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Running a 5K Race
Bucket List Suggestions
Long before there was a movie that made popular a ‘bucket list’ there was a ‘One hundred things to do before you die’ list. But, no matter where you place your life’s priorities it is well worth it to get it down in writing. What’s even more wonderful is checking off the list when those goals are actually completed.
There are many suggestions that I can make, and I can even offer to share my list of bucket ideas, however, this is such a personal thing that it might only steer you away from your own focus. My best suggestion is to daydream. Daydream? Yes, daydream-about all the things you would like to accomplish if only you had unlimited time; or all the places you'd love to go, if only time and money would allow for this; or the people you would visit; the sights you would see...well, you get the idea.
I won’t admit that I put running a 5K on my list of ‘things-I-must-do-before-I-die’, however, that is what ended up happening. Life is like that and when we surrender to this truth it is a rich and exciting adventure. As I worked out for 30 minutes this morning, after getting off of a 12 hour evening shift, I contemplated the simple pleasure of running. In my previous midnight shift experience I would drive past the gym to fall exhausted into bed. Now, the thought of not exercising is disappointing.
As my daughter Christa once predicted, I am hooked. It feels natural and right, and it invigorates me. The increase energy will sustain me through my long hours at work; it will help keep up my motivation to stay healthy; and it will put a smile on my face and a bounce in my walk. All well worth the sweat and minor discomfort of achy bones and muscles.
Training Program for a 5K is a Family Venture
In my quest to get more healthy I began to seriously work out in mid-July 2011. That included hiring a personal trainer to push me when I didn’t feel like going. I devised a map of exercises to improve my cardiac strength. In the process of working out for my heart I was led to the treadmill…the dreaded, BORING treadmill.
I would watch as health nuts, both young and old, would run, run, run and sweat like fools. I held mild amusement and probably some unacknowledged envy. It wasn’t until my own self-challenges to ‘just do three minutes’ and go from there that I turned a corner. Within four weeks I made a decision to run my very first 5K. It was a daunting idea, but I was determined.
Little did I know that my sister, Hubber Danette Watt, was also training for her first 5K. A week before the event was when we realized that our runs would take place on the same weekend-mine on Saturday, to commemorate the town’s annual Heritage Days; hers in St. Louis on Sunday, September 11th, to honor the victims who died in the horror of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
My Sister and I visiting our Italian Aunt Esther
My Sweet Sister...
After reading my last Hub: Training for the 5K with Stevie Ray Vaughn, many of you left encouraging words of support and an overall request to let you know how we did. Well, the results are in: we both succeeded in surpassing our goals; success in finishing the run, and success in doing it in less time than we individually anticipated. Here are some of the highlights:
First, let me explain the differences between my sister and me, and as I do so you will understand the outcome of our first 5K experience.
1. I am two years older, (and many pounds heavier), than my sister, whose body type took after the Irish side of the family, while my body type took after the Italian side.
2. Danette is notoriously prompt and organized; me-only when absolutely forced to.
3. She is quick-I take my time. (My family calls it dawdling; but I stand by my convictions that I am soaking up life).
4. My sister travels light, me…well, by this time you realize how opposite we are.
Danette Before the 5K
Dilemmas Danette faced before the actual run:
1. None-except perhaps deciding where to go for lunch afterwards.
Dilemmas I faced:
1. Leaving my shoes behind in Greenville! I didn’t realize it until I hit my city limits which was 15 minutes before the one shoe store in town closed for the night. This posed the problem of being forced into a new pair of shoes the day of the race. What a blessing it turned out to be. My feet never felt so good after a run.
2. Erroneously listening to another participant who insisted I needed my receipt to check-in. Of course I did not have it with me and instead of clarifying this with the officials, I drove home to frantically, (and unsuccessfully), search for it. Not to be found, I returned to the starting point only to discover they had closed the check in booth. All’s well that ends well-someone steered me to the woman with the registration tags who assisted me in getting everything straight. There are advantages to living in a small town.
3. Taking my antihypertensive medication, (always a good idea when you are about to embark on an activity that is guaranteed to increase your blood pressure), which also happened to be a diuretic. A diuretic, for those unfamiliar with the medical term, is a pill that excretes the extra fluid from the body, (sometimes people refer to it as their ‘water pill’), which contributes to pressure on the heart. The fluid is disposed as urine and hence, increases the frequency of using the bathroom. Yep, hard to run while having to pee at the same time.
Danette After the 5K
What you might need on a 5K
What Danette brought with her:
1. Her husband to cheer her on and to take pictures.
2. Her camera, which she handed over to my brother-in-law.
What I brought with me:
1. My support: my nephew, J and my friend, Glen.
2. My I-Pod: charged and ready to ‘keep-the-beat’.
3. Since I did not have an arm I-Pod, (and no pockets) I wore a hip purse around my waist, (also known as a fanny pack). I kept my I-Pod and cell phone in there. Not that I was planning to answer any calls, should it happen to ring, but it was my ‘phone-a-friend’ lifeline. Actually I used it to coordinate with J and Glen.
4. A bottle of water…just what a person who took a diuretic needed, right?
5. A large, red bandana to be used for multiple reasons, such as flagging down a car to drive me to the finish line should I require that service.
6. A camera-actually two, which were manned by my support team during the event.
What we liked best about running in the 5K
As I finished writing this hub I asked myself, and then my sister, what was the best thing or two about the run. Here is what we came up with:
Danette: "Finishing! LOL No, seriously, I liked the sense of accomplishment in completing it."
Me: "I loved running down the road and seeing and hearing people wave and cheer me on. Oh, and also, the sense of accomplishment."
Eureka! I Made It !
The End of the Run
What we both experienced during the race:
1. Excitement-starting the race was a rush; finishing it was an even greater feeling of exhilaration.
2. Frustration-about two thirds of the way through we both thought the end was nowhere in sight. My route came dangerously close to my home and thoughts of detouring to it danced through my head. In the meantime, Danette got to that same point and thought, “where the #@%!!$** is that finish line!
3. Elation that we completed a goal we set out to do.
4. Pride in beating the time we set for ourselves.
5. Resolution to do another one!
Our Funniest Moments:
Danette: “Umm, nothing really comes to my mind.”
Me: The turn I took that brought me face to face with the oncoming High School marching band. They led the parade and I had to share, or in this case fight, for a piece of the road. It could have been worse-they could have been following, (and passing) me on the road!
5K Race Results...
Well, the moment has finally arrived to announce the results. Drum roll please.
Danette: 32’27” She beat her best practice time. Her run took her through the Tower Grove Park in St. Louis, Missouri for the Travis Manion Foundation.
Denise: 49’58” I beat my goal of finishing it in one hour. I participated to challenge myself and to donate to the local hospital cancer care services.