My First 5K

By 9 am yesterday, I was determined to not read any more of the newspaper or any blogs (I only read one, and it was a doozey).  I really don’t want to remember that day, ten years ago.  I think my life is very different today, all because of that event, and I wouldn’t change my life.  But that day hurt, and I don’t want to re-live it.

On to other topics.

Saturday, I ran my first ever 5K.  A 5K is a mere 3.1 miles, for those of you who aren’t familiar with them.  I have only run in 1 other race, two times in the Army Ten Miler in Washington, D.C. which caps its participation at some number over 20,000.  The race this weekend, the Pooler 5K (which donates the proceeds to my husband’s unit), is much much smaller than that ten mile long slog through the nation’s capital, both in length and number of participants.

While last year’s run was a lot of fun (great company at least), I felt each time that I did those ten miles, that it would be a much nicer race if it were only a 10K…6 miles is so much nicer.  After that, it’s just not fun any more.

10K races are hard to find, especially in my area (not a significant metro region).  After last year’s race, I decided I would train for a 5K…no more of this 10 mile stuff.  Having completed this 5K, I can say that this race, small venue/small distance, was great.  I may never run 10 miles again.  Here is why:

  • The race started at 8 am.  By 9 am, I was on my way home to get Peter ready for his football game, which was at 1030.  I even had time to shower before we left.
  • Parking was great; traffic was light.
  • I never ran more than 7 miles in my training program.  Generally, I ran 3 miles.  It doesn’t take that long to run 3 miles.
  • I was only a little bit sore on Saturday night.  I did not need to take any Advil.   
  • Although I did manage to lose my husband in the post-race “crowd”, I found lots of people I knew who could help point him out to me.
  • I didn’t feel the need to elbow my way past legions of pokey little puppies during the race.
  • I actually had enough energy left to sprint the last 100 yards.
  • I did not collapse at the end of the race, and after a few minutes and a half bottle of water, was able to move to the finish stretch to cheer on other racers.

Since it was my first race, I set a PR (Personal Record).  My goal was to do it in less than 30 minutes, and I did it in 28:47…with a pace of 9:17.  I generally run a 10 minute mile for a 3 mile run, and was pretty happy to do a 9:40 mile for a shorter run, so that pace is great!

Bill finished 1 second ahead of me – he says he had his chest stuck out.  He could have done it faster, but, sweet guy (not at all hard-bitten) wanted to keep me company.  I do run faster when he’s with me.  I might have run even faster if he was a quarter mile ahead of me, though. 

Best thing…to add to why small races are better than huge races:

  • I placed 8th in my age group with that time – and in the top half of the runners overall (210 out of 436…although 6 runners had errors in their time, actually making me 216 out of 436…still, barely, in the top half).

There’s another local 5K race in 9 weeks, and I plan to go.  I think I might be hooked.

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5 thoughts on “My First 5K

  1. I LOVE 5K races. So fun and easy!! I do 1 or 2 10Ks a year – the Peachtree Road Race on July 4th, and maybe one other if my husband makes me. If you are still in the area next summer, you should trek up here and do the Peachtree…….

  2. Way to go! I love that you and Bill can run together. I saw that there is a run on the beach at Tybee Island (?) in April and some friends are encouraging me to run…interested?

  3. There's a 50/50 chance I'll be here, and (but) YES, I would love to run with you!

  4. Oh, I don't like 5Ks for the most part- very crowded and filled with little kids packed in the front. I almost fell and knocked into someone in the first 200 meters of a race a few weeks back because it was so chaotic. 10Ks and 10 milers are much more civilized- a lot of the walkers, kids, and slowpokes are scared off.

    Really, I like all distances in races. This year I've done 1 mile, 2 mile, 5Ks, 10Ks, 5 mile, 10 mile, and 1/2 marathon. The most crowded were the 2 mile and the half. Up here in Maine you have to take what races you can get and after September there are only about 10 races in the whole state.

  5. You go, Girl! Whoot!

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