Crossing the finish line of my first 5K changed my life forever. Drumming up the courage to start the race fueled a newfound confidence that led me to tackle other challenges.
Reaching the finish line ignited the start of a whole new active lifestyle.
I always wanted to run, but every time I tried to run I'd make it to the end of my block—only to begin crying because it wasn't much fun. Then I'd promptly drag myself back home and toss my shoes in the closet.
Each time I vowed to quit, never to return again, until I would see my softball coach, Rosemary, run by with a smile so bright it could light up Texas.
I wanted to run. I just couldn't figure out how and didn't think I had the body of a runner.
A Community of Runners
That was, until I started my very first day at an internship in Milwaukee. All of my co-workers were runners, which I found quite intimidating as I couldn't even make it down my block without tears.
Runners being runners, they challenged me to run a 5K with them at the end of the summer. I promptly explained to them that I wasn't a runner and I would do almost anything (toilets, filing, laundry) for them, but there was no way I would be running that race.
What happened next turned out to be a pivotal moment in my life.
Making a Plan
They encouraged me to train with them at lunch and helped me devise a training program that started with 20 minutes of walking and slowly built up to run-walking and eventually running 30 minutes.
Turns out the combination of an enticing goal (shirt included), a supportive group and a program that started from my humble fitness beginnings (couch potato), was all I needed to tap into my inner runner.
It worked. I finished, and it didn't even matter that I was almost last!
I went from a chubby, out-of-shape intern, to a runner in a matter of weeks and you can too. I loved it so much I eventually quit my job to coach others in finding their finish lines.
Here are a few tips to get started on your journey to your first 5K.