6 Things I Learned From Running in My 3rd 5K

my-third-5kThis morning I ran in my 3rd 5k.

I ran my first 5K in December 2007, with a finishing time of 32:59.

I ran my second 5k in March 2008, with a finishing time of 28:34.

Today, I ran in my third 5K (my first 5K since having baby #2...), with a finishing time of approximately 36:30 {official race times haven't been posted yet...}.

Did you just do a double-take at my time? Yes. I did run slower this time than my previous two races. But you know what? I still feel like a winner because I finished AND I was pushing the jogging stroller this time.

So, here's my race recap. 6 things I learned from my experience:

1. Pre-register to save $$$ (and get a free t-shirt). Personally, I don't really care if I get a t-shirt or not when I participate in 5Ks. If they were high-quality, moisture-wicking shirts, I might feel differently. Ordinarily, however, they are gray or white (blah!) with an old school design and an unflattering fit.

That said, there is often a discount if you pre-register by a certain deadline so be sure to check the paperwork ahead of time. If you know you're going to be out there on race day, you might as well save yourself a few dollars.

2. Running with a jogging stroller is harder. WAY harder. Especially if the terrain is bumpy. My stroller is super lightweight and extremely steerable, but I was still *struggling* to push it through the dirt and leaves and debris. Oh my. I'm convinced I could have shaved my time by at least 3 minutes if I had been running solo.

3. Running with a friend makes the experience better. Usually, my husband runs with me. He's fun to run with and he inspires me. But we decided that this time he would hold our 9-month-old. We actually do have a double jogging stroller, but our baby isn't fond of it.

All that to say, I was a bit sad to be running solo. But then a smiling face greeted me from the starting line and a friendly voice said, "Hi! I'm Becca!" Becca is a speech therapist, a mom of two boys, and a blogger. We comment on each other's blogs, but we've never met. Anyway, she is totally nice and I've decided we need to plan a mini Tucson blogging social soon because, in case you forgot, Tucson has the best bloggers. {Oh, and Becca, maybe I'll actually be able to talk with you then instead of trying to catch-my-breath...sorry.}

Donita was there too, by the way, and she totally "beat" me. Congrats, Donita! You go!

4. You can do much more than you think. I'm convinced that running is as much a mental activity as it is a physical activity. So many times during the race, I just wanted to stop because it was hard and I was tired. But I KNEW I could do it. I told myself, "you can do this"...and, then, I did.

5. 5Ks are for everyone. What? You're not a runner? Neither am I. You can totally still do a 5K. I promise. The racers out on the track today ranged in age from 10 to 90 and the participants weren't all people with sleek physiques and hardbody muscles.

6. Once you do one, you'll want to do another and another and another. Guess what I did when I got home? I googled "Arizona 5Ks" because I want to do another one...soon.

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19 comments on “6 Things I Learned From Running in My 3rd 5K”

  1. Yes, pre-register.
    But be careful about pre-registering on-line. I ended up paying over $8 in extra fees when I ran my first 5K.
    Filling out the paper form and spending a few cents on a stamp would have been better.

  2. :)
    your daughter's hair looks all slicked back from the wind blowing in her hair.
    i too have heard that races can be very addictive. some day i'd like to try one.

  3. It is so much harder running with a stroller...my shoulders get so sore when I do. Huge congratulations!! You are inspiring...gotta get myself back out there...the only race I have ever done is the Wharf to Wharf. I would like to try a 5k and see if I can run the whole thing. So proud of you!

  4. I can't believe you pushed the stroller the entire time. That is AWESOME! I read somewhere that you burn 20% more calories if you push a stroller. But that's not the point. You finished a 5K while pushing a preschooler -- kudos to you!

  5. Yay, yay, yay! Good for you, Stephanie! I SO miss running...but it wouldn't be too good for a girl who is almost 6 months pregnant and looks like she's going to pop. ;o)

    Great job!

  6. You are doing awesome! My first 5k time was 45 min. My husband was nice and walked with me most of the way I ran the first mile but I was so out of shape from having a baby just a couple of months before... You are so right about them becoming addicting! I want to do another and I hope to always improve on my time! My goal one day would to finish in about the 20 min range! But of course that would mean running about a 7 min mile... In my dreams right? ;)

  7. running a race with a stroller is definitely more difficult than running alone. just plain running is easier without a stroller!!! i know i always feel so much faster running without pushing the double jogger.
    congratulations on finishing! i bet your daughter had fun being in the race with you : )

  8. Oh you smoked everyone with that time AND a stroller! You'd have sped through it without a stroller then. You're an inspiration and I can't wait until I can even run a mile, let alone 5 with a stroller.

    Nell

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