Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Weekend of Firsts

This weekend I experienced two firsts: purchasing a puppy and racing in my first
5K. Perhaps it was not the best weekend to buy a puppy. Last night, we listened to whining and barking a good bit as we are crating her til she is house trained. At the 5K today, my oldest wanted to leave a few times to go check on his new pet. Though I'm really a cat person, even I am really enjoying our latest addition. She's a beagle/terrier mix, so she's small enough that I am comfortable with her. She's affectionate, smart, and reasonably interested in obeying. She's already trained us to hang out more in our kitchen area as we're not letting her in any other room of the house til we know she's fully house trained. I have learned that raising puppies and running in 5K races have a couple of things in common: they require lots of energy and determination. You may feel like giving in or giving up, but it's worth it to hang in there.

I have a really positive first 5K experience. I attended a race that also had a 1 mile fun run as well as activities for the children and a cookout. The boys enjoyed the moon bounce, slide, cotton candy, and ice cream. My husband and I joined our boys in the fun run following my race. My oldest enjoyed racing, though he walked most of it. He surged ahead at the end and beat my youngest by about 20 seconds. This is probably why my youngest said the race was too long and "dumb." And he's my athletic son who usually loves races.

I was amused that I was actually a bit nervous before the race. It's not as if I was trying to win anything. I suppose any competitive event where I am being observed by others is bound to create a little anxiety. At the beginning of the race, I wished I wasn't running alone, but I soon set my pace and maintained my usual rhythm, which helped calm my nerves. It was obvious that I was pushing myself a bit harder, as my thigh muscles nearly felt numb by the end of the race. There were two women who kept at about my pace, so I used them as motivation to push myself a bit. I thought it would be a small victory to pass them both, but I only managed to pass one. Ultimately, I ran the race in 34:35. I finished 11 out of 26 for my age group (the nearly over-the-hill category). I won't win any gold medals, but I am pleased to have actually completed a 5K! Especially considering that earlier this summer, I could barely jog a mile without slowing to a walk and laboring to catch my breath. Next on my lists of firsts: The Warrior Dash.


  1. Three cheers! I think this is great DoOrDoNot. :-)

    I bet that's one cute puppy.

  2. Zoe,
    Thanks! After your comment, I thought I'd add a photo of Snoopy to demonstrate her cuteness. My husband was a good photographer at the race and captured a picture of me just as I crossed the finish line with my time displayed on the timer above me, but I didn't look as cute as the puppy, so I am not adding that photo!

  3. Congratulations on your first 5K!! We have quite a flourishing running community starting up in our blogging corner of the Internet!! I hope running is a new passion you continue to hold. I started running about 11 years ago, and I am still thoroughly addicted!!

    Your article that contains both running and dogs reminds me of a very special race I once participated in. On my shelf is a trophy awarded in 2003 when my dog and I both ran in the '5K Shelter Shuffle', a tiny race held to raise money for the local dog pound. There were about 20 participants who ran the 5K race along with their dogs! It was great fun - and as the name suggests, more of a shuffle than a race. There were so few racers, that there were trophies to give away - everybody ended up winning one for *something*. There were people winning a trophy for cutest dog, oldest dog, or whatever category the sponsors could think of on the spur of the moment. My dog is now 14 years old, and while running 5Ks are far behind her, she can still manage to walk a slow mile. Your article brought back some really fun memories!!

  4. Congrats on the 5K accomplishment! That's great!

    I'm more of a cat person myself, too, but dogs can be wonderful companions. Sounds like Snoopy's already working her way into your heart. :-)

  5. HeIsSailing,
    Thanks. I think I'll keep up the running. I haven't yet tested Snoopy's running capacity. She certainly has a fair amount of energy though. I would enjoy the dog race you participated in. Do you remember what your trophy was for?

    The Wise Fool,
    Thanks! I wish we could have cats, but my husband is allergic to them, something he is probably happy about. It's ridiculous, but I feel like my husband and I are treating her a bit like our own child. It's like having a toddler again.

  6. Snoopy is cute! *giggle* I think when it comes to puppies they are all cuter than us. *grin*

  7. Great job on you time! Odd how this little corner of the internet have become runners.

    Races do tend to push you, eh? The thought you can pass the next person, and the next (while someone is trying to pass you!)

    How were the knees? Was it on asphalt?

    I am really look forward to your post on the Warrior Dash!

  8. Thanks DagoodS. Ah, the power of peer influence. Sometimes it can spark good habits.

    I looked up interval training and I think I'll give it a try. I'm not terribly concerned about reducing my time, but it would feel like quite an accomplishment to reduce my 11:10 mile to an even 10 minutes.

    I started about 60 percent of the way back at the beginning of the race, in front of runners with strollers, but it occured to me that I would enjoy starting even farther back just so I could experience passing more people :) Actually, I probably dislike being passed more than I enjoy passing.

    I wore the braces on both knees, which really saved them. I think I will never run without them. The race was on a concrete path through a cemetery. My knees were fine the next day. In fact, I jogged today with my puppy. I didn't exercise the day after the race as I felt the need to recover. Probably just from a sense of entitlement :)

    I'm a little nervous about the Warrior Dash because of the obstacle. It will be fun to run with my husband and his friends, though.

  9. "Do you remember what your trophy was for?"

    Well, the trophy is for 1st place, but don't let that fool you - I am no speed demon! The race was just very tiny, held in the tiny town of Socorro, New Mexico, and the competition was not exactly fierce - most of the people were more interested in looking at all the cute puppies up for adoption.

  10. I'm suppose to be a blog break, yet here I am again. *grin* Guess who has started little baby steps to try and run a bit? Last night I did a bit of running which left my Biker Dude with that look on his face that said; 'Oh I hope nobody sees her or knows she's with me.' In other words, what I was doing hardly qualified as "running." *giggle* I laughed and returned to my regular walking pace. Rome wasn't built in a day.

  11. I thought I left a comment here days ago. Not sure what happened.

    Congratulations on the race and the dog! Can't wait to see your post about The Warrior Dash. I love it that people are running and writing about it.

    I had a Cocker Spaniel for 17 years. They do become like your children. :)

  12. Congrats on your first 5k!

    I've done a couple and am thinking about trying for a 10K next. My time has been similar to yours, though I've been trying to work on my speed the last few weeks!

    Good job!

  13. Thanks D'Ma, I can't believe the Warrior Dash is almost here. I wish I had a little more time!

    I've thought about a 10K as well. What are you doing to work on speed?

  14. I haven't been on blogs lately, but just wanted to chime in a quick word of congrats!