Home > Exercise > My First 5K: Been There, Done That, Got the T-Shirt!

My First 5K: Been There, Done That, Got the T-Shirt!

April 24, 2010

Me at the finish - and no that's not sweat or my typical hairstyle - it poured rain through most of the race!

I DID IT!!! This morning I ran my first real 5K race, and I posted my best time for 5K yet!

The race: the 5K Water for The World Run in Johns Creek, Georgia – just north of Atlanta. The contender: me, Chad, a thirty year old who weighed in this morning at 248.5 (broke 250 this week!) and is down almost exactly 60 pounds from an all time highest weight of 308 on my 30th birthday in October of 2009. The weather: sixty degrees, THUNDERSTORMS and driving wind and rain (this is NOT what I meant when I signed up for the Water for the World Run).

My day started with the alarm going off at 6:00 am, and as soon as it woke me up, I heard the thunder, followed by the pouring rain. Unfazed, but a little concerned about whether the race would be canceled, I got dressed and drove over to the office building where the start/finish line and staging area was at 7:00 am. By the time I arrived, the rain had let up a little, but it was still lightning, so they held the start of the race for 10 minutes. We ended up starting at 7:40 instead of 7:30. And I have to say, that extra 10 minutes of roaming around the staging area and vendor tents was intimidating. All the little fit people (and I mean little literally, not as a diminutive) were prancing around, stretching, wearing sleeveless shirts, laughing, and seeming way to chipper for 7:00 in the morning on a Saturday.

At the start - that's me in the royal blue t-shirt in the middle of the frame - thinking I'd lost my ever-lovin' mind at this point.

But then I realized that noticing them first was my own insecurity kicking in, because there were plenty of other people there who were a bit out of shape, didn’t have form fitting clothes, and were standing around like normal people waiting on something to start. As I started chatting with some of them as we lined up at the starting line, I found out it was quite a few of our first 5K, even for some of the runners whom I would have assumed had done this before!

At 7:30 am they

sent out a crew of women from the local Jazzercise studio (no offense to them, but I didn’t even know Jazzercise still existed – a total throw back to my growing up in the Reagan years) to lead a warm-up routine in which I counted a full, yep that’s right, zero, of us runners participated. And then we were off!

We came out of the starting gate and made the first big turn of the race after only about a tenth of a mile, and it was then that the bottom fell out of the sky. Torrential rain, thunder, and lightning! My eyelashes clumped together, and I could feel my shoes starting to squish. By the time we hit mile one, my clothes were drenched and clinging to me, but I kept at it! I’d worked way to hard to let a thunderstorm slow me down.

And we're off!

By mile two, the rain had eased up a bit, I was in a nice groove, and I knew that my time was looking decent (i.e. I wouldn’t come in last!). I really started to enjoy myself! A group of high school girls had decided to stand on a corner somewhere around 2.5 miles (well over halfway), and they were yelling to all of us that we were halfway done(!). A fellow first-timer and I checked our Nike +’s , and joked that they had better be wrong, or else we were in deep trouble.

And then, I heard it – the music and announcements booming from the loudspeakers at the finish line! It was just over a hill and around a curve from where I was, and I made sure to run the last quarter mile, so I could FINISH STRONG!!! My time: 42:12!!! Not going to the olympics anytime soon, but still a personal best for me, and ahead of a few folks, so not bad, not bad at all! UPDATE: I just noticed on the results site that my net time, which it looks like is your actual time for the 5K distance from when you cross the starting line until you cross the finish line, was only 41:39!!! So I did a little better than I first thought!

Aside from feeling great about how far I’ve come with my weight loss, nutrition, and fitness, I also feel great about all the new friends I’ve made, and old friends who’ve always been there, who support me in so many ways through this journey. This race also raised money for charities that bring clean water to the developing world. I raised $270 thanks to the generosity of so many of you who read this blog! Thank you for supporting my personal efforts by giving to this wonderful cause. If the fundraising website is up to date, I’m actually leading the pack in terms of fundraising! So thanks again for your support. And thanks just as much for all the encouragement, advice,

The Awesome Jess and her Race Sign for Me!

and kind words you’ve all had as I’ve been preparing! You all are awesome. I got the photo to the right from Jess, a blogger friend, in my inbox last night, and it made my evening! Jess is a running beast (total compliment) who’s also an amazing cook, blogger, and friend. You owe it to yourself to check her blog out here.

And finally, one last photo, as part of the pact I made with Jess and Craig. We each ran our first 5K’s over the past few weeks – one each weekend. And we promised one another we’d post photos of ourselves in our race t-shirts, so here it is! Me in my race shirt – cleaned up, hair back in order, and happy! Not to mention it’s an XL, down from the 3X I was wearing back before I started this journey. Overall, a good day.

Got the T-Shirt!

  1. April 24, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    WHOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOO! First, you did it. Second, that GREAT time…but most impressive of all was you did it in a THUNDERSTORM!!! OMGBECKY! That is soooo awesome!!!! Chad, you deserve a standing ovation methinks!

    Btw, you didn’t tell me you had a Nike+. PLEASE EMAIL ME what kind you have and what you think about it. I’ve been eyeing one for a few weeks!

  2. Erin
    April 24, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    WOOO HOOO!! I logged onto the computer just in time to see this! I love the pictures and I love your time! The rain or the fit people or the Jazzercise could have thrown you for a loop, but you didn’t let it phase you.

    Good job, Chad! May you run many more PR’s!

    • April 24, 2010 at 7:27 PM

      The Jazzercise threw us all for a loop! All the sudden, 200+ runners stood there in stunned silence while these Jazzercise-ers tried desperately to lead a warm-up. You almost felt bad for the Jazzercise-ers. Almost. πŸ˜‰

      All I could think was Jazzercise? We runners don’t need no stinkin’ Jazzercise…

  3. April 24, 2010 at 1:01 PM

    Way to go Chad!! You did awesome. Loaded down with rain, even.

  4. Amanda
    April 24, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    I’m sitting here in Buford listening to the rain and I thought of your 5k. Loved this post. What an accomplishment to do so well despite the tough conditions! (Squishy shoes are the worst.)

    Cute pictures! Congratulations!

  5. April 24, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    You’re looking fab Chad! You did so awesome!!! I had a smile on my face through this whole post.

  6. April 24, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    Fan-freaking-tastic!!! Good job!!

    Glad you didn’t get freaked out by all the folks that SEEMED to know what they were doing!!



  7. April 24, 2010 at 6:35 PM

    HOORAY! That’s an awesome time and you finished strong! You even ran through the RAIN! That’s incredible. I’m still scared of running in bad weather. Um, spoiled Californian brat πŸ™‚

    High five Chad! You conquered the 5K. What’s next?! You PR’ed and I’m positive you’ll keep getting faster and faster. I’m proud of you!

  8. April 24, 2010 at 7:25 PM

    Thanks, everyone! I had a great time, and I’m really proud of myself. You’ve all been so supportive; it’s really amazing!

  9. April 24, 2010 at 9:13 PM

    Way to GO CHAD! Awesome job and great time!

  10. April 25, 2010 at 12:08 AM

    Great job Chad, that’s very exciting. I can’t wait till I do my first 5k!

    • April 25, 2010 at 12:17 AM

      Thanks, Brandon! You’re going to do awesome on your first 5K!

  11. April 25, 2010 at 8:22 AM

    Congrats on your first 5K Chad! Came across your post in reply to Kerri’s guest blog on amerrylife.com and wanted to come and say congrats. I just ran my first 5K on April 10th! I decided to change my way of life when I turned 30 too – its been the best decision I ever made. Sounds like you’re making serious headway too – what’s your next big goal? I’m trying to figure out what mine will be.

  12. April 25, 2010 at 9:13 AM

    Oh man, that is so cool! You did an awesome job and it sounds like you had a great time…even with natures fury.

  13. Sylvia
    April 25, 2010 at 9:31 AM

    what a great accomplishment!!!! That is SOOOO COOOL!! You look absolutley amazing and I guess it feels like a million bucks to have finished the race. Congratualtions Chad, you’ve done an amazing thing with your reconstruction πŸ˜‰

  14. mac
    April 25, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    Chad! That’s so awesome…except for the lightning part. And it’s really amazing that you’ve already dropped down 2 sizes. Keep up the great work. I love reading about your progress

  15. April 25, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    Great job, Chad! What excellent work. And gutting it out through the extreme elements, too! Lots to be proud of!

  16. April 25, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    Nice job Chad.

  17. April 25, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    Chad, reading that brought back a lot of emotions from my first race to me.

    We both started at 308 pounds and we’ve both come a long way.

    Well done on this race – the first of many I’m sure!

  18. April 25, 2010 at 9:55 PM

    I’m giving you a virtual *high five* !! Congratulations to you – well done on all counts!

  19. Kat
    April 25, 2010 at 10:00 PM

    This is so cool Chad! Congratulations. You are doing great and are an inspiration to me!

  20. ed
    April 26, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    Dude I just ran a 5k this weekend too. You are doing great. Keep it up! It feels good to finish!

  21. April 26, 2010 at 1:06 PM

    Dude, you rock. πŸ™‚ That’s a fantastic time and way quicker than people who didn’t do one at all this weekend. πŸ™‚ And you’re really hardcore for doing it in pouring rain.

  22. April 27, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    I swore I commented here the other day, but maybe I just read and left before commenting? Sorry about that! LOL I think it’s awesome that you didn’t let a little rain (ok, a lot!) stop you from achieving what you came to do! What a great story for your first 5k!!! Congratulations. Just beware…they can get kinda addicting!

  23. April 27, 2010 at 11:59 PM

    Congrats Chad,

    Reading this brought me back to my first 5K, what an accomplishment eh?

    Did you ever image that this day would come 60 lbs ago?


  24. April 28, 2010 at 11:09 PM

    I know I’m late on this, but congratulations on the first 5K! An awesome accomplishment! Keep working, bro!

  1. May 1, 2010 at 12:36 PM
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