Your First Race

in FAQ Mondays

Happy Moan-day.  I could’ve slept better, so I made it up to myself with this delicious breakfast.


Looks fancy-pants, but it’s really just plain old French toast with banana, sunflower seeds, and coconut, all stacked together in a pretty way. 


Presentation counts for a lot.  Maybe not for 8 hours of solid sleep, but for something.  Winking smile


FAQ Monday


In lieu of the traditional three-question FAQ Monday format, I thought it would be fun to do one more involved question. I recently got an email from a reader named Dana, who was a bit upset because her first race – a 5K – didn’t go exactly as she had hoped.  “I wasn’t prepared for the fact that the first mile was uphill,” she wrote. “I had practiced entirely inside on a flat treadmill and even though I managed up the hill for the first mile, I was toast by 1.2 and ended up walking a majority of the rest of the race.”  Since then, she’s felt kind of turned off by running and wanted some advice.


I wrote back that I had to smile because my first race experience sounded pretty similar.  And that brings me to today’s question…

photo (63)

What was your first race experience like, and what lessons did you learn from it?


My first race was a 10K in Pittsburgh.  It was five years ago and a few months after I had decided to get truly healthy and start exercising.  Although I have lots of friends who run races now, I only had one running friend (BFF Lauren) but she didn’t live in the ‘burgh anymore by then.  I hadn’t discovered running blogs yet, so I was on my own as far as training went.  I used a plan that I found online and trained almost exclusively indoors on a treadmill, as the race was in the colder months.  I think I ran the race distance before the actual event, but I was pretty terrified of running 6.2 miles outside, alone.


The day of the race, I woke up and it was freezing – it might have been flurrying.  I wanted to back out but had told all my coworkers that I was doing the 10K.  I had no fancy cold-weather running gear, so I wore a pair of thermal underwear with running shorts over it, a cotton beanie, and a regular North Face jacket.


The Husband and I were living together {in sin} at that point, but he couldn’t come with me because he had to work.  Driving to the start all by myself was so scary.  I had no idea how to put on a timing chip or a bib, but I figured it out by watching other runners.  When the gun when off at the starting line, I just tried to pretend it was a normal run.  But the first mile was totally uphill.  It was grueling.  I probably came out too fast (rookie mistake that I still make every race!) and felt totally burnt out by the top… And then… I ran by my car.  Yes, I ran right by my car at the point that quitting sounded perfectly reasonable and amazing.  I stood at the top of the hill and debated getting in for at least a minute.  I almost got in my car and drove away, no joke! 


I realized how embarrassed I would be to quit a 10K in the first mile – more so than if I blew it off altogether – so I trudged on.  I got warmer and my cotton clothes got soaked, which made me cold again.  But I began to have… fun!  By the time I finished (in 1:01 – which would actually be my unbeatable 10K time for a long time), I was hooked on running.  I left the finish line party and drove the Husband’s work (a seafood restaurant) and ate the biggest meal of my life.  And the rest, as they say, is race history.


Lessons learned:


  • Study the course map to determine whether the race is flat or hilly and prepare accordingly.
  • It’s okay to train on a treadmill, but get outside as much as possible.
  • Cotton clothes are not the ideal running gear.


What was your first race like?



  • margaret oneal May 21, 2012, 8:13 am

    No! She can’t give it up! The first race is too much out of your comfort zone… it takes a few to realize the variety of 5ks and to get the 5k high. The big plus about an uphill course is that if you get out for a run right after (ie two days later as in I run every other day) you run so much faster. Yes hills are miserable, but they make you a faster runner with more endurance and she will notice this!

    my first race was a night race in january. I overdressed afraid I would freeze to death. Ha! I almost went home because it was a small race with all of these amazingly fit runners. I was so out of shape. I did it though and I wanted to throw up at the end… and wasn’t able to partake of the soup that was part of the 5k perks I didn’t and heh, won 3rd place in my age division. winning that dinky award hooked me and I’ve been running ever since. I try to do that race every year now. It’s one of my faves.

  • Jen May 21, 2012, 8:14 am

    I’m from the ‘burg and know exactly what race you’re talking about – the great race!! I’ve run the 5K a few times then moved up to the 10K 3 years ago – that 1st hill is brutal. It doesn’t help that my fiance is a beast running uphill (with know training at all) so I try to stay with him!

  • Anna May 21, 2012, 8:25 am

    Guffawed at “were living together (in sin)” and people in the library are looking at me funny. Too funny

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed May 21, 2012, 8:33 am

    I ran my first 5K in Philly, it was the Race for the Cure and it was huuuuge. I ran with my lacrosse team in 9th grade and the crowds were so inspiring.

    I used to run on treadmills but once I got used to running outside, I never wanted to go back! Getting out and running on uneven surfaces and hills is so important (and less boring, in my opinion)! And if you’re used to running hills and your race is flat, it will seem easy 😉

    Stick with it girl, it will only get easier as you work at it!

  • Kimberly May 21, 2012, 8:45 am

    My first race was a 5k in my hometown. My husband (then boyfriend) and I had trained for 4 months for this race. 2 weeks prior to the race, I started having severe pains in my knee. Two x-rays and an MRI later, I found out that I had severe inflammation. My doctor advised against me completing the race. I was devestated….so after much pleading, begging, and crying – he agreeded to let me participate but only if I a) got a steriod shot, b) rested completely until the day of the race and c) wore a knee brace during the race. I agreeded and finished the 5K in 42 minutes – which nearly 10 minutes slower than my training pace. But I had finished which was what mattered.

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats May 21, 2012, 9:02 am

    I’ve definitely learned that running outside is key. I actually love running on the treadmill, but it definitely hindered me in my half marathon because running outside really is harder! The best thing about having a bad race though? Learning from it!

  • Hillary May 21, 2012, 9:03 am

    My first race was one of the Komen 5Ks in DC. The course is almost entirely flat, but there were SO MANY PEOPLE running! I was blown away and totally unprepared for such a crowd—I spent the majority of my time just dodging people! I had a lot of fun, though, and I did better than I expected!

  • Beki @ MissWheezy May 21, 2012, 9:08 am

    This is a really great post for me as I’m running my first race (5k) on the 16th June and am super nervous! Reading these race tips will help me to be fully prepared and as well as doing my best, hopefully have fun! 🙂

  • Kattrina May 21, 2012, 9:19 am

    My first race was awesome – I hadn’t trained at all but I also had no pressure to perform because I had no idea what I was doing!

    I was waiting tables at a restaurant and one of the other servers was running a 5k race that night that started at midnight. It was only about five minutes from where we worked so somehow she talked me into running it with her, so after we got off at 11pm, I went home and threw some running clothes on and met up with her at the start line.

    I’d never run more than 1 mile in my entire life and had no expectations. However, the race was so fun (running in the dark at midnight during the summer – very awesome) that I didn’t care that I had to walk a bunch or that I was out of shape. I finished in 30 minutes and was eternally hooked on running!

  • Laine May 21, 2012, 9:24 am

    My first race sucked. I had over-trained and had a hurt left quad and right shin. I got what I affectionately call “slappy foot” about 1/4 mile in, when you shin and calf seize up and your foot just slaps along. I was also running with a friend who had hurt her knee and she kept saying “slow down, can we walk, can we walk slower?” so I couldn’t get a good pace going and didn’t feel I had done my best. I crossed the finish line convinced I’d never do another.

    Then I took a couple of weeks off running, started back slower and gave myself more time to get stronger. I ran my second 5K on Mother’s day. My friends and I agreed it was ‘every man for herself’ and we all ran our best races. I came in 5th from last, but was very pleased with my time. There were lots of hills and I was still faster than my first.

    So, don’t let a bad first race turn you off!

  • faith May 21, 2012, 9:24 am

    My first race was actually really awesome. I had to speed to get there on time but I felt strong, stayed in it mentally and sprinted to the finish. My second race was much worse though…here’s to hoping the third (this weekend, yikes) goes better!

  • Shelly May 21, 2012, 9:34 am

    My first race was awesome- and I think that the key reasons were a) New Orleans (where the race was) is flat, b) I trained outside, c) I ran with several friends and d) the race I ran in was a big popular race with great crowd support, lots of water stops, bands along the way, and a big party at the end.

  • Jen Hofstetter (@photosbyjenh) May 21, 2012, 9:35 am

    My first race was Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race (10K) about 4 years ago, I think. It takes place on July 4th every year. I didn’t train well (had never even heard of interval training), but I had an okay experience and ended up finishing with a 1:23 or something.

    Then I didn’t run for 2 years. Summer of 2010 I decided to try again, this time using the Couch to 5K plan. I trained on the treadmill, never made it past week 4, and ran the Brookhaven Bolt 5K in May of last year. I wanted a sub-40 and ended up with 42+. I signed up for another 5K immediately for redemption, still failed to train properly, and ended up with 46 minute 5K. The hills in Atlanta are CRAZY, and I felt like failure. So I quit running for a while.

    Then this past January, I decided to try Couch to 5K one more time. I figured if I truly couldn’t finish the program this time, maybe it means I’m not meant to be a runner. Starting it over completely still made me feel like a failure. I may have only gotten to week 4 before, but that still meant I was running 5-8 minutes at a stretch, and here I was back to 90 second intervals – and struggling! But I made the decision not to compare myself to anyone at the gym, to any of the bloggers I read, or even to 2011 me. Around week 3 I decided to start running once a week out on the road. I eventually transitioned all of my runs to outside and my running has improved dramatically. I ran the Bolt again on Saturday and came in with a 37:33. Not fast by most standards, but for me, it’s the fastest I’ve run in my life, and over 5 minutes faster than my previous PR. Sunday I sat down, researched some 10K plans, and set myself some new goals.

    I guess my biggest takeaway is that you have to decide for yourself if running is definitely something you want to do, or if it’s something you think you should do because others are doing it. There are lots of ways to get healthy. I know for me there are some options that just wouldn’t work. Dancing – no coordination. Spin class – boring. When I’m running now, no matter how slow, I feel amazing, so I know this is something that I want to work at. After you decide if it’s the right thing for you, you have to get outside at least once a week. I started on Saturday mornings and gradually added more days. Now, due to the heat of summer, I’m going to move back into the gym during the week, but I’m keeping my Saturday runs outside, even if it means getting out there at 6:30 a.m. before it’s too hot.

    So, sorry for the long response, but there’s my answer! Make sure it’s something you truly want to do, then go for it, and make sure to train outside at least once a week. The end.

    • Soniathe Mexigarian May 21, 2012, 1:59 pm

      ^ THIS! ” I’m running now, no matter how slow, I feel amazing, so I know this is something that I want to work at”

      Definetly words of wisdom.

      I always joke that running and I have a love hate relationship. I originally started to run because everyone else was doing it, hate hate hate, but then, I started to love it for myself alone. 🙂

  • Cait @ Beyond Bananas May 21, 2012, 9:58 am

    My first race was a 10K.. a little over a year ago! The weather was perfect.. and the course was amazing too. I definitely checked out the route online, but never drove through in person because I didn’t want to psych myself out if there were any significant hills.
    The race itself went better than I could have ever imagined. I ran an average of 7:33/mile.. which is FAR faster than I ran in any training runs!

  • Brittney May 21, 2012, 10:02 am

    Hi Caitlin- I have a question for you about racing and knowing when you’re ready to start training for a marathon. I’ve done 3 10ks and yesterday I did my FIRST!! 1/2 marathon. (2:04:47- I am beyond stoked on my time!) I’m feeling sore and my knee hurts a bit, but I really want to push myself and sign up for a full marathon in the fall. What training did you do before your 1st marathon? How did you know you were ready?

    Thanks and keep the amazing blog posts coming- I love reading yours!

    • CaitlinHTP May 22, 2012, 12:39 pm

      Hey Brittney!

      I think you could get ready for a fall marathon at this point. I had been running for several years and done a few halves and longer races before my mary, but many people go from couch to marathon in six months. I would look at Jeff Galloway’s training plans for a marathon, choose a race, and then decide when you need to start the program. Up until then, you prob need to maintain 10K level of fitness but I would recommend doing lots of low impact cross training in addition to help your knees get stronger (SWIMMING!!!).

  • Army Amy* May 21, 2012, 10:10 am

    I ran my first race with my best friend. We weren’t fast, but we had so much fun! I learned how welcoming and warm the running community is. I immediately wanted to run another race, and I did!*

  • Christine @ BookishlyB May 21, 2012, 10:15 am

    My first race was a local 5k and I just remember being so, so, so pissed about a massive hill near the end. Being the niave newbie runner it had never occurred to me to check an elevation chart!

  • Earthy Nicole May 21, 2012, 10:16 am

    Ahh, surprise hills! My first race was touted as a “flat course” so the ONE hill that was there took me by surprise because of its existence and the fact that it was SO steep. Other than that, I was thankful to have read plenty of blogs for tips and advice. I drank the water at a water station that I shouldn’t have (it was only a 5k and the water hurt me more than it helped). I was also really disappointed that except for the photos I took, there was none available on the organizer’s website. It was a really tiny race and I guess nobody cared enough to post the photos that were taken. The upside of running a small race was that I placed in my first race ever, lol! For Dana, I’d like to point out that just because racing might not be your thing, doesn’t mean running can’t be! You don’t HAVE to race to be a runner.

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 21, 2012, 10:48 am

    I used to do a few mini-triathlons as a kid, but I’d say my first real running race that I can remember (and that I actually prepped for) was a 10km at the age of about 17. There was a stretch that looped around where we were supposed to turn back to finish the last bit of the race, and there were marshals there whose job it was to make sure we did indeed turn the right way. Well, I guess the marshal that was there when I was making the turn was a bit distracted, because somehow he didn’t see me and I ended up running off the course! I eventually ran alongside another runner, but he didn’t have a number on his shirt. Yep – he wasn’t in the race and I was totally off course. Luckily, I managed to find my way back and still had a pretty respectable finish time, but I was so annoyed because I probably would have placed in the top 5 if I’d stayed on the right route! Lesson learned: Get familiar with the course before you run it!

  • Maggie May 21, 2012, 11:02 am

    My first race was a 5k that was run over the Brooklyn Bridge (recap is here: The worst part of it was that it POURED down rain, I was soaking wet by the time we finished. There were also a ton of people in a very small space which made actually running tough. But I kept running races after that so it was a good first race!

    And I love that you almost got in your car, that’s completely something I would have considered, too.

  • marjie May 21, 2012, 11:13 am

    I never review the course prior to a race. I like the surprise factor!! I DO however, train outside exclusively, regardless of the weather and I live in a snow belt. Nothing prepares you for a race like running flat surfaces as well as hills. It also helps you to know how to dress.

    Speaking of which, I ran my 5th half marathon in cotton capris. I knew better. But, fashion trumped smarts that day. Unfortunately, it poured rain the entire race, my pants weighed as much as a small child and I ended up with some pretty severe waist band burns.

    Stay with it. The first race is always scary. Heck, every race is scary! But, it’s so much fun crossing the finish line!!!

  • ErikaMC May 21, 2012, 11:25 am

    My lesson learned after my first 5k was that the finish line isn’t always were the start line is! I rounded the corner and saw where I had started at and assumed that was the finish line too so I took off fast and hard. Once I got to the that point and realized it wasn’t the finish I assumed it was around the next corner and continued on hard and fast – wrong again! I had to go another 1/4 mile before the real finish line. Now I find out where the finish line is and pay attention to mile markers so I know when to really kick it in gear.

  • Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers May 21, 2012, 11:30 am

    Ahhh, yes – the rookie mistakes. The “perfect” race is a myth to me, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of good ones!

  • Stina May 21, 2012, 12:05 pm

    Hi Caitlin! I’ve been reading your blog off and on since the beginning and it’s so exciting to read all your baby posts – what an amazing, inspiring and calm perspective you have on your pregnancy! This is waaayy off topic of your current post, but as my husband and I are now TTC, and I’m really enjoying reading other preganancy/baby blogs, I was wondering if you have a list of other blogs you’ve read or know of? Through you, I’ve read about BabyKerf and Fitnessista, but was wondering if you had a few more to recommend? Thank you!

  • Kate May 21, 2012, 12:40 pm

    My first race was after reaching my goal weight and was the St.Patricks day dash (a random 3.8 miles in Seattle). I was considering this my first race in training for a half marathon (go big or go home right?). I went with a friend who had done a half and was training for a full and was meeting another friend who was also going from not-really-a-runner-but-runs-sometimes to half.

    I had been running both indoors and out and my neighborhood was nothing but hills. So when I saw the course went up and back down a long hill I felt prepared. However in the week or so before I had started to have some hip pain which I thought was IT band related and treated accordingly (rest, ice, massage). My goal went from finishing at a 10 min mile pace to not stopping and no pain.

    It was a huge race, 10,000 people. It was cold and wet and I wore cotton but it was fine, there was so much excitement and buzz. I came out of the gate slow and the friend I came with started with me but we soon broke apart, her in front. As I got used to the crowd and weaving I found my pace, and started to have a blast. I evenutally passed my friend but never saw the other one till after the finish.

    Afterward I felt great. No pain, and my time came in at 10:03/mile.

    Unfortunatly in the coming weeks the hip pain would continue, get worse, force me to drop out of my very expensive first half, and sideline me from running for 6 months. Saturday was my first race since fully recovering from injury and I am happy to say it was a blast, and nothing but hills.

  • Kris @ tryingtotri May 21, 2012, 12:55 pm

    Oh those stories are awful – now I know how lucky I was! My very first race was a half marathon I signed to run for charity! But I trained for 7 months, it was in Las Vegas, and our charity group consisted of about 35 people, so I had lots of support, etc. Plus my mom was there too. 🙂

    It was an awesome experience, even if my time was 3:21. It didn’t matter than I walked more than I ran – I had fun, and I was hooked.

  • jameil May 21, 2012, 2:18 pm

    My first race was a 5K at the beach. It was a little chilly but warmed up nicely. I didn’t even know how amazing it was to have a flat, fast race like that! I had only been running 6 weeks at that point (like never run as a child or anything) so I was excited to finish under 45.

    DEFINITELY train outside when you can and don’t avoid hills. If you start taking them as they come and look at them as something that can make you stronger, they stop being so scary. If you will mostly be inside on the treadmill, incorporate hills there. It’s not the same but it’s better than maintaining a flat workout throughout. Disappointing races happen to all of us. Training for another race really helped me. I had a disappointing 10K and immediately signed up for another one. I could stop obsessing over the bad one and focus on the one ahead.

    If I’m local, I run the route at least once so I know what to look out for. If I can’t run it, I google recaps (how I found this blog) for other people’s experiences. Knowing my second 10K was a loop with two large hills in the 1st & 3rd miles helped me make a race plan that incorporated that. In mile 1, I recognized I was expending WAY too much energy on that hill so I walked it. By mile 3, I had plenty left so I ran it. Practicing, knowing what to expect and having a plan all help. Get back out there and come back and tell us how great 5k number 2 was!

  • Soniathe Mexigarian May 21, 2012, 2:19 pm

    I ran my first race last year. The 10k Jungle Run in Los Gatos. I read reviews about it and didn’t realize it was going to be hilly. The day before race, I drove what I could of the course to prepare myself and am glad I did. I freaked about the hill, and worried about the others, but it didn’t out to be THAT bad. I had fun. I ran and finished my first race and I loved it.

    Recap of my first race:

    I now check out elevation charts as well, and if I can, physpically check out the course prior to signing up or race day.

    Don’t let the hill get you down, Dana. There are plenty of other races out there without hills 🙂 Just know you succeded in completeing your first 5k!! That is an accomplishment that deserves to be beamed upon. 🙂

  • Jessica May 21, 2012, 2:30 pm

    My first race was a disaster. I overslept, didn’t eat because of nerves and ran a horrible race. I didn’t race again for a year or so. I just ran a second race this past weekend. I woke up early, forced myself to eat, beat my time by 6 minutes and had a MUCH MUCH better race.

  • Claire May 21, 2012, 2:33 pm

    I was a competitive swimmer from the tender age of 8. I have my fair share of experience caring for swim gear. I would wear my practice suits 3 times before I would hand wash them with Woolite. In between washes I would rinse with warm water, roll in towel to get the water out and hang dry. My cap and goggles NEVER got rinsed off. I would just chuck them in my bag, however I’m sure if I rinsed my cap, a less mildewing smell would have resulted, but it never affected the durability of the cap. Usually fingernails through the rubber is what did those in. Competition suits I treated like gold. Woolite wash after each use, but of course those suits were about $150-300 a piece depending on style. Those are my 2 cents 🙂

  • Abby May 21, 2012, 2:35 pm

    I ran my first 5k in February, and it was was 3 degrees outside. Luckily, we knew it was going to be cold so I had running tights, a pullover, gloves and earwarmers, but 3 degrees is freaking cold! The whole way up until we actually started I couldn’t believe we were actually running a race. Luckily, I was running with a big group of friends so we wouldn’t let each other quit. The first mile or so was uphill, but we had trained with hills so it wasn’t a killer. During training I had never run a full 5k without stopping, so my plan was to run 10 minutes and walk 1 until I finished, and estimated it would take about 39ish minutes (yeah, I’m super slow). When 10 minutes came, I realized that I was doing fine and didn’t need to stop, so I decided to keep running until I HAD to stop. Well, that point never came and I ended up finishing in 32 minutes! Talk about an endorphin rush! I also play mind games with myself to make it “easier.” For instance, I figured that 39 minutes would take about 12 songs on my iPod (if each song averages 3 minutes), so since I wasn’t really watching my time I was guessing how far I had gone according to how many songs I had listened to. Well, somehow I really miscalculated because I think I saw the finish line around song 8. Mentally preparing myself for four more songs gave me a lot of strength to keep going.

  • Claire May 21, 2012, 2:35 pm

    I just realized I meant to comment on the “swim gear” Post. me = dorko

  • Sara May 21, 2012, 3:54 pm

    I am so glad I did not have to go to my first race alone, or that I had to run past my car. My first race was in October, a 5k. It was uphill for the first half mile, and downhill the last half. Downhill hurts my knees more. It was cold for Texas, and it was also the morning after I got married.

    I never expected to run it all, because I am a run/walker, so I was prepared for walking breaks. I did not access the water stations, which now I know better. I was feeling like my time wasn’t great until I noticed I was passing teenagers on the local track team, that was the push I needed to keep going strong. I finished with a 10:01 min mile avg, and the knowledge that I was totally hooked on running.

  • Kristin @ Stop the Planet...I want to get off May 21, 2012, 4:35 pm

    I’m still not brave enough to sign up for a race. Soon, hopefully 🙂

    Totally random, but I loved your added “in sin” referring to your husband, then boyfriend. I always joke that my fiance and I are living in sin, even though I don’t think we are at all.

    • CaitlinHTP May 22, 2012, 12:42 pm

      I didn’t think we were either 🙂

  • Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See May 21, 2012, 4:53 pm

    Hahahahhaha the biggest seafood meal ever 😉 What a perfect ending!

  • Lisa May 21, 2012, 6:20 pm

    My first race was NOT good. I signed up for a 5k and trained really hard, thought I was doing well but was still very much a beginner runner. Unfortunately, I got the flu really bad two weeks before the race and was sick up until the day before the race. Needless to say, it was not a good run. I was slow, weak, tired, had to walk a lot and definitely didn’t understand pacing yet!

  • Molly @ RDexposed May 21, 2012, 6:25 pm

    Um, I’ll just say that it was the last weekend of college and I celebrated the night/morning before. Rough race.

  • Brittney @ Brittney Breathing May 21, 2012, 9:14 pm

    This is coming at the perfect time! I’m currently training for my first 5K race (scary!). I’m scared I will completely give up and quit but it helps to know that it gets better!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin May 21, 2012, 9:16 pm

    I still haven’t run my first real race yet because I’m scared of all the things that could go wrong! But I think I just need to accept that my first race won’t be perfect and just get it over with!

  • Leila @ Spinach and Skittles May 22, 2012, 12:57 am

    That’s too funny about your friend! I’m not a huge showers fan, especially my own – I feel so awkward with everyone watching me open presents. But, I also don’t like being the center of attention, so that probably has something to do with it.
    However, I recently threw my friend a shower and she is a huge pop culture nut. So our one and only game (she isn’t a game person) was a celebrity kid/baby matching game. It only took me one US weekly to find 20 celebrities and their kids. People got one point for matching the pictures correctly and a second point for correctly guessing the child’s name. That was a pretty fun game 🙂

  • Jess May 22, 2012, 2:49 am

    My first 5K run (I have done several walks) was last week. I had a raging sinus infection, my asthma chose that morning to flare up and the course was more hilly that I thought (I did drive it, but the hills seem smaller in a car!)

    So, I can relate to having a crappy first time. I am looking at another 5K in August, but we’ll see. I also found that having a 5K to train for made me feel pressured to go out and run, instead of running for fun.

  • Lyndsay May 22, 2012, 11:36 am

    I literally laughed out loud at ” we were living together ( in sin)”. Hilarious!

  • Leatitia @ The Sweetest Year May 22, 2012, 11:55 am

    My first 5k was in 2008. I was running 10 minutes on the treadmill and started to calculate how long I’d have to run to cover 5 whole km. I guessed about 35 minutes. I convinced my mother to race with me since we were both going to the gym together. We already run on the treadmill, worst case scenario, we’ll walk! Not the end of the world…

    We trained during the summer. Walking, running. Up to 20 minutes. Up to 30 minutes. We were worried to be the LAST people at the race. Like all the other people racing would be very fast and they’d have to wait for us at the finish line and we’d be very embarrassed. What crazy thoughts we can think of!

    We checked the race’s last year stats and saw that the slowest person finished in 33 minutes. Hey, we can do that!

    The day of the race, we peed many times and were VERY excited. We were so happy to be called “athletes”. “All athletes need to be in that area.” “Calling all athletes!” We were smiling so much!

    The race started and we were off. It went very well, we kept our pace and remember that we were racing for ourselves and trying NOT to keep up with people around us to burn ourselves out.

    When I turned the last corner of the race and saw “26:48..49..” I was SO HAPPY. I NEVER though I could run a 5k in the 26s!! I finished in 27:01 minutes. I was smiling very ear to ear. Even the announcer noticed and said: “A very happy runner, proud of her result!”.

    My mother who has been running her 5k in about 35 minutes crossed the finish line in 28:30!!! We were all crying, we were so proud of her! My 50 year old mother finished her first 5k in 28 minutes! It was amazing.

    From then on, the race bug got us and we’ve been participating in races ever since.

  • Kate May 22, 2012, 3:44 pm

    My first race was a 5k and it was so cold and rainy and miserable, and I was totally unprepared. I ran in in a sweatshirt and sweatpants, and I think I even cried at one point. I was 19, very dramatic. Ultimately, I think I placed like 3rd (it was a very small race) and I got a gift certificate to Olive Garden, so all my tears were worth it.

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