Fitness Friday: My First 5K


Ok, I say that, but really, I haven’t done much this past week. I’m kinda digging this whole break thing. 😉 But TGIF for those of you who have had a full work or school week!

So for this week’s Fitness Friday, I wanted to recap my first 5K!

Fitness Friday

One of the biggest (actually, it is the biggest) running events in West Michigan is the 5/3 River Bank Run. There are many different races within the event, including the 5K run, 5K walk, junior events, a 10K, and the largest 25K road race in the country. This past year there were 21,000 people participating, and about 5,200 in the 5K run alone!

Picture 1(source)

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that one of my biggest fitness goals for the longest time was to run a 5K. And I mean run it. I’d been “training” for about three years, and had gone through many different injuries during that time. Actually, had it not been for those injuries, I probably would have run this a few years ago. Anyway, when I started running, the most I could run at a time before getting tired was eight minutes. I slowly worked my way up to about 30 minutes, but it was all on a treadmill, and in my experience, running outside/on solid ground is much different from treadmill running. So I was really anxious/excited to try this out!

The day before the race, my dad and I went to the DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids to pick up my packet and walk around the expo a bit. From all of the runner blogs that I read, I had expected a good experience at the expo, but it was better than I thought. There was such a great atmosphere there, and I loved being surrounded by healthy, motivated, upbeat people. Gazelle Sports is a big company in our area, and they took up most of the expo, selling every sort of running equipment you could imagine. I thought about checking out their running shoes, as I knew they’d be marked down in price, but decided not to because a) I don’t have the money, and b) I have a relatively new pair anyway. 😉


We left the expo and met up with my two aunts and grandma at a restaurant. My Aunt Christy was going to be running the race too, so she stayed the night with us.

We woke up dark, cold, and early at 6:00. Seriously. It was so freaking cold that day. The warmest it got was 50*, and that was right in the morning – as the races went on, it got colder and colder, and cloudier. I think it even rained during the later races! I certainly was bundled up.

Before we left my house, I had made the mistake of drinking over 16 oz. of water. It’s so important to stay hydrated, and that was my line of thinking, but in retrospect, I probably should have had a quarter or half of that. So when we got downtown, my aunt and I stopped into a hotel so I could go to the bathroom before running. Oops. Oh well, there’s only one way to learn those sorts of things. 😉

Due to the amount of people there, we were one of the last sets to go. I started to get excited the closer we got to the start.


Despite my excitement, because I hadn’t ever run a 5K off a treadmill, I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to run the whole thing. But I knew that thinking like that wouldn’t do me any good, so once I started, I pushed play on my iPod, and began jogging at an easy pace.

I was very pleasantly surprised with the spectators. Even though it was freezing, there were lots of people around, cheering everyone on, and that was so much fun. I was so surprised when I saw the first mile mark, and I felt great. I wasn’t having any asthma problems (oh, the woes of a person with allergies) and my legs felt strong.

Between the first and second miles, we passed over the Grand River twice, which was nice for a change of scenery. The picture below was taken a few weeks ago when it was flooded like crazy, but it’s basically the same view we had while running.

Picture 2(source)

I felt pretty good when I saw the 2 mile mark, but unfortunately it preceded probably the biggest hill in Michigan (ok, maybe not the biggest, but it was pretty darn steep). I was able to run up half of the hill, but I could feel myself straining and decided to walk up the second half. I’ve noticed in running that if I push myself too hard, I start to feel like I’m going to be sick and need to stop. I didn’t want that to happen, so I walked for a minute and a half and then picked up running again.

The second mile flew by just like the first one had. I really couldn’t believe how strong I felt. I actually didn’t see the 3 mile marker, and once I entered back into town, the spectators started getting more populated and louder, and when I rounded a corner, I saw the finish line. I was feeling really good, so I decided to sprint what I figure was the last 1/10th of a mile. If my physical therapist was reading this, I don’t know how happy she’d be to know I had sprinted (we determined that was what was hurting my knees/IT bands), but I have to say, it felt so good. I zoomed past everyone else and crossed the finish line feeling strong.

The 32:46 time that I got was a personal record (duh 😉 ), and I’m totally proud of it. I never signed up for this race to get a good time – I simply wanted to be able to do it, and I did. I only walked a minute and half of it, and I felt strong throughout it all. It was such a good experience, and I’m still so happy that I finally did it.


So there’s the recap of my first 5K. Thanks for reading!

What has been your biggest fitness accomplishment?

Have you ever run a race/would you ever want to?

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!


  1. Congrats on setting and achieving your goal!! That is absolutely awesome! There is no greater satisfaction in setting a goal and then following through with it! Kudos to you, girl! 😀

    1. Thank you! You’re right, that is such a great satisfaction!

  2. Congrats on your 5K accomplishment — that’s fantastic, and you have a lot to be proud of! (*Mental high-five*) 🙂 Have an awesome weekend!

    1. Thank you! You too!

  3. Great job at your first 5k race! It looks chilly just looking at your pictures… Way to go for sticking with it and not letting the dreary day get to you! 🙂

    1. Oh it so was. Thanks! 🙂

  4. That’s so awesome! Congrats girl 🙂

  5. moderngirlnutrition · · Reply

    CONGRATS! What a huge accomplishment. It sounds like a blast! What do you eat pre-run?

    1. Thanks, Sunnie! Well, after much debate, I decided to have one of my homemade Clif bars about an hour before I started running. I didn’t want to overdo it, and that gave me just the right amount of energy/carbs.

  6. Congrats on finishing your 5k girl!! That must feel awesome to cross an event off your fitness bucketlist!!

  7. jessielovestorun · · Reply

    Be proud of your accomplishment hunnie! You did awesome 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jessie. 🙂

  8. Fabulous Job on your 5k. I run 5k races also just for fun my last race was 2 weeks ago and did it in 36.37.1.

    1. Thank you! I definitely want to make it at least an annual thing…5Ks are fun! Awesome job on yours!

  9. Fantastic! That sounds like a pretty good time too 🙂

    1. Thank you! It was! 🙂

  10. […] one fitness goal for such a long time, so it just felt so amazing to be able to do it. Check out this post for the […]

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