Hobbies, Lifestyle Change

My First 5k


Today I did something I never thought I’d do and before you start getting any strange ideas, no, you’re probably wrong.

I ran in my first 5k, a fundraiser for Anthony’s school. The event also consisted of a 1k kid’s Fun Run in which Anthony did participate but because he’s still recovering from whatever it is he has (namely a bad cough), he took it easy but I was with him the entire time. He got a medal for finishing; I got oranges and pancakes afterwards.

Now for someone that was once 300 pounds, I have to admit that running in a 5k–let alone doing any running–would have never been on my schedule of things to do. That calendar usually only consisted of the return date of the McRib Sandwich highlighted and circled many, many times over.

Not so much anymore. I signed up for the event and did little preparation for it other than my occasional treadmill running at night. I had become so used to running on the treadmill that everything below the waist had gotten accustomed to the feel of it, mainly the resistance or lack thereof. Then one day I decided to go out for a jog on pavement and soon regretted that decision.

It was from that experience that I chose not to run in the Disneyland 5k, an event I had swore to run in once I had met my weight loss goal back in 2008. I never did for fear of screwing up my knees.

Laboring under that delusion for years had given me plenty of excuses to put off running in the many 5k events that are held around the area, but today I decided to put that excuse to the side and, no matter how I felt, run the entire event.

At least that’s what I had told myself.

As I was waiting in the starting line I was still doubting my physical ability to go through with running the 3+ miles. I fiddled with the Nike + GPS app on my iPod and chose to listen to my usual running music: my Workout Playlist consisting of a load of songs that always keep me going. Once the whistle was blown and the crowd started to move it hit me: it was a beautiful Sunday morning and Anthony’s school was going to get a lot of money out of this event.

I hit Play on the iPod, put it in gear and started to jog away. And it wasn’t easy at first.

As I started to make my way, I was met by my neighbor, Rick, who was also having difficulty deciding if he was going to run or walk the event. He ended up walking for a bit as I continued my slow-but-steady pace down the route.

There were water stations at each mile. At Mile 1, I slowed down a bit to grab a cup of water and quench my thirst. I continued on my merry way and before I knew it, I had caught up to Rick and his brother. I guess they passed me as I paused for my cup of water. Either way, I passed them later on down the road and we continued to do so until Rick finally left me in the dust.

I kept chugging along to Mile 2 and still felt great. The feet weren’t sore nor were my knees, but my legs were (and still are) another story. But I didn’t let any of that stop me and I kept plugging away.

Mile 3. Fun! Almost there! By now I was definitely starting to feel fatigued but knowing that the finish line was lurking just around the corner, I hit PowerSong on the Nike + GPS app and was greeted to Genesis’ “Turn It On Again“. This would be the song that would carry me to the end of the race.

And it was perfect. I crossed the line right about when the song ended, had my barcode scanned, and that was that. The final results:

  • Place: 148th
  • Time: 37:11

So, do you think I’m happy with these results? You bet I am! This was something I’ll definitely remember and look forward to next November. It also have me the confidence to participate in the 2011 Disneyland 5k, which I will most definitely do.

All in all it was a fantastic day for both the inaugural run of this event and for me personally for running the entire time, not giving in to whatever my mind have been telling me. No excuses–I made the commitment and followed through with it.

Oh, and for those cyclists who thought we were impeding on “their” territory by using the San Gabriel River bike trail near El Dorado Park for just a few hours, who also voiced their profanity-laden displeasure to participants and volunteers as they rode by us? I hope your collective ego was satisfied. We were on this public trail–sporadically, I might add–for a mere two hours today. We’re so sorry to have interrupted your Tour de Long Beach for a few seconds as you whizzed by us and all for the sake of raising money for our kids’ school. We’ll try not to inconvenience you next time, mmmmkay?

Just kidding. I hope there are twice as many runner there for next year’s event, so get your clever little insults ready for us. We’ll just do like we did today: laugh and keep going. I ride those trails too and don’t get perturbed when there’s a slowpoke in front of me. You just step on it and go around. Not hard.

That’s it. I’m gonna take it easy for a bit. I’m tired–but very happy 🙂

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