Hi All! I am excited to say my Journey to 5k has FINALLY come to an end! It’s been a LONGGG journey, but the way I felt yesterday (race day) — it was all worth it. If you want to catch up on any part of my journey before reading further, feel free to check them out:
Before I jump in, I just need to start by expressing how much making it to the end of this journey means to me. As you can see on picture above, I use to run track. I ran in the 9th grade and it was probably one of the worst 3 month periods of my life, but I didn’t want to be a quitter. While I did make it through the season, I hated every minute of it. I never thought I could run. The coach would say “run for 10 minutes or 1 mile, whichever comes first” and I was faithfully the person walking on the side because I’d give up early. I use to come in second to last (on JV) every race and there were even a few moments where I’d try to hide so I wouldn’t have to run my turn. Running a single lap would leave me completely winded and from then on, I’ve hated running.
To be here today, running 3 miles… 9 years ago, I would have laughed at the thought. To be honest, when I first started training I would always think to myself “how am I ever going to run for 3 miles.” I specifically remember running for 4 minutes and not understanding how I was even going to get to 10, 15 or 30 minutes. There were so many times I wanted to quit! I would be in the middle of a run and want to just stop short, but I knew I couldn’t do that if I wanted to reach my goal. God literally had to speak to me during one of my runs when I felt like I couldn’t make it. It was a constant battle in mind, so I had to stay mentally strong and focused.
To answer the question I’m sure you’re all wondering, YES, I did make it the entire way without stopping. I had one goal, which was to finish the race with no walking breaks, and I did just that! Mission Accomplished! I. Felt. Amazing! To train for something consistently for so long and see all of your hard work pay off – I can’t think of any other feeling like it. This has to be one of the most amazing things I’ve done in my life thus far. It’s not the fact that I ran 3 miles; it’s that I started training on March 31st, running 30 seconds at a time and on July 28th I ran 3 miles in 32 minutes. <<<< Oh yeah, did I mention I finished the race in roughly 32:30 minutes!? That’s a new record. During my training, my fastest time was 35:12. I must’ve had some adrenaline pumping through my veins during the race.
My playlist was bomb and I had used the same playlist to train the previous week. This helped me to have an idea of how far I’d gone and how far I had left to go. Interestingly, I used a playlist full of upbeat gospel songs. The encouraging lyrics got me through my runs a lot better than other music I had tried. (Shout out to Kishaskravings for suggesting I Got That Victory – Anthony Brown. That song not only got me through my last week of running and race day, but it got me through everything else I was dealing with this week too!!!!) There was a ton of incline on the race route, a ton of people walking (and running), volunteers throwing flour at us, and so much more that could have thrown me off. But in the moment I felt like I was flying! None of it mattered. None of the distractions distracted me. I had my eye on the prize and wasn’t stopping until I made it to that finish line! Here’s a little race day footage I put together if you’re interested:
So there you have it! I came across the finish line feeling like a true champion! I told my parents I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to smile for the camera, but when I saw the finish line, all of my exhaustion went away. I wasn’t tired anymore, just completely elated that after all this time, I could finally say “I did it”. I had been dreaming about that moment for months now.
I’m extremely grateful to everyone who supported me, encouraged me, cheered me on, watched me cross the finish line, gave me running advice, offered playlist suggestions, wished me luck, congratulated me, messaged me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, left me comments, and everything else. Every single word from every single one of you warmed my heart. It was all truly appreciated. To have people that I’ve never talked to tell me they’ve been following my journey and it’s inspired them. To have people really admire my consistency and dedication. Although I didn’t do this for anyone but myself, it does feel good to know that someone else was encouraged by it. I’ve learned so many things about life through this journey that I can’t wait to share with you all.
Meanwhile, it doesn’t stop here. I do plan to continue running and a 10k is to come! Running has given me something to look forward to. Something that isn’t dependent on anyone else. It’s become an outlet. I get to set goals constantly and reach new heights often! This is something I’m doing for me and no one can take that away from me. I am so glad I started this thing and there is no turning back now!
Thanks for following my Journey to 5k ♥