The 5K Fun Run
The Texas Blue Bell Fun Run
The 5K fun run is a great activity for many reasons. It is really "fun" just as the title says. It's a very social way to get and/or remain healthy. As you can see, the 5K I signed up for had an endless sea of people, in all over 4,000 signed up to participate. Training for a 5K is motivation for staying is shape and keeping the ol' body in motion. A specific plan for participating in a 5K is necessary since it would be very unwise to go from couch potato one day to running a 5K the next. There are definite health benefits involved.
Also 5K fun runs benefit local charities such as children's needs, high school athletic programs, cancer research, education, and many other worthy causes.
And if that were not incentive enough, the fun run I participated in served Blue Bell ice cream after the race . . . all the ice cream you could eat! But I even had one more incentive for participating which I will share below . . .
Comfortable Running Shoes are Important
Comfortable running shoes are a must. There are so many brands and styles to choose from. Reebok is my favorite brand, they feel best to me. Also, there is an endless variety of colors and styles to choose from. I like the color and style of this pair of Reebok's.
I trained in both Reebok's and Nike before the race but for the actual race I wore the Nike's linked in the next module.
It is important to wear your shoes for a period of time before race day in order to break them in for ultimate comfort. New shoes for race day is not a good idea.
A Comfortable Running Shoes
Get a comfortable running shoe, Reebok's seem to be made a little wider than Nike's and for me are just a little more comfortable.
Get Your Stylin' Running Shoes Here
Had to add this link since I could not find my shoes on Amazon. This links to the exact shoes I wore for the race, which are also very affordable.
5K equals exactly 3.10686 miles
Or one-eighth of a marathon.
What was My Ultimate Motivation To Do a 5K?
The answer came from one sweet little package that I call Grandson.
My daughter decided to run a 5K last December in the St Nick Fun Run (linked at this picture). When she mentioned it to her Dad, he also signed up. It presented a great opportunity for him to spend some quality time with our daughter. Along with my daughter and husband, our son-in-law and one of my daughter's friends also would be running the race. I planned to stay with my one and a half year old grandson, waiting at the finish line to take pictures of our group as they crossed the finish line.
We made it to the race, my grandson was sitting in his stroller. Our group was at the starting line and the race began. As Samson watched his mom and dad run away, he then looked at me with big wondering eyes. Samson seemed to say, "Grandma, we are doing something wrong! We should be moving now."
It took me a while to catch up with Samson's thoughts. For months he had been training with his mom; for each run she had pushed him in his stroller. He had missed only one practice run with her. Now it was race day and Samson did not understand why he was just sitting, watching, and not going too just as he had done almost every time before.
I knew I could not let my grandson down again. The next 5K race his mom, dad, and grandpa ran, we would be participating too! And we did when Samson and I ran our first 5K together on April 13, 2013. He was happy and content the entire way and especially enjoyed the treats afterwards! It was a beautiful day in Brenham, Texas!
Give Your Opinion . . . - How do you feel about running for fitness and charity?
Which reason would best motivate you to run a 5K?
Blue Bell Ice Cream--A Texas Icon - A Texas Tradition Since 1907
Blue Bell TV commercials used to say, "We eat all we can and then sell the rest."
This book tells the history and recalls the story of how it all came to be--a little Texas dairy in Brenham, Texas that became famous for producing the best ice cream in the world--well that is how Texans view it anyway.
Matching Group Attire
Family and friends who run a 5K as a group often have matching outfits for a more connected, uniform look.
For the St Nick Fun Run, my daughter had the group dressed in red t-shirts, running shorts, and candy-cane striped tights . . . yes! even the guys. I knew that only our daughter could get her dad to dress in tights; it was all in fun! This was especially funny for our son-in-law since he is a very buff, physically fit US Marine who teaches martial arts and is also a black belt. The tights got them noticed and they became known as, "the group in red and white tights." This day brings back great memories and lots of smiles.
For the Blue Bell Fun Run, our daughter and son-in-law made us all matching t-shirts by painting each with the phrase, "Will run for ice cream". It definitely got a lot of attention and defined our group
Some Helpful Ideas
It is always a good idea to be prepared for anything you try to accomplish; therefore, training on a schedule beforehand is wise.
The link below goes to a detailed training schedule that will get you prepared to run a successful 5K.
When I was seriously training before the race, I kept motivated by listening to music that I liked and was upbeat enough to keep me going from day to day.
I also made sure that I would be able to run the 5K and push the stroller too. Therefore, a few days before the race my husband and I went to our daughter's house and practiced on the hilly terrain. I pushed Samson all the way and found it even easier that I expected. I knew at that point that all the training and practice I had done through many previous months had definitely paid off.
The race was on a Saturday and that prior week I walked a 5K in our neighborhood, then another on the treadmill, and then that last practice run pushing Samson in his stroller . . . at this point I was convinced that I would be ok to attempt the 5K in public! We rested the day before the race and were ready for the final feat on race day.
Training for Your 5K Fun Run
Baby Jogger - Smooth Ride with Bicycle Tires
This Baby Jogger is built for convenience & easy maneuvering, with locking front wheel for a smooth ride even at high speed. And that was very important, especially when we went down the steep hills. (My daughter had to show me how to work it; glad I knew how to flip the right switch when Samson & I got our speed up.)
The bicycle tires make a difference in the ride for baby too. You just glide along and baby experiences an un-bumpy ride. It also has a cup holder by the handle and adequate storage capacity for all baby's needs.
I highly recommend this Baby Jogger. It is convenient & enjoyable for both baby & anyone pushing them along--whether that be Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, etc. . . .
The Right Clothes for the Run
Really Do Make it Even More Fun!
Running Shorts - with Moisture Wicking Fabric
Wearing appropriate clothes makes a more enjoyable experience...including a bandana to prevent sweat from running into your eyes.
Bandanas - A Necessary Accessory
I like to use these in a functional way as a headband. Obviously, sweating is going to happen anytime you choose to run, so rather than letting it drip into your eyes or run down your face, tie a rolled up bandana around your head and your are all set. Sweating is no longer a problem.
Now bandanas come in all kinds of colors and designs. I have a rainbow of colors and choose a different one each day.
To roll them up, I start with the bandana in a triangle and roll from the smallest end upward. You can roll it as narrow or as wide as you choose. Then tie the rolled up bandana around your head (above your ears) at the most comfortable point.
Find the Perfect Bandana to Fit Your Personal Style
This is the common cowboy bandana that has been around for decades. It is made of cotton which is probably the most functional for use as a sweatband.
These are colorful & become a great accessory to coordinate with your workout outfit. However, polyester may not be as absorbent as the cotton version above.
Spelling--Is it Bandana or Bandanna?
According to SpellCheck, the original, correct spelling is bandana. However, lately, it seems acceptable to spell it either way--with one 'n' or two.
It Really Was a Fun Run!
Pick Your Pace . . .
Many people slowly walk a 5K just to enjoy the scenery along the way. And that really is not a bad idea for the Blue Bell 5K in April because Texas in the springtime is beautiful. The trail of steep hills are sprinkled and/or covered with wildflowers--bluebonnets, in particular.
Also many bring their dogs along; the dogs are never in a hurry, so they just mozy along the trail, smelling everything as they explore the outdoors.
So the fun runs have whatever you are looking for--slow paced walking, running a real & serious race, or something in between.
For Samson and I, it ended up being somewhere in between. We definitely were moving along at a serious pace of 4.5 miles per hour on average and passing many slow joggers. And we could have gone faster but pushing the stroller on the very steep hills, with so many people around might have been a little dangerous for those runners directly in front of us. I wanted to maintain a pace, able to remain in control of the stroller, without hitting anyone on the heels. Going downhill turned out to be much trickier than the uphill runs.
Samson and I had a wonderful, enjoyable run. We communicated throughout the run with a touch of our hands, or when we were able, a celebratory "High Five"! I learned for sure after the race that Samson really did just want to run the race and sitting at the finish line was just not an option. I am so thankful that I figured out what he was thinking.
Oh, in case you were wondering, our time was right at 45 minutes. Nothing to brag about, but really not bad considering all the bottlenecks of people and pushing a stroller too, up and down the hills of Texas!
The Finish Line!
And Now for the Blue Bell Ice Cream!
What's Your Motivation to Run a 5K?
I Would Gladly Run a 5K
On Daddy's Shoulders Heading for Ice Cream
Enjoying the Reward of His 1st 5K Run!
Have You Ever Run a 5K, 10K, or a Marathon?
Have You Ran Any of the Following Before?
A Link to Texas 5K Runs
Find your perfect race and get running.
Some are called Color Runs and when you cross the finish line, you are sprayed with colorful paint!
There is almost always a t-shirt for running any 5K race and snacks & treats often are waiting when you finish.
Here is a link for Texas 5K runs but states all across the country have 5K runs. I know there was a Color 5K run in Minnesota associated with the Mall of America that was run this month.
Google your area for more information on a 5K run close to you.
All Photos are property of Deborah L. Alexander, unless otherwise noted or linked.