First 5 k race!!!

Well folks, I've done it. My first 5 k race.

Last October I committed to a 5 k race with some colleagues. I had never run, was out of shape, but what the heck. I told them to give me enough notice the following year, and I'd be in.

Fast-forward to June this year. I'm approaching my 33 birthday. Haven't run a meter yet. Fear sets in. I am on the couch end of the couch to 5k. The run is in the fall. A colleague recommends the NHS couch to 5 k program. I bite.

The program was full of ups and downs. It wasn't easy - but do-able. I managed to push through, always barely making it through each week. But so very happy that my recovery was improving, the distances were increasing. I had the occasional setback (Week 5 run 3 was a memorable one). To this day, I remember the points on my usual route that I struggled to run past. The points where I was gasping for air and trying to play it cool running past folks at the bus-stop.

Graduated late August. Ran, ran, ran through September, dropping my usual route to a fast 3 k which I love to this day (why aren't there any 3 k runs?!?)

Today I raced. I was nervous as heck. Wanted to throw up. Wanted to drop out. But I showed up and ran that 5k with a friend that was also working her way through the program. I thought of Laura and her positive attitude. I thought off all of you and your advice. Of Bazza and his comments on just traversing ground. Of Miss Wobble's realistic reminders and constant encouragement. Of Labshack's anticipating "let's go let's go' with her young pup. Of Miles Yonder and his impressive miles. And of juicyju's mantras and race day glam (which I skipped and regret!!!).

Anyhow, the run was fantastic. I didn't think I'd enjoy it - I'm a solo runner and love it that way. But the vibe and anticipation of the event was wonderful. The competition was fun. I was able to run really slowly at the start which was a goal of mine, and finished with a personal best and a sprint. I never would have thought that I'd have been here. Finishing a 5 k race was the goal, finishing it at a personal best was icing on the cake.

For those just starting - please stick with it. It's amazing where you'll go. Signing up for a race makes the goal even easier. The hardest step is getting started, everything after that is peanuts in comparison.

For me - this was what got me running - was the fear of this race I had committed to. For me, this was my personal graduation.

I am a graduate. I am a runner.

The best thing? This is only the beginning. I don't have crazy running aspirations. I don't want to run a marathon. I just want to run. And this is the best thing of all.

Happy trails folks.


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26 Replies

  • Well done! Mission accomplished! Glad you enjoyed it.

    You can sign up for a 10 k now!

    No pressure

  • Thanks miss wobble. Somehow the idea of running a ten for next year snuck into the post race discussions. Might have been the celebratory pints talking.

  • Yea, congratulations runswithdogs! What a story! What a run! What a post! And what an inspiration!

  • Thanks Babs. It was a really great day.

  • Fantastic inspirational post. I graduated a couple of months ago, had an injury and picked up again in the past few weeks. I've rather rashly signed up for the great north 10k with some friends, not having managed to get to 5k yet in my 30 minutes! Guess I've got a good few months to get some more miles under my feet.

  • I look forward to your post-race debrief! I think the buzz and excitement could've carried me an extra km or two.

  • Great story, love it. You've inspired me to consider a race after I graduate. Happy running xx

  • I highly recommend it. It feels like a second graduation. And it's worth a try to see if it's your thing or not.

  • Thank you. Was feeling a bit down as it is a perfect morning for a run and just now on enforced rest due to a slight problem with calf muscle. Your post really was a pleasure to read, so although I can't be out running I hope everyone else has a good run today.

  • Re your mantra and positive thoughts runwithdogs " I thought off all of you and your advice. Of Bazza and his comments on just traversing ground. Of Miss Wobble's realistic reminders and constant encouragement. Of Labshack's anticipating "let's go let's go' with her young pup. Of Miles Yonder and his impressive miles. And of juicyju's mantras and race day glam (which I skipped and regret!!!)."

    One to add to these - someone told me at Parkrun that if they ever felt they were going to stop they just thought "It's only running"

    I am and (before my current running which started in Jan) was a solo runner and had only ran in a pack at the annual 10K. I now do the local Parkrun and really like it, volunteering 1 week in 9 which is very good fun too. So, try out the local Parkrun in your area - you may just adopt them!

  • Sadly I don't think we have Parkruns here. I'll have to see if we have anything similar.

  • congratulations RWD !! - 'you are a better man than I Guga Din'

    I am inching my way to 10k now but haven't dared enter a race yet. I reckon if I just compete with myself then I won't let anyone down if I don't finish. Maybe one day.....

    Well done and good luck with your 'crazy aspirations', which may not turn out to be as crazy as you think : )

  • I'd consider signing up for that 10k. There were a lot of folks doing run -walk intervals, some folks mostly walking. Everyone completed, no matter how long they took. Many folks were finishing their 10ks while lots of our 5's were still out there.

  • Love it, love it, love it!

  • Many congratulations runwithdogs what an amazing story, so pleased you reached your target, now to set the next one 10K??

    Keep up the good work :)

  • Maybe a ten for next year. I'd love to try b and get a sub-30 minute 5 k before the snow comes in, but that's still a ways away.

  • What an excellent post.

    Very well done. I hope you keep up your running. You never know where it may take you :)


  • Just reading your post has really inspired me. Wow I hope one day I am in the same position as you, doing all those 5k races! Big congrats on your run :D If i ever have those bad days during my training, i will remember to look back at this post. Thank you !

  • OMG, that was amazing. I actually had tears in my eyes reading that. I can run 5k but not got the confidence to actually enter something. You are actually amazing, I genuinely mean that x

  • Me too... I can feel the love and that is the wonder of's feeling strong, in control and being powerful... A truly wonderful blog ( and I'll bet you a tenner she'll be doing a marathon before long...)

  • This is a really good post thank you for sharing, it's amazing the journey you take on c25k. I agree having a goal helps me and really is the reason why I keep running.

  • Forgot to say congratulations for that first 5km race under the belt too

  • Brilliant, well done.

    A great post, simply inspiring.

    :-) xx

  • Really well done! Loved reading your post.

  • Wow.... congratulations.... nice post... loved it..

  • Great post - very inspirational ! Congratulations on your 5k success ! x

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