Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sitting in the Driver's Seat... My First 5k!

After 8 long weeks of waking up 3 times a week to exercise, the day has finally come for my first 5K!

The week started off normal, I planned out my running schedule for the week and made sure that I only drank water and didn’t pig out on bad food for me.

On Thursday morning, I got up to go running, feeling a little off, but went anyway. After only half of what I wanted to run that morning, I had to stop. I just wasn’t feeling up to it, and I was so disappointed in myself for not being finishing my goal on the run before the actual race. A few hours after my run, I got really sick, and wasn’t able to hold down any food the whole day. It was so miserable! I was convinced that I wouldn’t complete my goal. I woke up Friday morning feeling no nausea, but completely empty because I had not eaten food in so long. So I started the process of replenishing my fluids and eating solid foods. I was still convinced that I wouldn’t be able to finish my race, but that I would get as far as I could.

I had trouble falling asleep on Friday 1) because the Ranger game wasn’t over yet and I wanted to see if they won (p.s WORLD SERIES!!!!! HOORAY!!!!!) and 2) because I was anxious about my race. I woke up a full hour before my alarm, but decided to just get up and get ready and take more time to stretch ad watch an episode of Gilmore Girls (the Dance Marathon episode that marks the beginning of Rory and Jess aka my favorite episode ever!) and after it ended I headed over to the race.

It was mass chaos when I got there! There were so many people and so many booths, and I finally got to the registration, grabbed my number, and found the starting line. It seemed like the entire city was there to run in a small street. There was no way I would have any room to move, let alone run. As they blew to horn to begin the mass of people began to run. People were passing other people in the tight clump, but eventually I was free to run at my own pace. I will admit that I was expecting to be motivated by race day, but in all actuality there were way too many people to feel comfortable running at my own pace. I have spent the last 8 weeks running in solitude with my IPod and that’s it, and all of a sudden there other people were interrupting my thoughts and running pace. It was a hot morning and about 2 hours later than I am used to running, but I kept going. About half way through the race, I was beginning to get really hot and tired mentally but noticed that my legs were doing just fine at the pace I was going. I made a mental note that if I could do the first half, I could certainly do the second.

As I crossed the finish line and saw my time (33:33!!) I was so excited!! I was shooting for somewhere between 30 and 45, so I was so excited to see it so close to 30!! I was so proud of my accomplishment and what I had done, and then I found out that I finished in the first 1,000 people and I GOT A MEDAL!!!! For those of you who know my history with anything athletic, you know that I have never really been very good at it. I have earned a total of 2 trophies in my life. The first was for a pinewood derby competition, and it was for the “Frilliest Car” because mine was pink sparkly with a Babie on it, and the second was the “Good Sportsmanship” trophy for my 3rd grade basketball team (we never won a single game). So basically, I have never actually earned an award for my outstanding athletic accomplishments. For other people, this may not be that big of a thing, but I now have a physical representation of what my dedication can accomplish. I didn’t just finish the 5k, I earned a medal!

This whole experience has taught me so much about myself and what I can do. People will disappoint you, the world will throw things at you, and things will always go wrong, but I know that I can set a goal for myself and accomplish it. I was the one getting myself out of bed to run in the morning, I was the one who pushed myself to accomplish something. As my life tumbles in different directions, and outside influences continue to throw me curve balls, it is good to know that I am still in the driver’s seat, and the goals I set for myself can be accomplished.


  1. I'm so proud of you Lauren! Your first big race is always going to be exciting. Did you feel the rush as you moved across the start line?

  2. Lauren I am SOOOOO proud of you. Way to go!!! Keep up that motivation. (And ps. your motivation is proof that I can do something like that for myself as well). Thanks for the inspiration g lil!

  3. This is very inspiring. Thanks for chronicling your work outs and letting me see your life as you live it:) I have been trying to motivate myself to go running before work here in Nairobi, but I haven't yet set a goal to meet. I'm proud of you and your medal!