Our Cross-World Friends 5k Run

jessrunningpeace.JPGIn keeping with the theme of August around here, which seems to have been all things Olympic, six weeks ago I decided to take up my own “Olympic” challenge – to begin training for and run a 5k “race.” Seeing as there were no local 5k’s scheduled, I decided I’d just make my own…to be run on the treadmill at the gym. Yes, I know that the air outside was good enough for the Olympic athletes to breathe…but they were only here for a month. Since I live here and value the long-term health of my lungs, I decided to stick to the indoor running for now, but to try and tackle a longer distance than I had previously ever run. I had run more than 5k (3.1 miles) distance wise, but always with some (more than a few) walking breaks in the middle of it. So the goal was to run 5k without stopping…and, if possible, in under 25 minutes.

I’ve never been a runner…I took it up a few years back, just to see if I could “learn how” to run or at least learn how to not HATE running. I got up to distances of about 2 miles…though not loving it, I at least learned to tolerate it (and love the feeling AFTER the run). Then we graduated, moved away from the school’s gym that we always used, and then came to Asia…which meant that when we joined the gym in February, it had been at least 2.5 years since I had run at all. It was much easier to pick back up than I thought it would be…so I’d already been running several times a week when I decided to challenge myself to this treadmill 5k.

jess5kwave.jpgI was inspired by my friend Ruth…a mom of three kids who will hit 40 this year, and is in the middle of training for her first marathon (26 miles). She already ran a half marathon on July 4th this year. As I started to think about my running, it seemed like if she could run for that long, I surely could try to do a 5k!!! Then I decided to try a 5k, with the goal of doing a 10K eventually (now scheduled for November). So the training began. And as I trained, I told Ruth about it and she decided she would run it with me but in Texas.

nicoles-5k-010.jpg And then I told my friend Nicole about it…and she decided she would also run it with me, but in Washington. And thus, our Cross-World 5k Run was born!!! It was so encouraging to know that I had friends in other places training and planning to run with me. We planned to try and run it at the exact same time…but that’s kind of difficult to coordinate due to both time differences and to the general unpredictability of life, especially for Ruth and Nicole, who are both mothers. As proof of this unpredictability, one of Ruth’s kids came down with a stomach bug in the week of the “race”…and then passed it on to Ruth. In the end, we all ended up running it in the same 24-hour period, which counts as “at the same time” in my book.:D

jessrunningpose.JPGEven though we all participated in this “race” the goal was not to compete against each other, but to race against ourselves…to challenge ourselves to run harder, faster, better…and to enjoy it! Nicole and Ruth really got into the spirit of it and made “race numbers” for themselves. While running, we all had our challenges to face…Nicole raced while dodging middle-school kids who were playing football ON the track. Ruth, still in recovery from the stomach flu, had little energy with which to race. I, being a little nervous and excited about my first “race”, overestimated my beginning pace and went a little too fast…which meant that I hit a wall at about 2.5 miles and felt like I was going to throw up and pass out if I didn’t slow down a bit. But we all made it…and I can honestly say that I really enjoyed it for the first 2.5 miles. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt that way before about running…and definitely not for that long.

I reveled in the feeling of how natural it felt to run, and felt my heart resonate to the the lyrics of “Dare You to Move” by Switchfoot. “I dare you to move…like today never happened before.” And I felt bold and proud…that I had dared myself to move and to take on this challenge…and that today, on this new day that had never happened before, I was both living out that dare and enjoying the results of it.

Now…none of of us are in the league of the Olympic 5k ladies, but then again…almost nobody is in their league. Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia ran the 5k in 15:41.40 in Beijing this year, which is pretty darned impressive. That’s a 5 minute 3 second mile pace!!! But we all did really well….Nicole finished in 27:12, Ruth in 30:28, and I finished in 25 minutes even. I am so proud of us all, for taking up the challenge and for finishing it (even with the flu and football players on the running track!!!), and am especially thankful that I have the kind of friends who are willing to both encourage me in this kind of challenge and participate in it themselves!

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12 thoughts on “Our Cross-World Friends 5k Run”

  1. GREAT JOB Jessica!! !( and Nicole :)

    what a fun post!!!

    the view on your run is so cool! wow. such nice windows :) your gym looks so nice!

    Looking forward to the 10K :)

  2. Way to go Jessica! I myself hate running, although I am really good at speed walking. I took a speed walking class in highschool. I also have a major fear of treadmills. Ever since 8th grade when I fell on a trademill seriously took off almost all the skin on my upper thighs, not to mention embarassed the snot out of myself. Of course that was before they had those little stop things you can pull off to stop it if you fall. I am sure they have progressed by now and gotten safer. Anyway, I think it is cool that your friends encouraged you so much. I am horrible at exercise and it is not in our budget at the moment for me to go to the gym. Want to say though that you looked very snazzy, very in shape. I am jealous. Anyway, when can we schedule our skype coffee date? I am looking forward to it, so let me know a good time. Also, I put up the last of all the wedding photos and honeymoon photos so if you have not already seen them then check out my facebook. Talk to you soon. Rach

  3. Ruth…so much fun to “race” with you!!! Wish you’d been feeling better for it though! Can’t wait to run my 10k while you’re doing the marathon!:D

    Rachel…I hear you on the “hate” of running and fear of treadmills.:D Actually, I run MUCH faster on a treadmill, partly because of the fear of public humiliation. You should totally do the 10k (6.2 miles) with me, but SPEED walk it…I’d love to see how speed-walking vs. running turns out timewise! That would be interesting!

    And as to the coffee skype date…let me get through this first week of the semester and then we can set a time. First week is always a little crazy!:D

  4. Hey Jessica! Thanks for sharing this story and all the great pics!!!! I remember these friends. So..the next time you gals do this, can I join? Only I will have to speed/power walk!

  5. ok can i be in on the 10K … it’s a super huge goal but i need motivation… you know how it is. :)
    I think I could work it up… give me a date that you are gonna do it and i’ll make myself up a plan. :)
    you’re looking great btw!!!

  6. same here….big goal…and I need the team effort too! So tell me the date too…I just got new runners’ so am starting my practice tomorrow after work!!

  7. Haha!!! This is awesome! I’m glad you guys want to be in on it…it’ll be so much fun. Right now, I’m planning to try and do it on the same day that Ruth runs her marathon…but I gotta remember the date on that. I’ll email you guys…there are also lots of training plans online both for walking/running 10k’s. That’s where I got my training plan for the 5k’s. I’ll send some links to those as well.:D This will be SO cool.:D

  8. SOOO cool is right!
    the marathon date is November 16th. its a Sunday..but if you did it on the same day as me.. it would be your Monday.. (if i have this whole time difference thing right :)
    of course it might take me until monday to finish.. so either way. your good :) LOL

    how fun is this!

    OH .. two books that are great “marathoning for mortals” for running and walking (it could be adapted for 10k) and “no need for speed” (I havent read the no need for speed book but it comes highly recommended by a good friend:)

    happy planning :)

  9. I’m a friend of Ruth’s and I’m so impressed with you guys and your 5k! I almost asked to be in on it, but I didn’t know if it was “open to the public.” :) So, now I’m asking to be in on the 10K!
    You’ll love “no need for speed” whether you are speedy or not. (which you are!)

  10. Hi Josha…
    I actually lurk on your blog from time to time…:D I found the link from Ruth’s fitness blog. The 5K was totally open to the public, it’s just that not many people knew about it. So you’re welcome to please join in on the 10K fun! Thanks for the comment!

  11. Ok, I’m in for the 10K…walk/run combo…Friday, November 14th or Saturday, 15th :). Tami…want to come over and do it together? Jessica, I’m so excited you’re coming soon!

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