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Running a 5K Race

Updated on September 19, 2012

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

Me, Aunt Esther, & Danette
Me, Aunt Esther, & Danette | Source

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

Hubber: Danette Watt in the St.Louis 5K on 9/11
Hubber: Danette Watt in the St.Louis 5K on 9/11 | Source

Oops Moments:

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

Tired, but exhilerated from the 5K
Tired, but exhilerated from the 5K | Source

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 T-shirt I received for running the local 5K.
The T-shirt I received for running the local 5K. | Source

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!

Hee Haa

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.

Video: My First 5K


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    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      I sure have been enjoying your feedback, Ed. :) Hope you have an pleasant weekend. Thanks for the pick me up. :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Dinise, '"however "nothing , you done me proud ! As well as everyone . Your passion for trying and living is the most important , Also thank you for what you do DO!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      LOL oh my gosh, Ed, your comment forced me to watch this video taken over a year ago and I just ended up chuckling out loud. Thanks for such enthusiastic and encouraging words...

      Lots has changed since that run...a series of unfortunate circumstances and needless to say, I went from feeling vigorous and fit to being required to make a job change to keep my pension active before being fully vested. I ended up going on a midnight shift and gained back the weight I had lost during this training. :( Boo hoo, but at least I can say I enjoy my own cooking, LOL

      If you were to take a peak at the more recent video of me making a peach/pecan pie you'd get a more true picture. However, I do appreciate your comments and the rating! Hub hugs to you.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice run .I love to push all the buttons when It's so needed and deserved ! You my lady are awesome....... keep up the passion!....Ed

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi MT-thanks for your encouraging words. I really appreciate them! My sister has rallied on and participated in many more runs after our first. I, however, have fallen behind and due to an injury to my foot, have not participated in another one to date. Good luck to you in your goals.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      8 years ago from USA

      Wow this is amazing. I am so proud of you for taking on this challenge and accomplishing. Nicely presented. Very inspiring too - I'm not sure I am ready for a marathon, but I can certainly do more of what I've been doing.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      I absolutely did! Thanks so much, LOL Take care.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Yeaaa ! I'm proud of you Denise ! More power to you .........:-] Did you feel us rootin for you ?

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Simone-thanks for checking it out. I just wanted you to be able to put a face to the name, LOL

      Thanks for the awesome job you're doing with the weekly topic and so many other areas you coordinate.

      Let me know if you set up some challenges for yourself-you can share them here like I did and we'll all be your cheerleaders, LOL

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      Way to go, Denise!! This is so fantastic, and you've inspired me to take on some challenges of my own.

      I love the photos you've included, as well as the honest tips and bits of advice you've shared about your journey. If this doesn't move a similarly motivated reader into action, nothing will!

      It sounds like the race 5K was an amazing adventure- marching bands included! I can't wait to see what you achieve next :D

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Shhhh, you are telling my secret of success, LOL I just described this to someone today, as a matter of fact. I did great for the first quarter mile-ran straight. Then, walk, jogged the next mile. About 2/3 thru was my weak point. It was fun, though, and I'm ready for another.

      I'm glad you were inspired to start back. Running is very hard on joints like the back and knees/ankles. I won't be doing too many more due to that, but I want to get my time down. A great pair of shoes makes all the difference in the world. I also take an antiinflammatory/pain med over the counter type, before running that helps.

      My advice: get your pain under control; start slow and build up; do the run walk thing during the 5K so you complete the course and go easy on yourself. It's a real accomplishment and a sense of victory that is invigorating.

    • ambassadornchains profile image


      8 years ago

      Congratulations!! I would like to run a full 5K just once!! That was one of my goals this year, but due to business and back/joint pain, I haven't been able to train at all! I've run a couple, but I only run about 15-30 minutes of them and walk the rest of the time!! (Once I see the finish line, I start sprinting so it looks like I was an awesome runner!) =)

      This inspired me to try to start running again and maybe run a full 5K some time this Fall or in the Spring! =)) Voting this up!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      LOL Oh BJ YOu are a wonderful friend! You always did make me laugh! Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • profile image

      BJ Shields 

      8 years ago

      You go girl! Hey, it was good to meet your sister! And, yeah, you little Italian Babe, still going strong!!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Awww, thanks Christa. :) I'm glad you had a chance to read it...I made the video to share with you, since you're so far away. Hope to do another sometime. In the meantime I hit my all time yesterday on the treadmill: 3.2 miles/35 minutes and got up to 4.8 x 10 min straight. I keep trying to challenge myself and when I do it increases my endurance (I know...that's the whole point). Love you XO

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Awesome job Mom! Great to have a video memory. I wish I had some from all the mountain biking we do. Hope you do another one.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Chuck, I appreciate your reading and commenting. I agree-I think I am already hooked.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Way to go sis ! You'll get you "hooked" on those endorphines before you know it.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Klara-I have no doubt that you will 1.get better and 2. return to your workout plan. Hurray for you!

      Thanks for reading and commenting. It was a push, but I am actually missing running when work gets in the way! hahaha.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      OH! You're my hero! I loved it. You're awesome! I will start working out as soon as I get better. :)

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Marky. I made it just fine, now I have one more midnight and back to driving the opposite way, LOL It's really putting the miles on my car...but, you can relate!

    • the clean life profile image

      Mark Bruno 

      8 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      Be very careful Denise. I know the 1+ hour drive thaT'S FOR SURE. Catch you lATER on :):)

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      I know what you mean-I've been spelling it 'y' and saw you use 'ie' know what I mean anyway. Gotta drive to work now (1 + hrs)

    • the clean life profile image

      Mark Bruno 

      8 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      The spelling you mean my name/ I don't know which way is right .I guess it would be ie right? I wasn't too good in school, in fact I hated school and here I am writing every single day,:lol: Don't figure =D Have a great day and weekend and see you later on today I hope. :):)

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Hey Markie (notice I finally got the spelling correct after all this time, LOL) I'm so glad you stopped by to read the hub and watch the video. I made it just for my friends at the Sandpit, LOL I am hoping the other gang members check it out because, as you state, it is nice to see the face (and in my case hear the voice) behind the keyboard.

      My friend helped to video record it and my nephew was a great help in putting it together for Youtube. It was a lot of fun and I had been planning it for about a week.

      Thanks for the votes up and etc. Hugs back! XXOO

    • the clean life profile image

      Mark Bruno 

      8 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      Well Denise, I am so proud of you and your sister for finishing your 5K ahead of schedule. I am thrilled for you Denise. We all knew you could do it and beat the time as well. It's so great to now see the face behind the keyboard. You should be very proud of yourself and your sister Danette. Awesome job to the both of you!!!

      I voted UP, awesone and beautiful!!

      BTW the You Tube video was wonderful :)

      Hugs to you Denise oxoxo


    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for reading Annie. HOw are you?

      Billabongbob-Yes, we actually are going to. Danette is going to go on one in November. I don't have a 'next one' yet. Thanks for the comments.

      Hi Stephanie-thanks for reading and commenting. Actually, Danette ran hers a day after I gave her a chance to check out my time and figure out much faster she'd have to run to beat my time, LOL

      Well Ruby, glad to know we've inspired you, LOL Thanks for the comments.

      bMalin-thanks for the encouraging words. Walking after supper with our dog is a regular for us.

      Hey Cloverleaf-thanks; nice to see you here.

      Hi AliciaC-thanks so much for your comments. :)

      Hi Audrey-thanks for reading. You are doing awesome on the hubchallenge!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Whoa - a 5K. A super big congratulations for such an accomplishment! Way to go! I'm making this short, 'cuz I'm behind in the hub challenge :) UP all the way across!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      8 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Congratulations, Denise, and congratulations to Danette too! I loved reading about your 5K achievement and watching the video. Good luck with your future running endeavors!

    • Cloverleaf profile image


      8 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Denise - good job, you did great!!!


    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      8 years ago

      Wow, you go Girl...I'm Proud of YOU. I think the older we get we've got to do more for our Bodies and they in turn will keep us Healthier. We are Walkers, sometimes, twice a day, but definitely after dinner. Great Inspiring Hub Denise.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      8 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Way to go Girls!!! Well done. You inspire me to do more. I've always walked on the treadmill daily and rode my bike, but i've been lazy lately, got to get back in the groove. Thank you....

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      8 years ago from USA

      Congratulations, sisters! You guys are amazing, and how neat that you both ran the 5K on the same day. Running takes a lot of perseverance, and running a 5K is quite an accomplishment. Good for you!

    • billabongbob profile image


      8 years ago from South Wales, UK

      Congratulation Denise and Danette, what an achievement :D.

      You planning on doing any more 5K's? You've done the training, so why not? ;)

    • annmackiemiller profile image


      8 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

      what an achievement! well done - oh great job on the hub too :0)

      voted up and across the board too.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Gail-thanks for your comments. It was fun, but there was that point where I wondered if I was going to make it. Funny thing-it was 2/3 through which was when Danette also hit her wall and her coach told her that it is a common feeling at that point. Nice to know we were 'normal' LOL Glad you thought it was entertaining. The comment Cara made was the detour I took to the portajohn along the way-somehow I 'forgot' to mention that in the hub, LOL BuT it cost me 5 minutes. Next time: either NO diuretic or use the b.r. just BEFORE I start! LOL

      Danette-you're on for the hike or the next 5K. Unfortunately, you'd be moving on without me-I move quite slow. Rah, rah, to you starting your next 5K! You go girl! I agree with you about the support. It is so important and really made a difference even when they were just strangers rallying around.

      Cara-thanks hon. I sure appreciate your support! Yes, my other funny did I manage to forget to include that one? LOL

    • cardelean profile image


      8 years ago from Michigan

      Great hub and great job on the 5K. I think you left out another funny part about a side trip! :) You and Aunt Danette are amazing for both attempting and completing this goal. My hat's off to you both.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 

      8 years ago from Illinois

      Do you remember the song "Sisters, sisters, there were never two more devoted sisters...."? Well, one of these days we'll have to do a 5k together. And take that hiking trip.

      Seriously, this was a great hub. I loved the video and pics. And you included good tips for others who might want to try a 5k, such as music.

      But I think the most important thing to have with you is support. It really does make a difference when all you can think about is finishing that you have someone there cheering you on.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      8 years ago from South Carolina

      Wow!!! You did great! And I love the entertaining, funny way you wrote about both Danette's and your races. Voted up across the board. You are amazing and so is Danette.


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