Vikings & Wild Cats
If you are local, you know that the 2 rival football teams are the Lowndes High School Vikings and the Valdosta High School Wild Cats!!!!! Today, the two teams came together for a 5k in all support of the 2 schools! It was a fun event!!!!
Below, are some of my fellow running peeps that were about as crazy as I was to show up for a 8am start in this HIT & HUMID South Georgia weather!!!! UGH! It had to be the most humid day ever!
Before the start of the 5K, we were all smiles!!!!! Smiling was a bit more difficult after running in 94% humidity.... so, good thing we remembered to take a photo prior!!!
You know it is a HUGE event if the Chick-fli-A cow shows up!!! :D
Cheerleaders for both teams were there rooting everyone on to the finish!!!!
There was JAMMIN' music at the event..... my friend, LISA, made a cameo in the video below! LOL!
I actually was able to run the 5k in 26:31. This is my best time for the summer! I have struggled all summer. Not sure if just heat and humidity related, or if I have been in a funk! Either way, I keep pressing forward and running at "my time" in hopes that by cooler temps, everything will come together! Hard to stay positive when you constantly feel defeated, but you just have to move forward no matter what!!!!
How to start running
I am constantly asked how in the world did I start to run. As some of you know, I am 44 years of age, and started to run at age 40. I wanted to get active and lose some baby weight. Seriously, I am NO expert, but I thought I would share what I think helped me get started.
1- I SIFGNED UP FOR A 5K that was 8 weeks out from me starting to run! Seriously, this is the VERY FIRST thing I did! Crazy, right? I mean, I had no plan...... nope! Had no idea how I was going to prepare for such an event. I mean, in my head I thought, it is running... our bodies are made to move. Well, believe me, I thought to my self "What the heck were you thinking" when on my first run, I ran 0.8 miles and could not go another step!!!! Andddddddd, not to mention that my pace was not much faster than me actually walking! I felt as if I was doomed! I was under the impression that at the 5K events you HAD to run! I am not sure if I thought I might get disqualified or something if I walked. I was like, ok, I might need to train and get a plan. I wasn't sure how I was going to make a plan, but I KNEW I needed a "game plan." (on a side note, I walked twice during my 5K.... heck, I have been known to walk lately on these recent summer humid runs-- nothing wrong with that! )
2- Find a 5k training plan for your activity level. Yeah, probably having a plan should have been my first step in planning to run a 5k.... oh well, at least being already signed up provided motivation for me to get off my tush and do something! And fast for that matter! Anyway, I have a trusted friend who has been running much longer than me.... I knew she wouldn't make me feel intimidated and would be all but encouraging..... so, I turned to her. Unfortunately, she lives no where close to me, but through email communication, she recommended following a Hal Higdon plan. And, that is exactly what I did! I followed the Hal Higdon novice 5k plan! He has plans for 5k, half marathon, and full marathon distances! This is not the only plan out there and I would advise searching for a plan that is right for you. Couch to 5k is one and there are many others! Having a training plan will prevent you from doing what many novice runners do..... that is OVER TRAIN! I wanted to run every day! I ended up with aches and pains. I mean, yeah, you will hurt, but over training leads to injury! I ended up at the ORTHO office due to knee pain. Luckily, he prescribed strengthening exercises for the muscles that support the knee.... he said, my knee was fine, but that I needed to strengthening the muscle to support the knee and to NOT OVER TRAIN!
3- MAKE TIME TO GET RUNS IN- Seriously, the amount of time that it takes to run can be squeezed into any busy schedule. I get up at 3:30-3:45am to get my runs in.... I know for me, I am a morning runner. Plus, I know that way, NOTHING will get in the way because I will be done before the day starts! We all know... when we want something REALLY BAD, we find the time! Love yourself enough to make that time to be healthy and get active! SCHEDULE your runs like you would a doctor's appt, hair appt, etc. Yes, life happens.... we get sick, family members get sick..... and a run here and there will be missed, that is OK! But, the point is, schedule the run and most likely, you will get it done!
4- BE CONSISTENT! This is the MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do... consistency is the key to improving and making progress! Just because you might not be noticing improvement..... trust me, with every run, you are getting stronger as a runner! Inconsistency only leads to a zig zag path and this causes frustration because you will never feel like you are getting ahead!
5-Eat well, but don't over eat! For a 5K or any distance under 1 hour, you really don't need anything to eat. If you must, a banana or toast with peanut butter works..... but, honestly, your body has enough stores to run a 5k in the morning. When I first started, I fueled up for a 5k like one would for a full marathon .....LOL! But, seriously, the information you read out there gets confusing and I was afraid of bonking on the course! Hey, 5k distance seemed like a full marathon distance when I first started to run! I didn't lose one pound of weight when I first started to run..... for the first year.... ZERO pounds lost! I was like, dang, I thought running burned a bunch of calories! Well, running 3 miles doesn't justify eating like Olympian Michael Phelps!!! HA! HA! Once, I started to eat right and adjust caloric needs, I did in fact slim down. I started to clean up my diet (although I admit that I still don;t eat as clean as I would like--but I eat way better) .... clean diet allows to eat more food too!!! And, I LOVE FOOD!!!!!
6-HYDRATE! Lots of water! Throughout your day....everyday! Prior to running be well hydrated!!! How can you tell if you are well hydrated prior to running you ask?!??? Take the pee test.... your urine color should be pale yellow! It is that easy! :)
7- ANDDDDDDDD MOST IMPROTANT!!!!!! STAY POSITIVE AND DON'T GIVE UP!!!!!! You can do it! Mind set is everything! In the first year that I started to run, I did in fact run that 5k that I signed up for, and went on to run a half marathon! 3 1/2 years later, I ran my first ever FULL MARATHON! If I can do this at my age, you too can!