My First Ever 5k

I did it!


With the support of the super kind and ever wonderful Caitlin who ran the ENTIRE 5k with me, I completed my first 5k – the Jingle Jog at Thunder Road!

But let’s back up a little…or a lot…

One time, when I was in middle school, I had a major figure skating competition coming up. For whatever reason, I thought my classmates would be interested to know I was doing said competition and I told ALL of them. It was fun conversation. What are you up to this weekend? Oh me? Well, I’m competing in a skating competition! It sounded cool and I thought it was interesting to talk about people seemed interested in learning about it. It wasn’t until the night before the competition that I suddenly realized…if I blew the competition, then EVERYONE would know! Everyone would ask me the next week, and I’d have to tell them what a failure I was. Well, I ended up getting third place out of about 12 other skaters, so thankfully, I had something to be proud to talk about the next week.

I thought about this story of middle-schooler me last night as I was thinking about the 5k I would be doing in the morning. Just like before, I had proclaimed my decision to sign up for a 5k, except this time I told way more people – blog readers, twitter followers, and real life friends, too. Oh boy. My anxiety started catching up with me. What if I did terrible? Or worse…what if I got hurt or something and DNFed (didn’t finish)? I would be the laughing stock of the blog world, right?

Luckily (I guess?), I was too nervous this morning about the race in general to worry about embarrassing myself in the blogosphere.

Picture 20.png

I checked the weather. Ooh, it was going to be a cold one!


Kaitlin suggested coconut water for pre-run fuel, saying they were good for cramps. I typically drink coconut water while I’m teaching or doing Zumba, but I hadn’t really tried having coconut water BEFORE working out. I tend to get side-stitches easily, so this seemed like a good idea.


A lot of you suggested nut butter toast for pre-run eats, but we were out of bread! Doh! So, I had oatmeal with PB instead…plus coffee.


I planned my race day outfit completely around trying to stay warm. Like my socks? “Sexy,” right? lol


I found these neat gloves with flip-up finger cover mitt at Target last night.


And I got this bondi band at the expo last night.

Here’s me on the way to the race…I look nervous, right? lol


Me + Nicole just before the race. You may be able to tell from the photo I kind of wanted to run away screaming (from the race, not Nicole). Races are scary!


We headed over to the start area about 5 till the start time.


We were pretty close to the front!

I took a minute or so to think about my goals:

  • Finish the race
  • Run the whole thing (if possible…if I feel the slightest bit like I may hurt myself, I’m walking…I can’t afford to not teach zumba! Plus I’d miss it too much!)
  • Be safe/don’t get hurt


After waiting in the cold for a bit, we were off!


There were so many people running!


The course was super hilly!

By the way, I have Caitlin to thank for these awesome action shots, as well as some of the other photos!


I’d be lying if I said the 5k was easy. I think I’ve mentioned a couple times before here, but the reason I’ve never gotten into running is because I can’t get over the mental battle. Typically as soon as I start running, I hear a voice in my head saying, “Stop! What are you doing? You’re not a runner. Why don’t you just walk?”

Today the voice was saying, “You can walk if you want…c’mon, you feel tired, right?” And there were a few times when I did feel like walking…but I wanted to make my goal more – running the whole thing. I told myself, “You can doooo itttttt….keeeeeepppp ruuuunnnnniiiinnngggg!!!” I willed my way through the race, though Caitlin and I only ended up walking by the water tables so we didn’t pour water all over ourselves.

I did think it was funny that there was one volunteer passing out water at the water table saying, “My water is better.” I didn’t try it so I can’t verify.


I think my hands look like a Hyperbole and a Half drawing here, no? lol


When we were way back in the middle of the course, check out the winner’s time – 16:52 – omg! He’s FAST!

Anywho, we reached the 2.5 mile point and I felt so close, but so far away! I just wanted to see the finish line so badly!


Soon enough..there it was! It was uphill the whole way. Gradual…but uphill.


Caitlin and I started sprinting for the finish! I couldn’t feel my legs, but I just kept running!


Before I knew it….we did it!


I successfully completed my first 5k and met all my goals!

  • I finished
  • I ran the whole thing (except for walking by the water tables)
  • And I didn’t get hurt (at least not that I can tell yet…I feel fine)


Hubby was there to take photos and see me finish! Woohoo!


We also met up with Nicole who also ran the 5k but was way faster than us.

I almost can’t believe that I ran a 5k today. I’ve never thought of myself as a “runner”, but I did it! And can I say again how thankful Caitlin was there to run with me! Thank you Caitlin – you are amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not only did Caitlin run the 5k with me, she also wore her Garmin and gave me stats! Here are my results:

Total time: 35:19

Total distance: 3.16 miles

average: 11:10

mile 1: 11:08

mile 2: 11:41 (water station)

mile 3: 10:58

mile 3.16: 1:31, a 9:19 pace with a 7:08 min/mile at the finish

Thank goodness Caitlin had her Garmin…This newbie runner never would have figured out these stats. lol

Ooh and another big thanks to Jen who let me borrow some running gear. I would have been so cold with it out. Thank you Jen!


Hubby and I ran some errands after the 5k. We picked up some bread and I got a sample of cinnamon swirl.


And we noshed on bagels and tea.

Anywho, I guess I’m a “runner” now guys! This is the first time I’ve ever felt like a real runner and it feels pretty sweet!

Reader question: When was the first time you felt like a “runner”? Tell me your story! 🙂

60 thoughts on “My First Ever 5k”


    you finished faster than me by half a minute or so!

    I felt just like you did about the entire thing. It is such a mental game!

    Plus I feel really lame and the need to keep up speed wise with all you fast runners!

    luckily you had friends to run with! I had me and my iPod (my bFF)

    so so so happy you did it (and that you got 3rd in that skating comp back in middle school too…THAT ROCKS)

    well done!

  2. Congrats! You did so well and crossing the finish line with a smile on your face is the best feeling!

    I felt like a real runner when I’d wake up in the mornings and think, “Oh, it’s a great day, I get to run today”.

    So, anymore races in the future?

  3. I am SO happy for you (and so sorry we didn’t get to meet up after). GREAT job! That’s seriously an amazing time. I hope you’re proud and know you’re a runner. I hope you continue to run and race 🙂

    Glad you were warm!

  4. Congrats on finishing the 5K! I haven’t had the chance to feel like a runner yet since I’m just running/walking, but I hope to feel like one very soon! 🙂

  5. Yea! Congratulations! You should be so proud!
    I think it’s hilarious that you wanted to run away from the finish line! I feel that way about this Boot Camp class I’m starting on Monday. I don’t know what I was thinking when I signed up for it, but if you can run a 5K, surely I can suck it up and do some pushups, right?
    Good job!

  6. YAY! Congrats, Diana – I think that’s so awesome that you set goals and completely achieved them! So excited for you – you’re such an inspiration 🙂 I’ll definitely be bookmarking this post so I can reread it before my first 5k 😉


  7. Congratulations on finishing your first 5k! You sound like you’re on cloud nine. And you should be; you did an awesome job out there. You’ll never forget your first race.

  8. Great job Diana!!! Anything is possible if you put your mind to it! I am so glad you did it and you did a great job too! Go Diana!

  9. yay! great job! 🙂

    i ran track from 7th-12th grades and then all 4 yrs of college, and also ran cross country from 9th-12th grades and 3 yrs of college. so i can’t pinpoint the time i first felt like a ‘real runner’ but i think it may have been around the time i ran 8 miles for the first time. it was winter of my freshman year of HS and it was my longest run ever. i felt good and i was so proud of myself. 🙂

  10. CONGRATS ON YOUR FIRST 5K!!! That’s awesome that you ran the entire time.

    I had run a 5K and a 10-mile race, but I consider my first “real” race the race I ran the entire thing, and I still smile when I think of it 🙂

  11. This reminds me of when I did the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. I told everyone and all these people made donations… and I had sworn… I was doing the FULL 39.3 miles. Right before the walk, I thought, “What if I CAN’T?” But I did it. And even today I still can’t believe I walked a marathon. I felt the same way after my first running 5K!


    I ran in the Reindeer Romp last weekend and was wishing I had one of those bands. I saw them at the Southern Christmas show! 🙂

  12. I told 1 person about my first 5K. I trained for it, but even in training had never run the full 3.1 miles. Come race day, I was SO caught up in the adrenaline, and by the end of the race, I was hooked. 3- 1/2 marathons later…I can remember thinking ‘I’m a runner’ (vs. someone who runs) the first time I ran without music. Any other time, I would have used no music as an excuse not to workout!

      • I don’t want to say “only” HALF marathons, but, that’s what I’ve done. 3 HALF marathons 🙂 it was a year and a half before I did my first 1/2 marathon after that first 5k. It took a while to work up to it. Right now, I am satisfied with that distance and have no plans to do a full marathon…but you never know!

  13. Way to go! SO happy to hear you had fun at your first race and finished with a huge smile! Racing can be very fun – for me it helps keep me motivated to actually TRAIN! I know I’m never going to break any records or win any awards b/c I run an 11 min/mile pace, but it’s fun to challenge myself each time I’m out there. Like you, running is a mental challenge for me – it’s not my favorite activity but it’s one that works for me. I think I actually just started felling like a “runner” this year as I got to a better mental place with the sport!

  14. Congrats!!!!!!!! That is so wonderful and awesome!!!!!!!

    The first time I felt like a runner was when I went out for a jog one Sunday and wanted to test my distance capabilities. I kept telling myself I couldn’t run the length of a 5k and by mile 2 I started to officially prove myself wrong and pushed through. It was a wonderful moment!

    So, are you hooked? Is there another one in your future? 🙂

  15. CONGRATULATIONS! What a great recap. I have never, nor will I ever, be a runner. Zumba is MUCH more my style.

    And yes, your hands look just like the typing hands on Hyperbole & A Half’s “Why I’ll Never be an Adult” post 🙂 Those gloves are VERY trendy right now. I like to call them Glovens (gloves + mittens!)


Leave a Comment