My name is Stacy Bender. On August 20, 2011, I completed my first organized 5K Run (Walk) in 50 minutes.
I have plenty of friends and family members who run. They run for exercise, they run for fun, and they run for the companionship that comes with it. Running seems to be its own culture – especially here in Minneapolis. There are special stores with names like The Running Room that do not hire the non-running type (like me) to assist with shoe choices. My son joined that culture last fall when he chose the individual sport of cross-country over the team sport of…well, any team sport. Siah can blog about that some day.
When the district that I work for announced in June that they planned to host a 5K in August, I decided it was time to try out this event for myself. Josiah runs 5K races weekly during cross country season. Granted, the boy is in much better shape than I am, but he should not have the market on these experiences. I also knew that a little motivation – a planned event in eight weeks – could motivate me to prepare for the completion of a 5K. I intended to sign up, and I started to get ready. I signed the family up for a membership at Snap Fitness, and I started going there daily. I was advised to do weight training as part of this experience in order to build up my leg power so that I could run faster.
I am not sure that I ever planned to RUN the race.
Summer hit, Beth left her dog in my care, and I found that the gym did not fit into my schedule when I also walked the dog one-two times each day. I still plan to return to the gym, but that will have to wait. I downgraded my expectations of running to walking the race. To be honest – I am not sure that I ever truly planned to run the race. However, I did want to finish the race in some walk/run combo in 45 minutes. I started walking the dog in longer lengths, and we did a 5K at least once a week. Our time together tended to be around 70 minutes. That was nowhere near my goal.
On the night before the race, Kerry and I attended a wedding and its dance. We stayed far too late, and I left wondering if I would get up in the morning. My motivation was starting to succombe the doubts that plague many of us. If you do not try at all, you cannot fail. You have a good excuse; you were out all night at a church function. Well, I could laugh all morning, but I have twenty minutes to wrap up this post, shower, and get to a church function this morning!
As we left the dance, the father of the groom gave me great advice about how much ground I had covered while there tonight, “You probably did a 5K tonight out there on that dance floor.” I love that man! It was almost enough encouragement to stay in bed the next morning and just go at my scheduled time for the dunk tank.
But then my husband made a comment that pushed me to do the 5K in the morning.
I had been waffling, on the fence, about the morning commitments. Every time he had suggested that we leave the dance, I had said, “Just one more fun song.” Well – that happened for about 90 minutes straight. When we pulled up to our house, he said, “I’ll be you dollars to donuts that you don’t go in the morning.”
Nothing motivates me like a little “dollars to donuts” comment. He was not saying that I could not finish the race. He was not saying that I I would not make the goal itself. What he was saying was that I would not even try. And – to be honest – that was exactly where my head was at the time that he said it. Sleeping in was exactly what I thought I would do. But I had been talking to him about this race for eight weeks. And now I was going to give up. Really?!?!?! No – dollars to donuts (whatever that means!) pushed me over the edge.
I packed my bags for the day, fell into bed, and set my alarm. I would not look pretty all day, but I would earn that t-shirt. I finished the race – walking – in 50 minutes along with a friend and her five year old in a walking stroller. We both work for MN Virtual High School, one of the several programs of Minnesota Transitions Charter Schools represented at the marketing day yesterday.
Funny little fact that the JROTC recruiter/boot camp guy pointed out yesterday: our program, the virtual high school, represented 70% of the total participants in the 5K yesterday. Take that! He also pointed out that there were a lot more people wearing t-shirts from that run at that moment. Yes – they gave away the t-shirts to staff people because only 10 people took part in the 5K. I have to admit that it cheapened my t-shirt experience.
I think I will do another 5K…the next one might be one that actually does competitive timing and has a t-shirt that means you actually completed rather than that you work for the place that ran the 5K…but I will do another nonetheless. I will do it, not because I want to become a competitive runner (I’m a little late for that!) but because I would like to meet that 45 minute goal. In order to get to that point, there needs to be an increase of fitness in my life.
Fitness is my number one goal when it comes to this…