How a 5k Boosted My Self-Confidence

Posted on September 20, 2012

My sister and I just did one of those 5k races through the mud with a bunch of obstacles, this one was called the Rugged Maniac. In preparation for the race, I of course did not follow the recommended training schedule but did my own thing…which included drinking for 3 days straight in Vegas the week before the race! Needless to say I was pretty nervous come race day.

The last time I tried running (before ‘training’ for this race) was a couple of years prior. Swear on my life. I always joked that I was allergic to running because whether I ran inside or outside I always started sneezing like crazy and my nose would turn into a water faucet right around mile 1- every time, without fail. So, I stopped even attempting to run. You might ask what made me sign up for this race to begin with then. My boyfriend’s company was sponsoring anybody who wanted to sign up for their company team and all of his closest colleagues were doing it and my sister wanted to do it too, so we signed up (side note that my boyfriend did not participate though).

Since I attend cardio and weightlifting classes at the gym regularly I wasn’t too worried about the obstacles, but the whole 5k honestly had me super nervous. A few weeks before the race I maybe ran one mile, twice. That’s it, that’s all that I had time to do because I wasn’t going to go running before work when it was still dark by myself and I usually get home after dark too due to other commitments. Sound bogus? I know, it’s pathetic how many excuses I used to get out of running.

There were about 20 people on our team and for some reason once the gun went off to start the race, I didn’t want to be near any of them. They were all going too slow for me, so I ditched them. At first this really concerned me since a lot of them were in WAY better shape than me and ran on a regular basis. I thought for sure I was exerting too much energy early on and was going to fall dead before the finish line. Surprisingly, every obstacle invigorated me. My roommate pointed out after seeing the video of me going through the hardest mud crawl under barbed wire that I was the only one who started running right afterwards. I was seriously loving every second of the race! Even the running wasn’t so bad- I’ll be honest though and admit I couldn’t make it all the way up the steep ski hills without walking. But knowing that I didn’t train very well to prepare for the running, I wasn’t upset with myself and just kept listening to what my body wanted to do.

Of course, right around mile marker 1, my eyes started burning and nose started running. My self-fulfilling prophecy reared its ugly head again- I was allergic to running. There was nothing I could do this time though. I couldn’t stop. So, I did what anybody covered in mud would do and started using my arms and shirt as a kleenex. It’s been 6 days since the race and I’m still suffering from horrible allergies. But despite everything, I still came in 2nd on our team and finished in 51 minutes.

Moral of the story- as we get older and are not forced to do things anymore, we become wimps! We don’t have coaches and teammates that we’ll let down, or to cheer us on and push us to our limits. Sooner or later in life you have to learn how to push yourself. Get rid of the excuses and just get it done. If entering a race is going to do that for you, then enter a race. Stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone and try new things. I promise that you will surprise yourself with what you can do.

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