and wait for her because I knew it would be harder for me to quit running if she was with me but I was afraid that if I stopped moving at all it would be really hard to start running again. So I kept going except that now I was walking. I pretty much walked the 2nd mile and then I did some intervals again for mile 3. The running parts were feeling okay and I kept pushing forward. There weren’t any large hills but there were some inclines and I walked those. One of those inclines was right before the turn for the finish and I was hauling my butt up the hill, not feeling particularly motivated, when one of the Y trainers that I know came running down towards me and started to encourage me to start running again for the finish. She ran beside me and I started running again and I hit that finish line at a sprint.

My time was 43:44, 40 seconds less than my Run to the Rock time of 44:24. Had I hoped for a better time? Absofrigginlutely. But given my lack of motivation that morning and the added stress about the weather, I think that time is pretty good. Well. Pretty good for a 47 year old woman who has never done anything remotely athletic in her life until 5 months ago.

And, of course, there’s always next time.

This Post Has 43 Comments

  1. Carole, you should be so proud of all that you have accomplished in the past 5 months! Everything you do will lead to a healthier you! Congratulations!

  2. Way to go! It does help having a buddy to run with or pick out a pacer to keep in your sights. Lovely to have a trainer help bring you over the finish line running with her encouragement.

  3. Carole, you are SO awesome! And just remember . . . five months ago, you didn’t get OFF the couch at all. And now . . . you’re dragging yourself to a 5K race. In the rain. When you don’t feel like it. And you’re DOING it. Win. Win. Win.

  4. Way to go! I have wanted to try the C25K for the past 2 years – but always told myself I was too out of shape – and too old at 50 – to start to run. Your stories have encouraged me to try this.

  5. You did an incredible job! We aren’t extreme athletes (yet), but we will get there. And one thing I’ve noticed is that it’s much easier to run with Carly telling you to run and then stop, rather than pace yourself on your own. šŸ™‚
    Be proud of what you did. You did a great job!

  6. Yay You!!! You will keep on doing better and better Carole! You’re an awesome inspiration and I hope I do so well when I start doing a timed 5k! Thanks so much for telling your story. šŸ™‚

  7. You’re looking damn good there girl, and smiling! Nice job and even better taking on the crappy weather!

  8. You totally rock! Getting your ass up and going when you don’t feel motivated is HUGE! Your time was better even when you were struggling. You are the biggest winner! Color me impressed. (I walked 2 miles today and thought of you and your race. You helped me keep going.) šŸ™‚

  9. Just Ahmaaazing! You are such an inspiration! Most people, athletic or not, didn’t even want to get out of bed or off the couch yesterday, due to the dreary weather, and here you are running a 5k. Not to mention, your 2nd 5k since you started the Couch25K program. All I have to say is GREAT JOB and You are an INSPIRATION to all!!!! Be very proud of yourself!

  10. This was definitely a forward step for you. I like how you are thinking about how the race went and how it fits into your athletic future.

  11. The motto at the house I grew up in (from Dad, the Coach) was, “Finish Strong.” IOW, give your best to the very end, and while it might not have been your absolute best, it might have been your best for that day. And you did… finish strong by running to the finish. Good for you!

  12. Good job! that has been my only complaint about the c25k program, they don’t have you run long enough (for those of us that are running at more than a 10 min mile) just keep building like you have been and you’ll be up to it in no time. WAY TO GO!

  13. Carole – you be PROUD!!! You have made such amazing progress. I think I would have put my head under the covers and went back to bed.

  14. You are doing GREAT!!! Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, but you kept going and finished strong. Love the picture at the end.

  15. I’m so proud of you! Well done! I hope your friend’s phone was ok.

    In my opinion, a sign of a great trainer is one who takes the time to enocourage their people outside of a normal training appointment.

    Great job!

  16. Aren’t you glad I told you we had to run? Haha! You did awesome!! If it weren’t for my d*mn phone, we’d have run the whole course together … that’s my story & I’m stickin’ with it!! You are DA BOMB, and I’m proud that we are taking this whole athletic journey together šŸ™‚

  17. Not giving in to that desire to do what is easy is the BIGGEST thing I get from this post. How wonderful that you had a supporter at the finish as well! I love that second shot of you rounding the turn. The look on your face says so many things about the last five months! Congratulations on a job more-than-well done!

  18. You did it. That’s all that counts. Don’t get caught up in times and miles and how well you did. You did it. Did you imagine that six months ago? Well done.

  19. Hey, good for you! That last photo is great. I’m sure you’ll be a sylph in no time.

  20. You go, girl! Despite the obstacles, you completed the race. As to the time, I was running in the 80’s when Florence Joyner (sp?) was an Olympic champ. My husband quipped that the world had FloJo and SloJo. It didn’t matter. The commitment to your goals, the fitness gained, and the self-discipline…you rock!

  21. wtg!!!! proud of you! i did c25 k several times – great program. had never been able to run more than 10 seconds without killing over and actually completed program once. i keep getting messed up though because of a stupid heel spur :/
    foundmy way over here through the woolen rabbit. am joining along on the ten on tuesday if you dont mind my copying you guys.

  22. Awesome! Bad weather is not a good motivator, I know. And, there are good run days and bad run days I haven’t figured out what makes them so. You had improvement and that is something to be proud of! And more importantly you followed through on your promise to yourself. Way to go, Carole!

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