RUNGRL Asks: "How Was Your First 5K?"

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By Na’Tasha Jones

BeginHer

The first race never goes how you might expect. From overcoming the initial fears to performing way better than you’d hoped, it’s always a surprise to run your first race. Five women share what it was like to run their first “real” 5K with us. (Hint: They all lived to run again!)

Photo via Christina’s Instagram  (   @Christina_jdmba   )

Photo via Christina’s Instagram (@Christina_jdmba)

Christina Reid, 28

Charlotte, NC

First 5K race: Charlotte Marathon 5K (2017)

“Running surprised me. I started running by accident. In November 2017, my coworkers were running a 5K and convinced me to join them. Up to that point, the farthest I had run was 2.5-ish miles, and I didn’t train at all. So, my game plan was to run 2.5 miles and walk the rest. Basically, my plan was, “don’t die”.

Plot twist: I ended up running the entire 5K. I’m not sure if it was the peer pressure, the adrenaline, or the dope music playlist I was listening to, but something inside of me just said, “Keep going Christina, you can do this”. So, I kept going and pushed to the finish line.

Fast forward to 2018, I’m a Charlotte Marathon ambassador, training for my third half marathon. If you would have told me any of this a year ago, I would have belly laughed at you (hysterically, while pointing). I never believed I was capable of running until last year. Fear is only temporary, but regret lasts a lifetime. Now, my only regret is that I didn’t start sooner.”


Photo via Lizz’ Instagram  (   @liv3lov3lizz   )

Photo via Lizz’ Instagram (@liv3lov3lizz)

Lizz Rene, 27

Capitol Heights, MD

First 5K race: National Press Club Beat the Deadline 5K (2014)

“I trained for my first 5K with an app--the Couch 2 5K app (C25K), to be specific. Thankfully, I also had a coworker who was into fitness and who supported me with tips and accountability runs throughout my training. I was never an athlete in high school or college, so this was a personal fitness goal I wanted to achieve. I didn’t race for time, I simply raced to finish. Making it to the end felt great and I couldn’t wait to do it again and push myself to go even farther.”


Photo via Michelle’s Instagram  (   @Charia212   )

Photo via Michelle’s Instagram (@Charia212)

Michelle Dunwoody, 49

Jacksonville, FL

First 5K race: Thanksgiving Distance Classic Jacksonville (2018)

“My first 5K was running with a friend whose birthday it was at the time. She wanted a few friends to run with her (she ran the 10k). Once our friend explained that a 5K wasn't actually 5 miles, whew! We were very relieved. I started training a few months prior by doing a 3-mile walk/run three times per week. I was a bundle of nerves on race day but,  as I ran, I kept saying to myself, "Michelle, don't stop running!" I ran the entire 3.1 miles in 45 minutes--a big deal for me!

One lesson I learned the hard way is to buy running shoes a half size bigger. I have run another 5K since that one now. I love running and want to increase my speed, but I also know I must crawl before I walk.”   


Photo courtesy of Tai Canaday  (   @tai_lanell23   )

Photo courtesy of Tai Canaday (@tai_lanell23)

Tai Canady, 28

Capitol Heights, MD
First 5K race: Arkansas High School XC 5K (2007)

“My first 5K was quite interesting. I'd never ran a distance longer than one mile when I discovered that my high school had a Cross Country team. I asked if I could join and, suddenly, there I was running at the next meet without a CLUE of what I was getting myself into. I didn’t know the race distance, I just knew I wanted to participate in any sport that involved running. I even started sprinting when I neared the row of flags, thinking that they signified the finish line, only to realize I actually had another mile to go. In the end, I was surprised to finish the 3.1 miles at 11th place (1st on my team) out of 300 runners!”


LaShaun Chappell, 45

Photo via LaShaun’s Instagram ( @distancerunnersdoitlonger )

Photo via LaShaun’s Instagram (@distancerunnersdoitlonger)

San Antonio, TX

My first 5K: Navy Freedom 5K, Corpus Christi

“I trained prior the race but ended up getting sick the day before the race. There was even a light rain on race day. Despite feeling horrible, it went very well. I even placed 3rd in my age group! I always thought running was too hard for me, so I never really tried. But I learned that preparation is key! With training, any distance is possible. Now I'm running 50K (an ultra marathon)!”


RUNGRL 5K Hustle Beginner Training Plan
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Are you interested in running your first 5K and don’t know where to begin? RUNGRL has you covered.

Check out our just-launched 5K Hustle Beginner Training Plan and get started on your new running journey with RUNGRL today. Learn more.


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Na’Tasha Jones

Co-founder and Chief Content Officer