We finally ran our first 5K! I’ve had running a 5K on my bucket list for a while. I’d even started training a couple of times using one of those couch to 5K apps. However, every time around week 3 or 4 I’d get busy at work or it was winter and too dark outside (or I’d find out I was pregnant) and I would give up.
This year my oldest daughter signed up for Girls on the Run after school. It’s a girls empowerment program that incorporates short lessons (positive self esteem and body image, honesty, integrity and being a good friend) into running training. The program culminated in the girls running a 5K!
When I signed her up for the program, I didn’t realize that each girl would need a running buddy (over age 16) for the 5K. I was a little nervous about running with her since I (again) never got around to training. Parents were welcome at the GOTR practices so I made it to a couple of them but that was it. I just went with it.
The morning of the race the forecast was 80% chance of rain and I almost backed out. But I’m so glad we didn’t! The rain held off aside from a few sprinkles here and there.
Mom drove us to the start line and took my other two daughters to the playground while McKenna and I ran the race. They were waiting for us at the finish line 50 minutes later! It was a long 50 minutes. We alternated between running and walking throughout the race.
The entire group is pictured below. The boys had their own program called STRIDE. They trained separately from the girls but all ran the same 5K at the end. Several teachers from the school volunteered to be running buddies for the kids who didn’t have a parent that could run in the race.
I’m glad I can cross this off the bucket list. McKenna declared that she was never running another 5K in her life after the race. Since then someone told her about “color runs” and she seems interested. Time will tell.
Here are a few tips I learned along the way…
- A lot of people walk in the race. I was worried we’d be the last ones to finish but we were not last!
- There are cheerleaders along the route! I didn’t expect it but volunteers were stationed throughout the route cheering us on and encouraging everyone.
- I wish I’d left my jacket behind. I wore a little jacket because it was sort chilly before the race started. I was ready to take it off about 2 minutes into the race and then had to tie it around my waist for the other 48 minutes. (It created an unfortunate muffin top.)
- I carried my cellphone in my hand the entire way. A zippered pocket in my running shorts would have been nice. We took a few selfies along the way and McKenna even called her Aunt for a chat during the race.
- The 5K was over by 9am so they start pretty early. I really hated to roll out of bed at 4:30 but I was glad that I did!
- Mamas…wear appropriate undergarments. You know what I mean. I think I only saw one potty along the route and it was near the end.
- The kids running the race had timer chips attached to their shoe laces. Running buddies did not unless they paid an additional $10 for a timer since they were able to sign up for the race at a reduced rate. Most of the parents did not have a timer.
- You can totally do it even if you didn’t train!