Saturday, March 29, 2014

My 5K Journey

Back in December, my cousin Paula had posted a status to Facebook about how she had just joined the Around the Bay 5K race with her daughters.  I commented on her status...and within minutes she had convinced me to sign up too.

I have never been a runner but have always been intrigued by the thought of running a 5K.  I am envious when I pass lean runners on the street, people posting photos of themselves with a medal around their necks.  I would love to be a "lean" runner with a collection of medals.

So - I dusted off my running shoes and treadmill and began my training.  I began running with my Couch to 5K app on my iPhone.  I have started it a couple times, made it to about half way and then got out of the routine of running. I was doing pretty well - running for 4km - the longest I've ever run in my entire life. I was so proud....

For those who don't live in Canada or the northern states may not know about the extreme cold winter we have had.  The "polar vortex" left this winter very uninviting to spend ANY amount of time outdoors - for me, outdoor training just wasn't happening.  When a nice day finally came, I decided to head out and oh my gosh! Running outdoors was completely legs and hips were SO sore after only a few minutes.  The hard road was not as shock absorbing as my bouncy treadmill.  I became very discouraged.

Since that day, I have been out a few more times, each time getting easier and easier - My training is not where I hoped it would be...but even signing up for this race is a HUGE accomplishment, and whether I run the entire 5K or have to stop and walk every once in a while, I will be so proud of myself.

Yesterday, I headed to Copps Colliseum First Ontario Place to pick up my very first race packet.  The whole experience was pretty cool - half of the concourse was strewn with vendors and filled with runners, all ages, all shapes and sizes.  It was pretty surreal to be walking amongst them, as I still can't believe what I've signed up to do.  I picked up my package and got my chip activated.  Inside was my bib, an Around The Bay shirt and hat plus my race timing chip.  I ran into my cousin, Paula, and her daughter Jessica there - so excited to participate in this run with them.

While I was leaving, I poked my head into the arena.  The finish line had been set up - allowing me to see where I would be "running" in, finishing my first 5K.  It was an emotional sight.  Sometimes while running on the treadmill, I would envision myself crossing the finish line to keep me motivated to keep running.  I'd see T and the kids there cheering for me - I'd get teary with the thought.

It's hard to believe that in roughly 13.5 hours, I will be crossing that finish line.  Completing my very first 5K race.  I will make sure to smile, but I'm sure there will be tears of happiness and pride.  I'm still saying to myself at times "What am I getting myself into?" Chatting with my cousin tonight, she said "This time tomorrow night, we will be saying "What were we so nervous about, we killed it today :)" I love her positivity.

My clothes are laid out, my iPhone is filled with a rockin' playlist filled with some great beats to keep my feet and legs moving. I have drank lots of water today to help keep myself hydrated.

My race chip is ready, even if I may not feel ready.
Even though I may not run the entire 5K, I am pleased with this incredible journey.  I am doing something that I never dreamt I would do.  I am remembering not to focus on my time, to be happy with the accomplishment of competing in a race for the first time.

I will finish off this post with a quote I found on another post about running 5K:

love yourself in the now. love who you are & what you can do now. don't wish for something you aren't or what you might be in the future. enjoy & savour the now.

And that is what I plan to do tomorrow! 
Wish me luck =D

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