What The 5K

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My Running Story


I’ve decided to start a running blog. And this is it. But you know that because you’re here. I think the way to start my running blog is to tell you more about how I started running. I can’t promise that it will be interesting, but I’ve read enough blogs that I’ve discovered it doesn’t seem to be a requirement. They’ll give a blog to anyone these days. And seeing as I got my hands on one, here goes:

I love food, especially really deliciously unhealthy food, like gummy bears and cheeseburgers (no, not together, though those little gummy cheeseburgers aren’t too bad). But loving food so much meant putting on weight after my teenage I-can-eat-anything-I-want-with-no-consequences years.


My idea of a good time

It never really bothered me more than a passing thought of “I could stand to lose a couple of pounds.” But it finally meant more to me a couple of years ago. I was traveling for work. As I walking through the airport, looking for some really deliciously unhealthy food, like a cheeseburger, I witnessed something that really shocked me and stuck with me. Right in the middle of the terminal was a man lying on the floor, surrounded by EMTs. They had ripped his shirt open to prepare for the defibrillator. At that moment, I realized that could be me someday if I didn’t pay more attention to my health.

Very soon after I got home, my company sponsored a 5K and in a lapse of sanity, I signed up. I had never run any further than the 1.2 miles we ran back in 8th grade PE. I liked running, but my idea of running was the distance between the bases in a softball game. I even joined the track team in high school, hoping to be a sprinter. On the first day of class, the coach said everyone runs 2 miles a day. Is he crazy?! I can’t run 2 miles! I want to be a sprinter, not a marathon runner. I dropped the class the next day.

So how was I going to run a 5K? I started gradually training, running and walk-running on the treadmill until that fateful day. My time was disappointing and I walked half the race, but I finished and I loved it. I signed up for another and another and another. Each race, my time was getting better and I was hooked. Then someone said I should do a half marathon. Are you crazy?! I can’t run 13 miles! Then I did a 5K and got a medal for it. Ooh, shiny! I want more! And I saw the half marathon finishers with even bigger medals. And some of those people, well, weren’t in great shape, so if they could do it then surely I could. So I went home and registered for my first half marathon, the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World.

After months of training, I completed a half marathon and wanted more. I signed up for another and another and another. Then a couple of friends planted the idea of a full marathon in my head. And along came registration for the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World (4 days of running–a 5K, a 10K, a half marathon and a full marathon). And I signed up. Am I crazy?! Yes.

So, there you go. A bunch of stuff about me you probably didn’t even want to know. But you probably didn’t read it all anyway, so we’re cool. I’ll try to write something you’ll want to read next time.


I still eat really deliciously unhealthy food, but I run now. And sometimes I eat salad.



  1. Anonymous says:

    Just because someone looks like they’re “not in great shape” doesn’t mean they didn’t train just as hard…you don’t know their journey or story and they should still be commended and not judged by the way they look…they finished the race and that’s what really matters.

    • WhatThe5K says:

      Thank you for your comment. However, I feel you may have missed the point of my story. The message I was trying to convey was that I felt I couldn’t run long distances because I also was out of shape. I was not judging them for being out of shape. Rather, I was saying that I felt I could identify with them. I’m saying precisely that you should not assume you can’t do something and that I pushed and trained for these races despite a lack of fitness going into them, inspired by their accomplishment.

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