Tuesday, April 30, 2013

5K Fever

Beware of the 5K fever. When you have it, you do crazy things; crazy things such as sign up for another 5K, and then... another. I'll get back to this in a few.

I've had 5K fever ever since running the Law Day 5K on Saturday. I killed all three of my goals for the race and even met my "secret goal".

Secret Goal (noun): a goal you didn't even realize you had because it was so far in the back of your mind that you didn't even dare to dream it, but once you reach it you knew it's what you've always wanted.

My first goal for the 5K race was to beat my time from my first 5K race last year (51 minutes). If I didn't reach that goal, then my second goal was to finish within 60 minutes. If I didn't reach that goal, then my third goal was to just finish! To my surprise, I met all three of those goals!

Thanks, Sara for taking this picture!
My secret goal (the one I didn't even know I had) was to complete a 5K in 45 minutes. I didn't even think I was near being able to believe in this goal quite yet, but I beat it! The official results came in yesterday and I met my secret goal by finishing at 44 minutes and 48 seconds!

I seriously wouldn't have met this goal without my husband. He did everything aside from literally picking me up and carrying me over the finish line. That guy is my hero.

The morning of the race, I felt good. I wasn't as nervous as I had been the days prior. My husband and I parked in the parking garage that I use during work. We were a few blocks away from the Courthouse, which was the starting line for the Law Day 5K. We used those blocks of walking as our warm-up. We felt good. We were laughing and having fun during our walk. We made sure to "stretch it out" as we made our way to the Courthouse, mainly with high knees as outlined in the photo, below.

It was such a nice morning, a little chilly but perfect weather for a long sleeve shirt and yoga pants; perfect weather for a 5K race. Once we got to the Courthouse, we just stood there. As a Paralegal, I am often in Court and go to this same Courthouse at least 3 times a week. This morning though, with the sunrise highlighting the building's bold features, it looked different. The entire street seemed different. It was quiet, there were no cars. The only sounds we heard were the fast foot steps from people jogging; warming up for the race. We took a picture of the Courthouse and then proceeded to the registration table, a block away at the Gazebo.

When we got to the gazebo, I felt excited! We were finally here; our second 5K race! We picked up our timing chip and made our way to a park bench to secure it to our shoes. For our first 5K race, last year, we had numbers. This race used timing chips; the chip eliminates the need for numbers. I'm not quite sure which I like better.

After getting the chip attached, we started walking around. As we walked we ran in to Sara, a friend from high school. This particular friend has been incredibly supportive of my journey of living a healthier lifestyle. She has given me some awesome advice and isn't shy to tell me how proud and happy she is for me. When we ran in to her, she was with her friend, Megan. I haven't met a runner that I haven't liked, so of course we became friends by the end of the race, too! Making new friends through running = total bonus!

Before we knew it, it was time to line up for the race. My husband and I found our way to the middle of the pack. My husband was a little worried that we were too far in front, but I told him that we were doing everyone else a favor. I explained that we would be boosting their confidence by starting that far up because they would be able to pass us instantly. He liked that idea, so we stayed put.

I felt like we were standing there for 20 minutes. Time stood still as we waited, however, once I heard the beginning of the announcement on the loud speaker, I felt like it was too soon. Before I knew it, the announcer said "on your mark, get set..." and then the horn blew! We were off!

It took a good city block for the runners around us to fan out. We even had the chance to pass a few people within the first couple blocks, but that was about all the passing we did for the race. I had my garmin forerunner 410 set for intervals of 5 minutes of running with 2 minutes of walking. I planned on sticking to those intervals, and I would have, if there weren't as many inclines. The inclines burned me out, quickly. I stuck to my first interval and then it was random running and walking from there on out.

Within the first mile, I distinctively remember cursing out loud when I turned a corner and saw the road incline significantly. The way my body reacted to running uphill crushed my spirits. During those three miles, so many things ran through my head, and came out of my mouth. "I'm not going to beat my time", "I can't do it", "I just want to quit", "I am never going to do this again", "Why did I think I could do this?", "I can't keep going",  "I just need to sit", "I can't catch my breath". My husband, counteracted each of those comments with support, love and motivation. He held my hand a few times as we walked, and told me that I was okay. This is how I finished my race.

In the last mile, we began making compromises.  "We can walk if you make it to the next city block", "Let's start running at the red car all the way to the white car". I was hard on myself during this race. I couldn't help it. Being supportive of myself doesn't come naturally; it's something that I've worked on daily, and something that I will continue to work on.

Once I saw the Courthouse, I felt better. I felt like I could finish. The words coming out of my mouth started to change. I began saying "I can do this", "I've got this", "Almost there". My husband could see the finish line and told me "You're going to beat your goal!" I let out a little wimper cry, and held back a tear. I couldn't cry now, I needed to breath. I was running out of breath. I had made myself a compromise to run to the end of the block, then I could walk to catch my breath. This didn't happen. When I got to the end of the block, I saw Sara and my new running friend, Megan. They were standing there, cheering me on (cue another wimper cry). They were cheering me on! I couldn't walk, then; I had to keep going! I ran past them and gave Megan a high five as I passed.

I was almost done, I just had to run around the block of the gazebo. My heart was racing and I felt dizzy. To be honest, I felt like my head was going to explode. I looked down at my garmin and my heart rate was at 190. I should have slowed down, but the finish line was right there! I pushed through the fatigue and kept running. The final seconds of the race were a blur. I could see the time was at 44-some minutes and that Sara and Megan were waiting for us at the finish line. I kept running through the finish line, and hugged them both.

Nick told me that a lady had come to remove my timing chip from my shoe, but I don't remember that at all. (I actually gasped on our way back to the car because I thought I had forgot to turn it back in.) Sara gave me the rest of her water because there was none left when we finished. Having Sara and Megan cheering for us at the finish line is something I'll never forget. Their energy definitely helped me keep running at the end!

On the car ride home, Nick and I started talking about future 5K's. I still wasn't sold on the idea of doing another one, but he had already caught the fever. It was too early for me to catch the fever, after all, it was only an hour earlier that I was panting up an incline declaring that "I would never run a 5K again!" The fever did catch up to me, though. It was only a couple hours later, as we sat on the couch, when the 5K fever hit me. We have signed up for two more 5K's in the past two days.

As of right now, we will be running a 5K in May, August and September. Meeting my goal (as part of my 26 by 26 list) of running my second 5K this year has been met. At the time that I had made that goal, I hadn't imagined that my third, fourth and fifth 5K would also be done this year.

Like I said in the beginning of this post, beware of the 5K fever. It makes you do crazy things!


  1. I have my very first 5K coming up May 11. I'm so nervous that I'll get horrible shin splits like I do during some of my training and I'll have to limp my way to the finish line. It's not timed and it's a color run...I wanted my first 5K to be as little like a race as possible.

    Reading about how you were ready to give up during one point of your 5K and then at the end of it all you signed up for three more really inspires me. This post has made me excited for my first 5K again!

    1. The 5K that we signed up for in August is a Color Run! Please let me know how you like it! It seems like the perfect run to start off with! I'm sure you'll love it! :)

    2. Will do!! I'm worried about my glasses for the run, but I think if I get some safety goggles I'll be ok. You two don't seem to have to worry about that issue!

  2. Congratulations Kay! I'm so happy for you! I want to do a 5K so bad, but it's mental for me. I feel like I have to be a marathon runner to do it...I really need to get over that crap!