I never considered myself a “real” runner. I played various sports growing up which primarily consisting of running up and down the basketball court. After college, I got ambitious and ran a couple of half marathons but then came love, then came marriage, then the baby in the baby carriage….and let’s just say the workouts have since changed J I do make a goal to run at least one 5K each year and when I do, I always am motivated to keep in good enough shape year-round so that I am capable of running a 5K whenever the opportunity arises! Whether it is running to get color thrown on you, running to chug a beverage at the finish race, or running to help fight for breast cancer, here are some tips that keep me on the 5K running path:
Don’t be nervous: I’ll admit that I always get a little nervous each time I arrive at the race, even though I have done several 5K’s in my lifetime! I always remind myself that, “There will always be people who finish before me and people who will finish after me.” I mean, I never run to be competitive, I run to feel good knowing I am healthy enough to run 3.1 miles.
Pace yourself: I wasn’t always the best at this. I sometimes think I get an adrenaline rush and start out running faster than I should be. Although I enjoy pushing myself and allowing the faster runners to push me harder than when I am on the treadmill over the noon hour running for a workout, it is important to try and find people closer to the pace you can keep up with more comfortably.
There is no shame in walking: Some people run; some people walk. Others do a little of both and it is totally fine! Never feel that you are unsuccessful because you may have to stop and walk during your 5K. Success comes in many forms and crossing the finish line happens whether you run or walk the entire 5K!
Enjoy the moment: The whole experience when doing a 5K is unlike anything else. Along the way, you hear the collective pounding of your shoes on the pavement around you. People gather on the sidewalks or path just to cheer on complete strangers. When you look around, you see people who are all there for one common goal. And when you see the finish line approaching, no matter how tired you feel, somehow you dig down deep and give it everything you’ve got left. It’s the most fun you’ll ever have running.
Be proud: I never thought that a 5K was really a big deal—I mean, it’s no marathon, right? But for me, running is always a challenge and I am always happy when I know I have pushed myself to the end! I know my husband and family are always there to cheer me on and tell me they are proud of me for doing it, regardless of my time!
You CAN do it: You will see young children running, seniors, pregnant women, dads pushing strollers, tall, short—every size, shape and age imaginable. Everyone is there to finish a 5K and don’t let the fear of coming in last deter you—it’s still better than all the people who never try.
So, next time you are wondering if you would like to add a 5K to your bucket list, think to yourself, what have you got to lose? Check out the events page on Be Well South Dakota for the next 5K in your area and if you know of a 5K or other event that we don’t have posted, please let us know so we can add it! Have a great day and remember….Be Well South Dakota!