The first of many medals!
Me beating Jeffrey by ONE second at the finish line!
Hi! Oh my goodness I have been looking forward to this blog post! If you guys aren't following me on Instagram or Twitter, you probably didn't know I have been training for my first 5K race. I thought it would be best to share my experience through blog form instead of video form. Let's get started!
Why I Did It
It makes sense to start off with this question, because I've never really been athletic in my life. I used to take ballet and jazz classes growing up, a little bit of swimming, and was in competitive marching band in high school (which some argue is athletic and others disagreeing). Other than that, I was never this active. I have a good friend who lives such a healthy and inspiring lifestyle, and it inspired me to do the same. That's pretty much what triggered this whole thing, and I'm so glad it did. I don't have great hand-eye coordination either, so running is a great option for me as well.
Alright, since it was my first time training for a race, I did a lot of research online. I also got some good advice from my friend that I mentioned above, since she has ran half marathons and is overall very athletic. Active.com was also a great resource for me, since that's the main website where you enroll in races and they have plenty of articles to help guide you to reach your goal.
I pretty much searched "training schedules for a 5K in 1 month", and came across a few different schedules and chose the one that worked best for me. From there, Jeff and I followed the schedule religiously, and trained pretty much every other day. The goal of the schedule was to get your body adapted to running 30 minutes straight (which is a good starting time for your first race).
The first week of training was probably the toughest, since the furthest I ran on the treadmill was one mile (which I was very proud of at the time, since I used to hate running). The schedule starts off with running for one minute, and walking for 4, repeating 6 times. After the first week, we decided to try running outside, and boy was that another tough run. Granted, we did decide to run on a rainy day, but you don't realize how much harder it is to run outside in various elements (incline changes, weather, temperature, etc.). By the third week, our bodies were adapt to running 3.1 miles on the treadmill, and now it was a matter of shortening the time that we walk, and maximizing the time that we ran. We also listened to our bodies throughout the process, and sometimes had to work out every two days since Jeff would get bad shin splints, but for 98% of the training process, we were running on average about 9 miles a week.
It was mandatory for all enrolled runners to attend the expo to pick up our bib numbers along with our swag bags and goodies! That was super fun, and got me pumped for race day. On Sunday February 4th, we woke up at 4:30am, made some breakfast, and made our way to Huntington Beach. A few things I was not prepared for- HOW COLD IT IS AT THE BEACH AT 5AM! I knew it would be cold, but not 40 degrees cold. My muscles were tight, but we had time to let them warm up since the 5K group didn't start until 7am. (We just got there early because they recommended it for parking, and we wanted to minimize our stress levels.) There was a shuttle option since we parked a mile away from the race, but we decided to just walk to the event and let our muscles warm up (even though it was freezing cold!). We got a good 10 minute stretch in before it was time to race, and made our way to the starting line. My adrenaline was PUMPED! Just being surrounded by so many people of all different ages and walks of life was so motivating and exciting.
The hosts of the event did a countdown, and next thing you know we're running! The Surf City run was such a great choice for a first race because it's flat with hardly any incline. They closed off PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) for miles just for this event, and you're just running right by the coast. It was breathtaking, beautiful, exciting, cold, and tough. I've read that you should stay at your own pace and resist going faster than you're used to because of adrenaline. We were in race mode, but about 2 miles into running, my abs were feeling a little sore, and it was slightly hard to breathe since the air was so brisk and cold. I kept powering on, and when it got really bad, I listened to my body and walked for about 10-20 seconds to recompose myself, and went straight back into running.
The last mile was the toughest, I'm not going to lie. I was NOT used to running 3.1 miles STRAIGHT, in the cold brisk air. I wanted to walk so badly, but Jeff kept going, slowing down his pace a little so I can keep up. We were literally at 2.85 miles, and SO CLOSE to the finish line, and he wanted to sprint to the end. At this point I was so exhausted, that I stopped, walked, and slowed my heart-rate down just a bit. Once my music was starting to get static-y (Jeff had my phone in his running band), I told myself "EMILY, JUST GO FOR IT. FREAKIN RUN." and went full speed past the finish line. The best part is that I beat Jeff by ONE second! It was quite hilarious, and you can see it in the photos above.
It was such a satisfying and proud moment running through the finish line. All the hard work and training paid off. My official time was 29 minutes and 9 seconds, which was under the 35 minute goal Jeff and I had set for ourselves. WOOOH! We were handed our medals (which are so freakin cute!), some snacks and water, and just went to sit and rest.
Overall, we had so much fun at the race, and can't wait to enroll in our next one! Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Leave a comment or question below if you have any, and thanks so much for always being supportive of what I do!