It’s hard to believe, but my first 5k was two years ago.  I was talked into a Couch to 5K program by my buddy, Jim, and the race we were training for for was supposed to be a week later.  But I was in Indianapolis watching a basketball tournament and decided to test my luck with the Big Ten 5K.

Now, if you follow this blog, you know I am a huge Badger fan, so when I slid into my cut-off sleeve Wisconsin t-shirt I had a little extra boost.  The problem was, not only was this my first 5k, I had been drinking the entire day before, well into the night.

It was actually quite comical when I strolled up to the registration table.  I had no clue what the hell I was doing and was increasingly nervous about my decision.  I stammered around with other runners and inconspicuously slid into an organized pre-race stretch.  I was alone and felt it, but as I peered around at my fellow runners, I sensed these would be my people for the next couple years.

The beer poured out of me as I laid on the ground touching my toes.  I was a little bit of a mess and felt like a nap may be a better choice than running my first endurance race.  Minutes later I stood in the pen with a thousand other runners waiting for the start.  When the horn went off I surrendered to the massive flow and a timing chip with my name attached clicked off for the first time.


I lumbered through the streets of Indianapolis searching wildly for my breath.  I wasn’t wearing a watch and had no concept of distance.  It was a thundering blow to my ego when I was anticipating the finish line and instead crept up on the first mile marker.

I struggled mightily, but eventually saw a big “3” and let out a sigh of relief.  But that’s when I realized point-one miles is longer than I thought.  Eventually I finished, but it was everything I had to cross the line that day.

Now, two years later, a Full Ironman under my belt, I will drive north on I-65 to watch my Badgers and take another shot at my first 5K.  It will be nowhere near as daunting, but it will be just as hard.

My First 5k, Two Years Later



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