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My First 5K: The Night Before

April 23, 2010

It is spectacularly beautiful here in Atlanta today.  I mean perfect.  I wish my 5K were this evening, because tomorrow has a bit of a crazy weather forecast with spring storms.  Hopefully they’ll hold off until after about 9:30 tomorrow morning.  Anyhow, I am remarkably calm.  I picked up my race number (left), time chip, and other goodies this afternoon.  I thought by now I’d be nervous, but I’m not in the least.  Maybe something’s wrong with me, but it’s just another Friday night – I just happen to have a race in the morning.

I think this has to do with a couple of things.  One is the progress I’ve made with my fitness and weight loss.  I’ve done 5K’s plenty of times now, they just weren’t races.  And I’ve built an incredible amount of confidence around my own abilities to be able to complete something like this.  The other thing is my age.  That’s right, my age.

Why my age, you may ask?  Well, for me, thirty has brought with it a comfort in my own skin that I haven’t felt before.  This may be a little connected to my weight loss, but I actually think the causation is the other way around.  I think being comfortable with myself, caring about my health, and having confidence enough not to compare myself to others is partly something that just came with age for me, and that’s helped me pursue weight loss and fitness in a way that’s finally working.

For that reason, you won’t often see me post my run times (though I will of course post the official 5K time tomorrow), food for the day, or other minutiae like that on this blog.  I think it’s fine to do if that helps keep you accountable to yourself, but for me, posting my weight each week is enough.  I also find that putting all that out there tends to turn things a little competitive, both for the one writing it and the ones reading.  Weight loss, for better or worse, isn’t a competition.  It’s you against yourself, your habits, and your mindset.

And that’s what tomorrow is for me.  It’s a symbolic run – to show myself how far I’ve come.  To celebrate my success,  and to keep me on track for finishing this reconstruction I’m almost halfway through.

p.s.  Runners – how do you attach the number to your shirt?  Safety pins? Something else?  I may be confident in my running, but I don’t want to look like a total tool.  😉

  1. April 23, 2010 at 8:39 PM

    Good luck with the race tomorrow Chad! Unlike you, I love the analysis of my caloric intake, nutrition, cardio and run times. They are quantitative numbers that keep me on absolute track and help me. But there are different strokes for different folks. As long as your method works for you that is all that matters! Again, I wish you the best for tomorrow and I can’t hardly wait to read your report.

  2. April 23, 2010 at 8:42 PM

    My 5K didn’t have numbers :***(
    How lame!

    That’s a great question tho and can’t wait to see how people answer it…also can’t wait to see your time! good luck and here’s hoping for good weather…it’s storming here in MS now so maybe it’ll move SLOWLY!

  3. April 23, 2010 at 9:40 PM

    Chad, this is very exciting! The race is tomorrow! Woohoo! (Not to work you up or anything) You’ll do great, like you said, you’ve done it before in other ways. When I ran cross country in high school, they told us to eat pasta the night before for fuel… True what you say about being 30 and getting comfortable with yourself. That’s been my experience for the past 5 years too. You’re really doing great things for yourself these days, you should be proud. Good luck tomorrow!!

  4. April 23, 2010 at 9:40 PM

    LOL. You won’t look like a tool. Safety pins 🙂 Mine ripped a small hole in my shirt though, that was sad.

    THAT IS A LUCKY NUMBER. Save the bib and FRAME IT. Well, maybe not that extreme, but save it! I have mine still.

    I think I post my food/calories/run times to keep a journal for myself, with accountability and what not. I don’t ever see things as a competitive thing any more, even though I used to. Now, it’s a competition against myself, because well, I’m the one on the journey.

    Anyway, YOU’VE GOT MAIL!

    You’re one of us, Mr. Runner 🙂 Have fun tomorrow!

  5. April 23, 2010 at 10:00 PM

    I love what you wrote about not competing – that is so true and I need to remember that it my own life. I hope you have a great experience tomorrow – this is your moment! I can’t wait to hear all about it tomorrow (or whenever you post a recap).

    ps. I have just attached my bibs with safety pins.

  6. April 24, 2010 at 12:01 AM

    Good Luck Tomorrow! We’re cheering for you in multiple states!

    I am one of those that needs to see my time. There is a point though that people figure out how to just enjoy themselves…then you notice that you can still lose weight and get better while having fun doing it.

    Good luck!

    • April 24, 2010 at 12:11 AM

      Thanks, Seth! I appreciate all the good wishes coming my way.

      I definitely track my times, foods, etc. for my own use, I just don’t share it here very often and don’t pay much attention to how I’m stacking up in comparison to others. I’ll definitely post my time tomorrow though – it may not look like much, but it will be something I’m proud of regardless!

  7. April 24, 2010 at 12:24 AM

    Good luck tomorrow Chad! I’m excited for you, and will definitely be thinking of you tomorrow.

  8. April 24, 2010 at 2:11 AM

    Good luck withthe 5k, Chad, I know you’ll kick some butt!

    I totally get what you mean about avoiding being competitive–it really is hard to avoid that. I mean it’s great to be inspired by other people’s success, but it’s also tough to keep that separate. Good for you for keeping out of that swamp!

  9. Erin
    April 24, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    You’re not a tool. I’m the tool for missing not chiming in on this post until AFTER your race. 🙂

    Can’t wait for the race recap!

  10. April 25, 2010 at 8:25 AM

    “Well, for me, thirty has brought with it a comfort in my own skin that I haven’t felt before.” I completely agree with this thought! (and that the weight loss that’s followed has almost been a challenge to that theory more than proving it). I said to someone the other day that so far my 30s have been the best time in my life. Amazing stuff.

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