First 5k Race Accomplished.

I’m currently trying to refrain myself from shoveling handfuls of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Minis into my mouth. I’d like to do it unabashedly because I’m PMSing and the larger part of me is convinced I don’t need to eat anything else ever again. “Unwrapped, bite-sized convenience meets the perfect combination of chocolate & peanut butter,” it reads on the back. Right. Because I needed a faster way to binge. Thanks, Reese’s.

I’ll try to keep my Reese’s consumption at a civil pace, but there’s no telling. I rarely buy candy. I have almost no self control. I could put it in the cupboard or pantry, but just having the bag in my apartment is a liability, really. I could bring it to work but I’d probably just embarrass myself. Nobody needs to see this.

I’m proud to say that my gluttony is countered with my having completed my first 5k race this weekend. I may be eating like complete crap, but I did a single healthy act, so it’s okay.

Holding up my number proves I did it, right?

Holding up my number proves I did it, right?

The weather was terrible, but I was okay with it. It was cool and rainy for most of the run. At one point the wind picked up and slowed me down quite a bit, but it just made me feel like more of a badass. The very last leg of the route climbed a windy hill and I wanted to die, but I pushed through. It was pretty exhilarating. Not a minute after I crossed the finish line, big fat raindrops started falling, then hail as my team made the way to a bar for bloody marys.

We ran three miles. We deserve vodka before noon.

We ran three miles. We deserve vodka before noon.

My goal was to complete the race in less than 36 minutes. I did it in 34. That’s my best 5k time yet! Ultimately, I’d like to run it in 30 minutes or less, but that extra minute off each mile will be tough going into summer.

I started running in February. It might not sound like a lot to cut ten minutes off my initial 5k time, but I’m proud of myself. Running has got me excited about what I’m capable of. My body is capable of doing great things if I take care of it. If I exercise regularly, I feel great. And though the digits have only gone down by about 5, I’ve gone down almost two dress sizes since February.

We looked nice and dry before the run, didn't we?

We looked nice and dry before the run, didn’t we?

So while I’m super proud about my race yesterday, I’m also looking forward to a few more this summer. A couple mud runs, a color run or two, and a regular ole’ 5k. I’m going to have to start budgeting 5k fees into my monthly expenses. New shoes too, if I’m smart.

If you’ll excuse me, I have to change the name of my Pinterest board to “My Second 5k” and finish off this bag of chocolate.

I run like Honey Boo Boo.

As you may recall from an earlier post, I decided to run a 5k this summer. I’ve been training faithfully since I mentioned it, though I haven’t been writing about it. I thought my first race would be in August, but I just registered for the Sole Burner on May 11. A group of women at work were talking about it in our daily meeting, and I decided to join. I figured if I’ve been running about 15mi a week, I can handle 3.1 on a Saturday morning. My goal time for the 5k in August is 30 minutes. I’ve still got a ways to go till I get there, but I can’t believe I’ve improved so much over the last two months.

I started out by making a board on Pinterest (I know, how very 20-something in 2013 of me, huh?). Here I researched training techniques and plans, stretches, tips, inspiration, and other things related to running. For the last week or so, I’ve been using RunKeeper in place of my original training plan – one I found on About.com. That worked well, but so far I like the ease of RunKeeper. While using the GPS feature, it tells me in 5-minute increments my distance and pace – without stopping my music. It reminds me for workouts, gives me detailed plans for each of my runs, keeps track of my goals and accomplishments (fastest pace, longest distance, etc), and it’s super easy to use.

I’ve tried running before, but it never really stuck. I was nearly positive I deserved a parade any time I ran more than a mile, so I had my doubts about even thinking about this. But it’s turned into a good part of my day. At the end of the day, sometimes I honestly look forward to lacing up my sneakers and listening to Rizzle Kicks or Justin Timberlake. Other days it’s harder to make myself do it, but I find that once I get started, I’m glad to be doing it.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I was pretty psyched to get these shoes and a big collection of neon socks.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I was pretty psyched to get these shoes and a big collection of neon socks.

I got into biking a few years ago and got excited when I realized I could bike 20 miles without collapsing. I’m finding the same thing is true with running. Since I’m not a natural-born runner, I never thought I’d be able to run more than a mile at a time. It feels great to see what my body is capable of when I push myself. That feeling is comparable to being able to wear a dress I didn’t think I’d ever be able to zip. To some people, running 3.1 miles is nothing, but that’s definitely not the case for me. It’s been hard work and sometimes I feel like a big jiggly fool, but I just keep pushing myself.

Pretty much

Today I ran 2 miles in 21 minutes. This is my best 2 mile time so far. This is a big accomplishment. Considering I hadn’t planned on running tonight (RunKeeper didn’t have a workout planned for me today), it’s also pretty cool. I got home and was putting on my sweatpants when I realized it would be pretty pathetic if I couldn’t spend 30 minutes of my day doing something physical. So I put on some awesome socks and got out there.

Right after the 2 miles. And to think I wasn't even thinking about ice cream.

Right after the 2 miles. And to think I wasn’t even thinking about ice cream.

While I wouldn’t turn away any gifts of congratulations, I know I still have a long way to go. I’m eager to see how close I can hit my 30 minute mark for the May 11th race.

On a related note, my calves are probably going to turn to steel soon. I’ll let you know how that goes.

My First 5K

Currently, my body is sore. All I would really like to do is sit in a massive tub of scalding water with about three pounds of epsom salt. But no, I’m being responsible and writing a blog post, like an adult.

Saturday afternoon, a friend from college stopped into town. Kaleigh needed to get an outfit for a formal event and she decided to take advantage of my sixth sense for amazing clearance deals. We grabbed some dinner and walked around the mall, scoffing at Macy’s $80 clearance. (“Clearance: You’re doing it wrong.”) Somewhere between stuffing my face with a pound of mongolian stir fry and trying on prom dresses, Kaleigh asked if I was interested in doing a 5k with her.

I recalled seeing an invite anout something like that earlier in the week. “Oh yeah, I forgot to actually look at that, what is it all about?”

“It’s a 5k mud run for breast cancer. There’s a bunch of obstacles – like a big mud pile you have to run up and over and then a big mud puddle you run through at the end.”

As I licked the peanut-curry sauce from the corner of my lip and felt the first hints of bloating and regret, I realized I should probably make some changes. Committing to a 5k seemed like a good first step.

“Yeah, I want to get a team of girls together. We can t-shirts printed and maybe get some sponsors,” Kaleigh said. “My one friend said she’d only do it if she got to wear a tutu, so I guess we’re wearing tutus and t-shirts.”

“I’m in.”

To convince me, all she really had to say was: “Hey, wanna run three miles in a tutu?”

And my response would have been: “Hell yes I do!”

Later that night, I got into bed with my Kindle and began planning my 5k the way most runners probably do: by creating a Pinterest board. I found an 8 week training program, added the schedule to my calendar, and got my gym bag together for Monday.

I did the first day of the program last night – run for five  minutes, walk for one, repeat five times. By the time I was done with that, I was at about 3.6k and I was curious to see how long it would take me to do 5k so I just finished it. I say “just finished it” like I wasn’t dying and extremely aware of the blister growing on my left instep. It took me just over 42 minutes to do 5k. 

I know it’s not terrible, but it’s not great either. I’m having a hard time not comparing it to my older brother’s 5ks from high school. Corey is a natural-born runner. Even while eating fast food several times a week, he’s able to maintain roughly three ounces of fat on his body. Jerk. Supposedly, he went to his first cross country practice in high school, ran eight miles and was one of the first kids to finish. This is a kid whose only previous athletic experience was shooting hoops in the driveway. Anyway, my base time (42:20, we’ll say) is twice his time.

I realize that this is a process though, so I wasn’t expecting to run like a Nigerian off the bat. I am, after all, a blogger/reader/violinist. We’re not known for our agility. I’ll shoot for doing a 5k every Monday and I’ll keep you posted on my times. I’m giving you permission to bug me about it by whatever means necessary if you suspect I’m slacking.