My first 5k Race – WWWP 5K

Oh my, I am so late with this post 😦

I found the WWWP 5K challenge right in the knock of time, and I think it was great timing that my first 5k run actually fell during the time frame.

As I said in my last post, I signed up in a local 5k Halloween Dash. It was my first race ever and my own little goal was to come in under 42 minutes, which I believed I would be more than capable of.

On the day of the race, I had butterflies in my stomach the whole day. I was careful what I ate, as not to upset my stomach.

The race was on at 4pm, with registration finishing at 3:30. We (Stephen, myself and the two girls) left home in plenty of time, but unfortunately the signing once we got there was a little poor (which is the only criticism I have!). While looking for the Sport Center, we accidentally actually drove around the track that I would be running soon after. It was cool to see the km markers, but at the same time I was a little more nervous than before, because it was a little on the hilly side and my training runs have all been fairly flat.

We thankfully found where we need to go with a good bit of time and after registration we slowly headed to the starting line. Once there, my nerves properly set in. Everybody around me was chatting away and I have to say, some of the costumes looked fabulous! I’m kind of glad I didn’t dress up because I would not have been able to compete. Next year though, I’ll make more of an effort.

Once the starting whistle went, I quickly found my cadence with the help of my favorite running song at the moment, Renegade by Michael Patrick Kelly. I had set my Runtastic to tell me my pace every 500m, and I realized that I was going faster than the 8min/km that I was aiming for. I kept trying to slow down a little but I pretty much kept up the same tempo. From 0.5km to 1.5km was quite a tough part of the run, with a constant up and down, and then came a constant slow incline for another 300m or so. After this I managed to settle into a good rhythm and when I ran past the 4km mark, I realized that I was almost done, and decided to pick up the pace.

I didn’t quite manage a sprint for the final meters because I was too exhausted (maybe I should try to pick up the pace a little later next time), however I was absolutely amazed, when I saw my time under 40 mins! Since the race was chip timed, I know that I came in at a great 38:38mins. I was absolutely amazed with that result. 

Me very happy with my awesome custome medal

 Since then, I have realized that I was actually the last person that continuously ran the distance, and that even some people ahead of me decided to run/walk. I have to admit, it put a little damper on my excitement, but really, this is my first race and I think I did great. I was not as fast as the others, but I was faster than I have ever been before, and that counts for something.

Me shortly before crossing the finish line, courtesy of John O’Neil photography

My 5K Training – Race Day tomorrow

When I went back to running just 5 weeks ago, I was looking for the right challenge to get me motivated, and decided on a Halloween 5K dash. I still have not completely decided if I will “dress up” (i.e. wear a batman face mask that I bought). I have run-tested the mask so I will just play it by ear on the day.

I found a 5K training plan online here, that I have been following quite closely (I might have skipped a day or two). I love analysing numbers, so I would love to be able to look more closely into my run data. Unfortunately I have a little issue with my Runtastic app these last few weeks (I’ll post more about that next week) so even with the correcting of the figures that I had thought of, this would have been an almost impossible task to actually determine.

Basically, I am going into the run a little blind as to my actual performance.

Day 1: Walk for 1 minute, then jog for 3 minutes. Repeat 7 more times. (Total workout time: 32 minutes) – In reality I just ran as far as I possibly could, because I only found this plan after the run. – 3.86km at 8:18 average pace.

Day 2: Walk for 1 minute, then jog for 3 minutes. Repeat 7 more times. (Total workout time: 32 minutes) – 3.70km at 8:43 average pace

Day 3: Walk for 1 minute, then jog for 3 minutes. Repeat 8 more times. (Total workout time: 36 minutes) – 4.61km at 8:01 average pace

Day 4: Walk for 1 minute, then jog for 4 minutes. Repeat 6 more times. (Total workout time: 35 minutes) – 4.95km at 8:31 average pace

Day 5: Walk for 1 minute, then jog for 4 minutes. Repeat 6 more times. (Total workout time: 35 minutes) – 5km at 7:51 average pace definitely not accurate!

Day 6: Walk for 1 minute, then jog for 4 minutes. Repeat 7 more times. (Total workout time: 40 minutes) – skipped

Day 7: Walk for 1 minute, then jog for 4 minutes. Repeat 7 more times. (Total workout time: 40 minutes) – 4.64km at 8:19 average pace

Day 8: Walk for 1 minute, then jog for 4 minutes. Repeat 7 more times. (Total workout time: 40 minutes) – 5.2km at 8:31 average pace

Day 9: Walk for 1 minute, then jog for 5 minutes. Repeat 6 more times. (Total workout time: 42 minutes) – 5.36km at 8:44 average pace

Day 10: Jog for 35 minutes. – 5.10km at 7:37 average pace this one is definitely wrong as well

Day 11: Jog for 35 minutes. – Skipped

Day 12: Jog for 40 minutes. – 6.45km at 7:19 average pace (as per Runtastic), really more just over 5k at probably about 9 average pace

Day 13: Jog for 30 minutes. – 4.11km at 8:33 average pace

Day 14: Jog for 30 minutes. – 4.19km at 8:11 average pace

That run on Day 13 was tough to the max, with rain, strong winds, a buggy that kept wanting to steer off my path and a fuller stomach than wanted. I’m thinking, if I managed to keep that at an average pace of 8:33min/km (with a 2 min walking warmup and cooldown included) I should definitely be able to run at least that pace over the 5k on Race day. So I have set my target as coming in under 43 minutes. I will report back once it is over.

The feeling of accomplishment, I feel …

… Can only mean one thing: My C25K challenge is completed!

It was the one that I was most hesitant to even start, because anybody that knows me, knows that I am just not made for long distance running. And yes, I am aware that I am using the term “long distance” quite loosely for 5km.

I have to admit, there might have been a few training sessions in the first 30 days of this, that I skipped, because it was much more appealing to stay on the couch, than to get up, get changed and get running. There was a point though, around the time, when the intervals became longer, that I knew I would not get away with skipping sessions anymore (apart from maybe possibly one, that I replaced with a long dog walk over some hills the next day but pshhht don’t tell anybody).

Then yesterday, the big day had come (way too soon), time to run 5km without stopping, no matter what. Luckily I had support in the form of my marathon-running friend who ran next to me the entire time and kept my mind busy by chatting away. There was that wonderful moment, at around 4.2km, when I had officially been running longer, than I had ever managed in one session. A little moment, that had to be celebrated … with running some more :).



My 5km run for C25K

A tiny bit slower than I had hoped, but I suppose I should be happy I finished, right?


For the first time I deviated from the training plan that C25k give you, in so far, as that I did not do a 5 minute brisk walk as warm up, but instead used a youTube video my fried suggested. It was so funny doing the exercises at home, because Liana decided, that she should be doing everything I did. So when I was hopping on the spot, so was she. And when I was standing on one leg, kicking the other back an forth, she was trying to do the same. Only lucky that the dogs were hiding at that moment, I am sure somebody would otherwise have gotten a random kick with all the legs flying through the air.


So now I am giving my body a few days to relax, in preparation to my next 30 Day challenge, which starts on Sunday. This time, I will be re-tackling the 30 Day Shred and am definitely planning to make it further than the first time I attempted the program. Back then, I made it to 4 days, and then decided that I did not want to be fit. That seems to be a thought I have a lot at the moment, particularly in the middle of a run, when my whole body is aching, but this time I am smarter and know that I feel great after the workout.

The big 20 minutes later

As you all know, Fridaywas the first of my big days coming up with my C25K. 20 minutes continuous running, I know I have talked about it before and how much of a challenge that is/was for me and to be quite honest I had very little faith that I would actually be able to finish it. But …

… I DID IT!  And I am more than a little proud of myself! I have to admit, I would probably not have made it anywhere near the finishing line, had it not been for my wonderful friend, who ran with me and kept talking away. For her it was a walk in the park, I doubt that she even broke a sweat! For the next continuous run bit, I will definitely see if she can run with me again.

This is what my stats look like when I run non stop for 20 minutes

This is what my stats look like when I run non stop for 20 minutes

Since it has been a little bit since I updated, I can even show off the next day as well. Tomorrow I am going out for day 39 of my C25K, you can see here exactly what I still have left to do.

The next day, back to intervals

Day 37, back to intervals

Is there anybody else doing the C25K at the moment? How are you all getting on?

Into the second half of my C25K

I am getting serious now about my C25K Challenge. So far, I can’t say that I am really enjoying it, but I always kind of knew that running/jogging would not be my favorite pass-time, since I have hated it ever since I can remember. When I was younger (and fitter) I liked to play sports and as part of them, I accepted that I had to run every now and then. During a match for example, it was fine, but as soon as we got to track running during training I lost my interest, and as such my motivation was severely lacking.

For the C25K Challenge for me it is all about running 5km in one go. The program seems to assume that those 5km should be run in 30 minutes, but I know that is as far out of my reach as fitting into a size 14 in 30 days. It should be in the realm of possibility, but I would really need to torture myself/my body to reach that goal, and that is not worth it to me. So, my goal will not include to run the 5km in any specific set time, but just to be able to complete them on April 22nd.

Yesterday I properly started the second 30 days of my challenge. As you can see here, I had to jog 8 minutes, walk 5 minutes, jog 8 minutes. If you are interested in my progress, and you are a member of Runtastic.  let me know, and I can add you as a friend. I have been quite impressed with the Runtastic Pro app, which I was lucky to be able to download on a day when it was free. I must admit though that while I am running, I frequently feel like punching the woman who keeps telling me “Your target pace it too low, please try to speed up” followed 5 seconds later by a “Your target pace is too high. Slow down!”. Not her fault, I seem to run too close to the water, which can easily interfere with the GPS signal.


This is what it looks like when I run too close to the water and keep confusing the GPS.

This is what it looks like when I run too close to the water and keep confusing the GPS.


As I mentioned in my last post, I am slightly terrified of the prospect of running for 20 minutes non-stop on Friday. That is pretty much 12 minutes more than I have run continuously in at least 8 years and probably even before then it was only on rare occasions. I am sure I will be very thankful for the encouragement that I will be getting from my friend, I just have to make sure to tell her that she is not allowed to let me give up, no matter how much I whine. In return I will try to keep the whining to a minimum.

Does anybody have any tips on how I will be able to make it through this challenge? The next one is starting on April 7th and I will keep you updated with details on the challenge in the coming days.