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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Racing toward success: my first 5k

I looked around and saw the nervous and excited faces of my companions. I never thought I’d be there, in the middle of the street, about to run my first 5k. When I thought of the idea of running the 5k three years ago, I was too lazy to train and too unfit to run.But this past January I decided it was time to get moving. I registered to run the Kappa Delta “Shamrock ‘n’ Run” 5k in Chapel Hill on Feb. 27. That gave me a little over seven weeks to get in shape.


Completely out of my league, I decided to follow a guide to running called “Couch Potato to 5k.” For the next seven weeks this guide was my constant companion. The workout plan sounded too good to be true and I thought that it would have expected me to be more in shape than I actually was. Nope.

Anybody can complete a 5k. According to my guide, it’s a matter of jogging every other day for seven weeks. The guide’s training begins with interval training (60 seconds jogging, 90 seconds walking) and gets more difficult with 30 minutes of continuous jogging.

When I began training on Jan. 4, I couldn’t jog 90 seconds without stopping for a breather. After I completed the guide to running a 5k, I finished a 30-minute continuous jog. The little successes kept me motivated.

Halfway through training, I added alternating strength-training and light yoga on my jogging “rest” days. As I found out, strength training decreases strain on the joints and yoga stretches the muscles and builds the core.

Despite the successful results from strength-training, there were some setbacks in my training. The first was a terrible cold in week four. I still thought I was able to run and ended up straining my right calf. After recovering from both cold and strain, I continued to train.

Two weeks later I got another cold and an ear infection. For those who don’t have constant ear problems like I do, ears help with balance. So jogging wouldn’t be a good idea. Upon recovery, it was race week.

My friend Hannah Brown, UNC-Chapel Hill sophomore and veteran runner, also wanted to jog in the 5k with me. Hannah’s entry came at a perfect time as she played the role of a perfect jogging buddy.

On the eve of the 5k, both Hannah and I grew anxious. I picked up my TLC bag, number, and T-shirt. My number: 777.

Race day arrived. My goal: finish within 42 minutes. My reward: new running shoes.

The Race

I was nervous as Hannah and I approached the starting line. The gun fired and I began jogging in a sea of runners.

The first section was flat ground and a downhill followed. I had to be careful not to rush, which would result in me tiring more quickly. As I came to the first uphill, I was ready to conquer.

Hannah pushed me to jog up the whole hill before letting myself walk. She told me that when jogging uphill I should lean forward slightly and pump my arms more.

At the top of the hill a group of Kappa Delta sisters cheered on the runners. One sister shouted, “One mile!”

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