How My 5K Run Went… October 4, 2010

How My 5K Run Went…

Yesterday, I ran my first 5K. You all gave me excellent advice and I used absolutely none of it.

Dinner the night before the race? Indian food.

Breakfast the day of the race? Donuts.

Warmup? Who needs that.

Clearly, I was destined to win this race.

Here’s how things went down:

[Race starts]

Me: We’ve only gone two blocks. Why are people running in the opposite direction?

Ladyfriend: Because they’re almost done with the race.

Me: Are you &$*%ing kidding me?

[A block later]

Me: This is the most I’ve ever run ever. I think I’m gonna die.

Ladyfriend: Stop dying! We’ll walk for a bit and then run to that stop sign up ahead.

Me: Fine, but then I quit.

[30 seconds later]

Me: [Panting] Are we almost done?

Ladyfriend: Only 2.5 miles to go.

Me: When this race ends, we’re *so* over.

[About 36 minutes later]

Ladyfriend: Look, it’s the finish line!

Me: [Gasping] I. Think. My. Lungs. Are. Gonna. Ex. Plode.

Ladyfriend: We’re going to sprint the rest of the way!

Me: [Gasping] You. Go. I’m. Watching.

Ladyfriend: Time to sprin–AHHHHHH!

[She splats on the ground]

Me: Uh. Oh.

Ladyfriend: My hands are bleeding 🙁

Me: [Gasping] At. Least. I. Will. Beat. You. [Start to pick up speed]

Ladyfriend: NEVER!

[She runs ahead and beats me by a couple seconds]

That’s how I remember it, anyway.

She got checked out by a local medic… other than the gaping holes in her hands, I think she’s ok.

(Yep, I’m the good guy, taking a picture while she’s in pain. Got video, too!)

My final time was 41:02. This means a few things:

— I’m on p. 66 of the official results page. There are only 71 pages. You can never hold this against me.

— All you people who run “marathons” are *%$&ing crazy.

— I suppose there’s something to be said for training…

I asked the ladyfriend if she wanted to add anything to this summary. She suggested the following:

He survived. But he got beat by a girl. Who was injured.


As for her parents, we all ended up driving to the 5K together, so I got to meet them after all. Nice people 🙂

Somehow, I’m doing another 5K in two weeks. I swear it all sounded like a brilliant plan before I actually had to do it…

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  • Liz

    haha nice! sounds like you had a good time then.

  • ManaCostly

    Although the injury does not affect running speed.
    And way to promote equality as a woman by posing your gender as the underdog in order who should recieve praise becouse she beat the superior gender.

    On the positive side: outdoor activities r fun!

  • Steve

    Congrats! Screw the time, really! It is great to be out there doing SOMETHING! Sorry she got hurt, but at least she had a great attitude about it! 🙂

    Do the “Couch 2 5k” program. very worth it.

  • Congratulations on the finish! And on meeting the folks. Sounds like a good time. Certainly better than when I met my hubby’s folks. First time I spent any significant time with my MIL was on a drive from SC to WV with her after dropping (then boyfriend) off at school. And then the same drive alone with his dad a few months later. Terrifying.

    Good luck on the race in 2 weeks. I’m sure it will be MUCH easier now that you’re a pro.

  • Congrats on surviving 🙂

    Next time, though, please warm up and stretch. Unless you’re hoping on an injury that will give you an excuse to stop taking part in these events. In that case, by all means, skip the warm-up and stretching.

  • MarkR

    Gaping holes in her hands? While running with an atheist? The only reasonable explanation can be stigmata! 😉

    Nope, still comes off as stupid, even as a joke.

  • Congratulations!
    It’s great that you enjoy running…

    But 41 minutes for 5k? Not that good. Come visit me in Germany! Not only that it’s really ok to be an atheist here, I’d promise you after 3 months you’ll make the top 100 in a run comparable to this last one. 😉

  • Hilary

    Wow, she ran with you? That’s really nice. I would have told you “Ok, I”m starting up here in the front. You should be somewhere near the back. See you at the finish line.”

    Congrats on surviving. I suggest next time you insist she go ahead and run her own race.

  • She fell and cut her hands and your response was…

    “Wait! wait! I have to get a photo of this for my blog!”


  • Kate

    Sounds like we had some self-handicapping going on with our pre-race routine. 😉

    LOVE the summary! A few more 5Ks and you’ll be hooked, and running a half-marathon in no time! It’s somewhat addicting, honest!

  • Ubi Dubius

    Congratulations Hemant. Good luck in the next 5k. That’s not going to keep you away from the Rally for Sanity, is it?

  • Steve

    This is how the running “addiction” begins — a little 5K here, a little 5K there, next thing you know you are running a half marathon, then a marathon, and another…

    A *%$&ing crazy marathoner

  • Barrett

    Donuts are good a good pre-race breakfast. My brother runs many road races and triathlons and always has donuts. I’m doing a marathon in a couple months. Watch out, running is addictive!

  • Catsnjags

    She has the stigmata now to start her own religion (she already has one follower.) But that holes in thehands thing is so stale.

  • Claudia

    Somehow, I’m doing another 5K in two weeks. I swear it all sounded like a brilliant plan before I actually had to do it…

    Can you say “wrapped around her little finger” Hemant? 😉

  • Danish Atheist

    Hemant, I am sorry to say that I am not sure running 5K in a few weeks will be much easier 😀

    But good for you that you’ve started running – keep it up, and eventually you will enjoy it 🙂

  • Elizabeth

    Definitely addicting. Once you get a few 5k’s under your belt, you’ll do a 10k, then a half. Should we start calling you Ironman now?

  • muggle

    You’re running again in two weeks? So I guess this means the ladyfriend didn’t run away from you after the race despite the picture taking, etc.? Good sign.

    Well, at least she’ll keep you fit and healthy.

  • Erik

    All you people who run “marathons” are *%$&ing crazy.

    As a marathoner, you are absolutely correct!

  • Robert Thille

    Nice. That’s how it starts, and then (years later) you’re doing 10K’s with a first mile at the 7:30 mi/min pace, trying to keep up with a different woman, and you’re still dying at the end 🙂

  • ollie

    Good job on your first one. 🙂

  • Well done for finishing. A 5k run every day before breakfast should be your next goal.

  • l.vellenga

    congrats! it didn’t kill you, so you are now stronger.

  • jose

    I’m impressed. I thought you were going to die.

  • Andy

    I’m bringing my next date to my weightlifting meet, where I will make all sorts of puns on the word “snatch”.

  • Well done! For comparison, average walking speed is 4.3km per hour.

  • May I suggest you do some actual training before the next one, Hemant? Glad you survived this one.

  • Cute story, Hemant. The photo reminds me of an old joke, though:

    Why can’t Jesus Christ eat skittles? Because he has HOLES in his hands!

  • Shannon

    Thanks for the giggle!

  • jemand

    yeah, she must be really into you to have run slow *with* you instead of saying, well, I signed up first, see ya!

  • The Pint

    You didn’t get “beat by a girl” – you got beaten by someone who runs way more than you do. 😉 So congrats for surviving your first 5K and not dying.

    Second the suggestion for doing the “Couch to 5K” program. It’s really good for helping you build up to running a 5K straight through.

    I’d be careful though – a second 5K already? Next thing you know, the new ladyfriend will have talked you into doing the Shamrock Shuffle 8K in March, and as you know, March weather in Chicago is dicey at best. I don’t mind running, but waiting around in ankle-deep slush in 30 degree weather only to run 5 miles with soggy shoes? It makes you nostalgic for summertime 5Ks.

  • Greg

    Congrats on getting through it Hemant! You are one training plan away from catching the running bug. 😉

    (Working on marathon #6)

    PS I look forward to meeting you at the Rally to Restore Sanity!

  • Maybe you should take some of that advice you got for your next run 😉

  • JB Tait

    I am pleased to hear that you finished, and you didn’t finish last. Good job.

    I still recommend you try a brisk walking pace wherein your strides are a bit longer (but not necessarily faster) than your usual stride length. I think you will be surprised at how speedily you move along, and how little extra effort it takes.

    There is a qualitative difference in running, that requires a lifting force in addition to the progressing forces, that you need to build up muscles for. The two weeks isn’t likely enough time to be ready with that. I have known unfit walkers to beat moderately fit runners by doing it this way, just because they can keep it up for the whole distance. This is a good way to keep a proper pace in golf, too, even when those around you are zipping about on carts.

    During your training (you -are- going to practice, right?) you should try timing a mile using the walking method and see how it compares.

    Lean back a bit, reach farther with your leg (a sort of throwing motion on the foot) than your usual walking stride length, pull yourself forward and use your usual number of steps per minute to get up to 50% farther.

  • Richard Wade

    Glad it all worked out, except for the injury. You got to meet her parents with her, and before you needed the paramedics. She sounds like she’s very nice.

  • Alexis

    Stigmata! Run and tell the pope!

  • Gabriel

    Start training, it will be slow, don’t give up.

  • Jude

    Dude, get into shape. It’s worth it. I’m 55 years old. Somehow I feel that I might easily have beat you.

  • Nice job man! I’m telling you, they’re addictive. Before you now it you’ll have a drawer full of technical fabric running clothes and you’ll be running your first half marathon. Congrats!

  • AxeGrrl

    Hmm, doesn’t the current wisdom say that you shouldn’t stretch before running?

  • stephanie

    And also, congratulations to her. She ran with you during the race instead of at her pace. That’s so awesome! You both moved well out of your comfort zone for this, which IMHO is the essence of compromise and a really great sign in any relationship… 🙂

  • Yay! The main thing is you finished. and she put up with you!

  • Phil

    Your gf sounds like fun 🙂 Hope the stigmata heals, if not you can sell them on ebay 😀

  • LaurenF

    If there’s anything resembling a consensus on running and stretching right now, it’s that stretching after is the most helpful. Stretching just doesn’t seem to do much until your muscles are warmed up a little bit.

    And another two weeks? Seriously? That’s gonna be fun… 😀

    My husband runs with me for training runs, (though we split up for races because he doesn’t need me messing up his time). I’m not sure if it “says” anything that she stayed with you, but it sure is sweet. 🙂 At least, I think it is because I know a little bit now how hard it is to pace yourself to a slower runner, and it makes me adore my husband even more for letting me set the pace during those training runs!

  • Matt

    5k stigmata are hawt!

  • ATL-Apostate

    I just have to say, for all you crazy mofo’s out there saying that running is addictive:

    How come when I blow past you in my gas-guzzling SUV at speeds in excess of the posted speed limits, none of you ever have a smile on your face?
    If it was so damn enjoyable and addictive, SMILE once in a while.
    And don’t try to say your scowl is due to nearly being plowed by my truck. That’s just making excuses.



  • Greg

    ATL-Apostate – just because they find it addictive, doesn’t mean they enjoy it! Maybe they are like the smokers that go out in the rain every few minutes, desperately protecting that flickering flame to light up, wishing they could give up their addictions, but just unable to do it.


    I prefer cycling – jogging bores me to tears. Plus you can cover a lot more miles on a bike than on foot.

    Still, anything for a girl, eh? 😛

    By the way, speaking as someone who is exceptionally injury prone, you really should stretch before and after, Hemant – stretching before helps prevent nasty tears and strains while running, and stretching afterwards doesn’t just stop your muscles seizing up, but it seems to strengthen them too. Just make sure you stretch properly…

  • Dave

    Congratulations Hemant!

    Incidentally, as I run only half-marathons, does that make me half crazy??

  • You beat 7% of the contestants!

    Is a “grade” of 7% good?

  • Tony

    She has the stigmata now to start her own religion (she already has one follower.)

    Hemant isn’t a “follower”. He’s just running in the same direction. Slower.

    That’s a good time for someone running without training! Run two miles on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday for the next week and then try for two and a half the next Tuesday and one mile on the Thursday and you should be set for a much better time.

  • Atom Jack

    Ouch, be nicer to the lady friend when she’s injured! I don’t even like that amount of scrapage…though I did finish the brake job I was doing before I left work after I dropped the brake rotor on my toe…

    5k in 41 minutes ain’t that shabby! Yes,it’s just ahead of the parsnips, vegetationally speaking, but nowadays in the Navy, you only have to run a mile in less than 12 minutes to reenlist. Of course, that’s the minimum requirement, for desk jockeys. Navy SEALS run with a team of 8 in less time than that, carrying a HEAVY LOG.

    BTW, you will actually do better next time! Keep it up while you’re young!

  • Michael

    For me, I train the body since I have something of a week mind.

  • Carlie

    you really should stretch before and after, Hemant – stretching before helps prevent nasty tears and strains while running, and stretching afterwards doesn’t just stop your muscles seizing up, but it seems to strengthen them too. Just make sure you stretch properly…

    Except that it doesn’t.

  • JHGRedekop

    For contrast, last year comedian Eddie Izzard ran six marathons a week for seven weeks straight on five weeks’ training… 🙂

  • Hillarious!I suggest doing a couple more 40min runs and then start pushing for better times,,,great job!!

  • Aleks

    That was a great story! How did the one 2 weeks later go?

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