today’s 5k

July 4, 2014

this morning, i ran in our little town’s local 4th of july 5k run. the feeling of deep gratification at completing the race is really indescribable.

flash back a few months ago … i was still deep in excuse-making about how i really just can’t exercise regularly. and truly, i had a ton of good reasons. the reality is that i had/have zero time that is not accounted for or attached to a little person (day & night); i am not a mama who takes a lot of “me” time and if i connect with friends, it usually involves the kids with us; i am using tons of energy as it is chasing these boys (!) so having “extra” energy to go and exercise seemed … distasteful.

for over a year, i knew a couple of my dearest girlfriends were in a sort of text accountability support group – texting daily updates on what workout they did, eating choices, etc. they’d mentioned it to me and always opened the door. yeah, right!

so a few months ago, i got the local parks and rec magazine and flipping through the pages, i came to the little ad about the 4th of july race. 5k. and something in me leapt with excitement. i tabbed the page and thought … i could do this. maybe i should do this!?

in 2007, i determined to run another local 5k and diligently worked through the couch-to-5k training program. to this day, i remember the incredible feeling of crossing that finish line. of being a non-runner, and DOING it!

i wanted to do it again.

and so i started: saturday, may 10. not sure i told anyone those first couple weeks – held my little secret plan close to my heart, wanting to see myself really stick with this before sharing my intention.

this training program is so incredible and truly designed for the non-runner, on the couch! the first few weeks are mostly walking; small bursts of jogging (like 30 sec) added to a few minutes of walking … repeat. gradually, the jogging distances lengthen. and it becomes manageable. a few times i would look ahead to the next week’s training and think – no way will i be able to run 8, or 10 minutes straight! after all, when i started, i couldn’t jog to the corner.

creating time to workout never magically became easy. every time, it took planning, and most often it resulted from my amazing daughter willingly watching her brothers. a few times, i would hear them screaming in protest after i had snuck out the door but i didn’t turn back. they survived. and i got my workout done.

and the coolest part: i began to feel completely awesome after my runs! endorphins? satisfaction? feeling my body getting stronger, more capable? all of it, perhaps. it felt and it feels good.

{we are so blessed, those of us with the capacity to really use our bodies! i would often be running, thinking of those who are wheelchair-bound, who would give anything to *get* to train for a 5k.}

oh, and another awesome unfolding … a few weeks in to this training program, one of my dear friends who is in that little accountability encouragement group, inadvertently sent a daily workout update text to me. and finally, the time was right. yes! i would love to join these awesome mama’s. and it has been the biggest blessing. i’ve started doing my running 3 days a week and at least 2 other days i do some kind of high intensity interval work. it’s been *good*.

ah, so today!!!! the race started at 7:30am. i picked up my race packet yesterday and freaked out! surreal. i was restless and nervous last night – butterflies – and of course because real life keeps on, i was up a few times during the night with my boys. no rest for this mama! finally at 5:30am i decided to get up … ate a little and got myself and the crew ready and out the door. we arrived to the start line by 7am and had 30 minutes to kill! ah. i was just jittery. heart pounding. anxious. ready to start and finish.


giving my dumpling caleb a kiss as i got ready to run

giving my dumpling caleb a kiss as i got ready to run


finally it was time to line up …i joined the mass and stood near the back. the gun sounded and we were off. and the truth is, most of the run was hard. i never felt that “flow” that i’ve experienced on some recent runs. it was effortful, and yet my number one goal was to NOT WALK. no matter what. and i didn’t! a few times i had to slow down and that was fine.

the run was a quick jaunt through downtown (all 10 blocks, lol) then up a long stretch of highway. that part was the roughest; there was a turnaround and for a time, i couldn’t even see the turnaround point … it was totally a mental game at that point. and then of course there were the young bucks, the high school track kids who did the turnaround and were already heading back to the finish line as i was still far from turning! ahh.  but finally, i got to the turnaround and got a quick drink of water. the way back was much more tolerable; i could see the large grange building slowly approaching and finally, saw the turn back on to pine street (the main street through downtown). i turned and had just 3 blocks to go … home stretch!

it felt great finishing; great seeing my family and honestly just being DONE. doing it.  YES!!









my girl had brought money with her to buy me flowers during my run. made me cry.

my girl had brought money with her to buy me flowers during my run. made me cry.


i am not sure what is next. certainly a part of me is excited by the challenge of future races; of getting faster, of the running becoming more comfortable and of just being more well-trained. during today’s run i kept thinking, never again! this is the worst! lol. but perhaps running a race is a bit like childbirth – we forget how horrible and are left only with the sweetness of the outcome. we shall see.


One Response to “today’s 5k”

  1. jani Says:

    I love it Emily!!! Good for you!
    I’ve only run in Ethiopia and I really should get back into it… not that I was ever a Runner in the true sense of the word. But the occasional 5k or 10k. What an accomplishment.
    This morning I even thought how nice the weather was for a summer run… not too hot, a cool breeze blowin’. 🙂

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