Last week I had a little bit of anxiety, to say the least and believe it or not, it was not because of Heneman’s 865 midterm exam, but rather because I knew my first 5k was coming up today. I ran extra on the treadmill this week, thinking that any little bit of extra running I could do would help and I really watched the caloric intake. However, nothing matched the anxiety of this morning. I want everyone to understand my anxiety by saying, that I’m not a runner. I kind of was in high school (purely for tennis), but that was it. My philosophy on running was that you should do so only when necessary (i.e. running from someone bad who is chasing you or if you running for a tennis/soccer ball). I had never actually run in any type of race before today, hence anxiety. I thought I was going to be so slow, which in turn, would lead to embarrassment, and/or that I would trip and fall, and/or that I would pass out before the race was over.
At this point, you may be asking/thinking, if this girl doesn’t like running and has never done anything like this before in her life, then why the heck did she sign up? Well, I signed up for the Fisher 5k for a few reasons. The first is that it is for a great cause. The Fisher 5k benefits the Boys and Girls Club of America, which provides after-school programs to kids. How can anyone resist helping kids? Seriously? Another reason is that I wanted to get more exercise. I’m on a new plan to run more and do more activity in general. Thirdly, the race was close to home! It started at Fisher and only went about 1.5 miles out and then you come back to Fisher. I live right off campus, so there was none of the usual excuse of “parking downtown will be bad.” Finally, it is open to anyone who wants to run, so I didn’t have to do it alone (of course I enlisted my boyfriend to do it with me, what are boyfriends for it they won’t run 5k’s with you? ) and there were other MLHR students that ran too.
This morning, I was so tempted to just say “forget it” because I won’t run very fast at all and I might even trip and embarrass myself in front of EVERYONE. However, I thought about what some of my friends had told me in class about how it is a relaxed pace and you don’t have to sprint the whole way. I also thought about how horrible I would feel if I didn’t even try to do it. So, I hopped out of bed (at the late time of 7:30am) to at least try this race.
What actually happened to me during the race? No, I did not pass out before it finished. No, I didn’t trip and fall. No, I don’t think I embarrassed myself, although that one is still up for debate. My style for this event was to jog for a little bit, walk for a little bit, and sprint for a little bit (what can I say, I like to vary things up ). Not too bad for first-timer.
I also can’t say enough about the people who volunteered for the event. If I’m not mistaken, it was mostly students who were volunteering. It was so nice that they were willing to give up their Sunday morning to not only pass out water, check people in, and set up food, but also to give support to all of the participants. As I walked, (yes walked), to get water, one of the guy’s from my class handing out water said “great job” to everyone who needed water. It was an awesome feeling knowing and seeing people from class who were there just offering kind words of encouragement. It made me realize what a wonderful group of students we have at the graduate level here.
Overall, it was a great first 5k experience. Everyone I talked to told me not to worry so much about speed and all of my friends, both in the program and outside were all just supportive of the fact that I was doing it. For me, this was the first time that I wasn’t so concerned with being in “first place” or doing my absolute best. This was a way to get some good exercise in, do something different with my friends/boyfriend, and do something for a good cause. In fact, I think this event has inspired me to get better and continue to do more 5k’s (before moving on to anything longer than that). I’m already excited to improve my time next year!