Debbie Runs a 5K

My alarm went off at 5:10 a.m., and I swear it felt like I’d just gone to bed a minute ago. I groaned and laid there for a second, realizing that I’d gotten chilled because I didn’t throw the comforter over me before I fell asleep last night. The compulsion was strong to not just pull the blanket up around me, warm up and fall back asleep.

Instead, I kicked off the sheet and got moving. Today was the last training day in my schedule for a Couch to 5K running program, and I wasn’t about to blow off the day I actually make it to my goal.

Morning after morning, I’ve honed my prep routine through trial and error. I put my contacts in, drank a glass of water and brushed my teeth. Took a hit of my puffer, stood still while I held my breath and let the medicine work, exhaled to let the medicine back out and went to put on my running clothes. Dressed to shoes, I took my second hit from my puffer, grabbed my phone and earbuds and snuck out the front door.

I’ve tried various forms of eating something before running, but it results in stomach cramps every. single. time. One morning I forgot to grab breakfast and was fine. These aren’t long runs, so not eating isn’t really a problem at all with energy.

Out the front door, I was hit by a blast of cold air and fog.

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I had a friend tell me once that her favorite running temperature was 55 degrees. I thought she was crazy at the time, but then another friend of mine – when I complained about having trouble dressing for the weather appropriately – told me I should dress how I normally would for temps 20 degrees above actual.

Basically, even though I was shivering through my warm-up walk, my run felt like a run in 72-degree weather. Absolutely perfect.

With about a minute left to my warm-up walk, I stopped in front of a neighbor’s house to stretch. My lower back is getting cranky on me as I persist with this whole running thing, but I’m able to pretty much keep it in check through the help of stretching and copious use of a foam roller in the evenings.

As soon as it was time to run, I hit “start” on the MapMyRun app and started hitting the pavement. The MapMyRun app automatically starts my playlist, so – though I prefer the quiet, sleepy neighborhood walk for my warm-up – music started blaring in my ears.


I used to think that fast & loud music was the ticket to forgetting the physical pain I was experiencing… but it turns out I prefer alternative (old and new). You know that feeling you used to get when your favorite song came on the radio? That giddy glee like, “YEAH, I LOVE this song!!” That’s the kind of music I like the run to.

I started running and didn’t stop until I hit the 30 minute mark.

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That, ladies and gents, is a first since 2010. People who run probably giggle at this post, because 3.1 miles isn’t actually all that long in the grand scheme of the long distance races people take on these days. But I’m still throwing big confetti, because it’s a goal I’ve had for 8 weeks (okay, probably 6 months but it took me awhile to get running in the first place), and I nailed it!

Today is a great day. It would have been so much lamer if I’d pulled that blanket around my shoulders and ignored my alarm this morning.

Think you can run 5K? I know you can. I know you can, because eight weeks ago I felt like I was going to die when I ran 3 minutes straight. I lamented that Wisconsin has hills (Dallas didn’t). I fussed because I needed new shoes when money was tight. My stomach hurt when I ran (it doesn’t anymore). I had to get up early (still do). I got lost – a lot – because I still don’t know my neighborhood. My phone battery is so weak I have to run on a full charge in order for it to survive all the way to the end.

There will always be things that stand in the way. In the end I wanted to be able to do this more than I wanted any of those things to be dealbreakers. And I followed Andy’s advice. I didn’t plan my life around running. I just planned my next run.


  1. Yay for you!! I can tell it feels great to meet this goal. Mother of two, you’ve still got it!

    • I definitely feel more like me again. Which I actually think is paying off for everyone else too :)

  2. That was your mother, not anonymous!

    • Fixed it, mom! :) I think it’s easier to miss where you’re supposed to enter your name with this new format.

  3. Yay!!!!!! I’m celebrating for you! I strongly feel that ince tou hit the 3 mile mark you can do just about any distance. 3 miles is tough! You’ll be running your 4 mile trail before you know it! I like to think about it in # of songs versus minutes. 4 miles is like 2 more songs on your playlist, you can do that!! Very proud of you Debs!!

    • 😀 Thanks Jodes!! You’re my inspiration! And I can totally see what you mean about the song thing. I run with the same playlist, and usually I have it on shuffle, but I haven’t been shuffling lately so the songs have been coming in the same order every time. Every time I’d increase mileage, I’d hear what would usually be my last song start and I’d be like “UGGHHHH I have to run to the end of this one!!” Haha. I struggled the most breaking from 1.75 to over 2 miles. Once I got over 2.5 miles, increasing distance has been a lot easier!

  4. Michelle says:

    Yippee! I totally know what you mean about wanting to crawl back into bed. On days where I do stay in bed, I feel like crap all day long. Yet I still manage to make that mistake about once a week :) good for you!

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