My First 5k – The Doggie Dash

It was only a 5k, but it was my first 5k. I’m not much of a long distance runner, I usually am better at sprinting short distances. However, I’m trying to improve my health and stamina, so one of my 2017 goals was to run a 5k for charity.

The Haven Humane Doggie Dash was the perfect opportunity. I heard about it through my work, who was one of the sponsors. The Doggie Dash lets people run with their dogs, children, or dogs they refer to as their children. It is a great 5k, and perfect for beginners in the running world as it is welcoming and is completed by people of all age ranges and skill sets. Also, you’re surrounded by dogs that you want to pet and encourage and love, so that makes it easier. Also, it goes through some of the prettiest areas in Redding.

There was a good turnout, and it was encouraging. In addition, Redding had been the epicenter of some large rainstorms, and even had parts flood the past winter, and I was a little worried about the weather. Today, though, blue sky reigned, dotted with only a few ambling and drifting white clouds. I headed to the Sundial Bridge where the race to be held, and got checked in and got my number. I was number 290, a testament to the fact that I had registered so late.

I don’t run, but here’s some things that I learned:

  1. Even though I don’t like running with people, it’s nice to have a running buddy. I had a stranger who I followed behind because her and her pit bull kept a good pace. And I figured if a pit bull with a bad hip could finish the 5k, so could I.
  2.  It’s nice to run with music or something you can focus on other than your achey shoulders. I listened to the new Drake album (because I am a high school white girl looking for captions for my instagram posts. Just kidding, I just like his music, okay?). It’s good, but very long. Some songs you can easily slip into and listen, and some require more attention to appreciate.Also, who gets achey shoulders when running, anyway? Shouldn’t it be my legs? What’s wrong with my body? Maybe I’m dying?
  3. I’m probably not dying, considering I got my personal best time for a 5k. 31 minutes! Woo! When I timed myself at the gym, it usually came closer to 45 minutes.
  4. Watch out for doggo droppings. Enough said.
  5. Dogs who want to jump in the water will jump in the water, despite being tied to a human trying to jog.
  6. It is so encouraging to see people of all shapes and sizes and ages out running. We’re all running for the same goal – to get healthier, challenge ourselves, and maybe running away from the dark existential thoughts that can creep in when you’re not paying attention.
  7. I want to run more, and my next goal is a 10k. I’m not sure when though.
  8. I want to adopt a dog so much more now.

Also, I showed my friend my before and after awkward selfies, and she commented that they didn’t look that different, which was a huge compliment. Before the race I was kind of bleary -eyed, since I’m not used to waking up before 9 on the weekends, but after the race I was sweaty. I sweat a lot on my forehead, apparently, and my eyebrows don’t do their evolutionary role and I usually end up with stinging eyes. Still though, totally worth it.

 

Apparently, I was happier to have finished the race to have started it. Then again, I feel like that’s how it always goes. It is starting that is the challenge, and sometimes the most important aspect of doing anything.

It was a personal challenge, but also made me feel grateful to have a body that let’s me do things like run a 5k with minimal training. I know there is a portion of the world to whom a 5k is no big deal. 3.1 miles is really nothing compared to someone training to run a marathon. But I also know that to a portion of the world  running a 5k would be unthinkable. Partially because of being surrounded by that many strangers, and partially because of the physical aspect that is necessary. However, I just want to lend some encouragement, and say that it is a very attainable goal that can be achieved. It may take some work, and running won’t be enjoyable at first, but in time it will be something that will allow you to both take in the sights around you and get a good workout in. It is something that I believe is very possible for many people, you just have to get started and want it.

The next race coming up is the color run, and I am excited for this. I feel like it is a secular version of the Holi Tradition, that celebrates color and vibrancy and people throwing powder on each other. I also think that one day I wan to do a 10k, but I will need much more preparation for that.

I know this post doesn’t have much adventures in it, but I am working on building confidence as well as a healthy self-image. So yes, I am proud of myself, and yes, I am going to write about it.

And I will encourage anyone else who is trying to better themselves, and let them know that small goals are a smart step towards larger ones.

Good luck, and never stop adventuring.

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