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My First 5K

In February, I signed up for my first 5k - Wanderlust 108. It's called the "mindful" triathlon - 5k race, yoga, and guided meditation. I'd been searching the interwebs for the perfect first 5k, and I found Wanderlust on Facebook. The name caught my attention initially. As I continued researching it, I decided that Wanderlust would be my first 5K. The weeks leading up to the race were not spent training. They were spent working a conference, then working long days with little sleep. Once I got home from the conference, I trained twice before the actual race. Before that, it'd been almost two weeks since I'd trained.

0500. Morning of the race. I woke up super early so that I could get a good breakfast in and digested before the race. During my training, I'd had too many runs that I started a little too close to having finished my breakfast. Those runs were always plagued by stitches. And I was not going to have that happen to me during my first race.

It was cold. Rather cold. 4ºC/ 39ºF. I hadn't trained outside in the cold during my 5k training. And it just happened to be near freezing on race day. Did I mention that I was staving off a cold?

0730. Registration. I got my race bib and checked my things in the bag check. And warmed up as much as I could in the cold weather.

wanderlust 5k
wanderlust 5k
wanderlust 5k start line
wanderlust 5k start line

0845. Start line. I moved towards the front of the first wave of runners. Before the race started, MC Yogi led us in a motivational mini dance party / warm up. As I was jumping around, I felt my right quad muscles tense up a bit. It was purely due to the cold. Here I was thinking, Great. My first race and I'm already cramping up.

After the warm up dance party, a quiet hush fell over the crowd as we did a mini guided meditation session. MC Yogi said, "Think of who you're doing this for. Think of what you're doing this for." As I inhale in the vast silence, I almost started to cry. I had trained for months to lead up to this point - my first race. I'd had great runs and terrible runs. Many mountains climbed and defeats sustained. Each training experience led me to this point.

5 4 3 2 1 GO

I ran in the first wave. I turned on my running mix playlist and went for it. The first 0.3mi was all uphill, which psyched me out a little bit. I was so nervous about that because uphill parts of my training trails always got the best of me. Not this day, though. My adrenaline carried me through the entire 3.11 miles that I ran.

The run went by so fast. When I reached the halfway mark, I was so surprised. I looked down at my Fitbit to confirm that yes, I had indeed ran 1.56mi at that point. This was my first time running with people and I think I gained some energy from that as well. The runner's high was so real for me. I had to stop myself from high-fiving everyone along the course.

I should've high-fived the police officers that were holding up traffic for us...

As I came across the finish line and high-fived MC Yogi, I had the biggest smile on my face. I did it. 35:35. All of the pain and struggles that I endured during 5k training were worth that moment. I nearly cried...again.

[video width="360" height="640" mp4="http://theadventuroussoul.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_0025.mp4"][/video]

I joined in the collective yoga + dance party session after the 5k race ended. I'm glad that I started doing yoga before this event. I wasn't completely lost when the teacher had us moving from pose to pose.

The entire event was amazing. It was one giant hippie treehugger love everyone event and I loved every bit of what I experienced. This has given me the motivation to train harder and faster. I want to run another 5k this year, but faster. And once I've done a few 5Ks, I'll train for a 10K with the ultimate long-term goal of a half-marathon. :)

Here's to running many more miles,

- j

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