16th Annual Independence 5K Run/Walk to A Healthier You

You might remember I signed up for the 16th Annual Independence 5K Run/Walk to A Healthier You as a part of my list of The Big 2-7 To Dos. While I wanted to commit to a training plan, life started to get in the way. When the same thing happened in the spring, I talked myself out of running the 5K I signed up for in April. However, this time – training program or not – I was committed to running this morning.

It’s confession time friends. I’m in a serious workout rut, so the training runs trailed off as August 7 grew closer. Realizing I was expecting myself to make it through 3.1 miles, I promised myself to include some sort of movement each day during the week before the race.  For the most part, this meant a 30 minute pup walk around the neighborhood. I felt I was moving my legs and getting my muscles ready for the big day, at least in some way.

Since I’ve been stalking such bloggers as Meghann, Heather, Allison and Caitlin for a long time, I knew to lay out all my stuff the night before and to not do anything different on the race morning.  I woke up at 7AM, made a pot of coffee and ate a banana on the way to the race. Luckily, the site was less than a ten minute drive from my house.

Registration began at 7:30am with the 5K run/walk starting at 8:30am. Luckily, I talked a very special guy into signing up for the race that morning:

My awesome husband agreed to be my running buddy! I had more moral support: my dad joined us to cheer us on (and watch our stuff!):

Inspired by this past week, I decided I needed to wear this sign to help motivate everyone along the way:

It became my mantra for the morning!

We stretched it out, walked around, then lined up toward the middle of the pack since there were a bunch of walkers participating. Hans was cool with jogging at my speed and was there to be my motivator throughout the race. My original goal was to jog the entire length. However, after my lack of training, I decided to listen to my body and to take walk breaks when I needed them.  Luckily, my walk breaks are done at quite the clip (think power walking speed), so I managed to keep a good time.

We hit the first mile marker at about the 10:30 mark, which I was AMAZED by. I had never run a mile that quickly (that I’m aware of). I also got a bit nervous as I didn’t want to rush myself and burn myself out later in the race.

We hit the second mile marker. I forget what that time keeper told us, but a bit down the road, another time keeper told us we were at the 23:30 mark. I knew we were somewhere around the 2.25/2.5M distance. Hans did the quick math and said, “let’s get this done under 35 minutes.”

Around this time is when my side stitch started. I remembered Kat writing on her blog to exhale when your left foot strikes if you’re prone to side stitches. This was a big help to get through the rest of the race. Thanks Kat!

Since it was an “in and out” course through a community park, we came back upon the area where we started, so we could see the finish line from a far. Hans kept the positive thoughts flowing and challenged me to sprinting the last tenth of a mile. I also remembered what my brother text messaged me the night before: “just remind yourself… you’ve done harder things than this and killed them“. I love my bro for the inspiration.

We hit the 3 mile marker and we took off. I dug deep and ran like I never ran before!  As we got closer to the finish line, I saw the timer showed the time around the 33:50 mark. I had NEVER run a 5K under 36 minutes before, so I was flabbergasted!  We ended up crossing the line at 34:04 – truly a new PR!

My dad was proudly waiting for us at the finish line and offered water immediately to me. Unfortunately, that last sprint also increased my side stitch. It took me few minutes of walking around, stretching and A LOT of breathing to soothe the pain. But as I said towards the end of the run: pain is temporary!

To celebrate, we had to take some photos of us post-race!

I realized I LOVED LOVED LOVED having a running buddy. Hans might be in for some more running in his future!

I was truly amazed with myself. I have done so much over the years: sang solos at Severance Hall, lost over 110 pounds, graduated from college, thrown events for over 1,000 people. I NEVER thought I could run a 5K. Today I achieved one of my goals. And a new confession for you all: I think I’m addicted to the race day experience!

my Operation Beautiful note of inspiration got me through!

Lululemon’s manifesto encourages us to “do one thing a day that scares you.” What are you going to do today to push your limits? My second test: how many wines I can try at Vintage Ohio this afternoon?!

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17 comments

  1. Aunt Kat says:

    CONGRATS ALICIA! YOU ARE AWESOME. I knew you could do it. See, it was no big deal. The only thing you feared was the fear itself. (Hmmmm? How profound of me. lol) Now that you mastered that I’m sure you’ll have many, many more accomplishments in your life. Just one step at a time. I know a woman who would have been very proud of you today ( and every day) and she would have told you “You go away girl.” Love you lots. Now go celebrate!

  2. Ryan says:

    Awesome job! I ran this race as well. It was a perfect morning for running. Trust me, once you start doing races, you will become hooked; it’s like crack! I did my first race two years ago for fun, and now I’m an everyday runner training for a marathon. It may be the most fulfilling sport ever!

  3. Aunt Linda says:

    CONGRATS! We are so proud of you! It is on!! Half marathon June 5, 2011 in San Diego…cannot wait. Lots of love, Aunt Linda and Uncle Chris

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