NC Triangle Bucket List

Running the race: the Franklin 5k

A week ago Saturday was big for my Triangle Bucket list escapades. Part of doing this bucket list is to savor my favorite restaurants, places, and events. But the other part is to try things I’ve never done before, and this weekend, my friends and I did one of each! Next week I’ll catch you up on the fun times at Caffe Driade, but today I’m excited to tell you that I tried a brand new thing: running a 5k!

The morning started early with the Franklin 5k. Now, I’ve never run a 5k before, and that’s probably because I’ve only run run/walked 5k at one go less than 10 times in my life when working out. While I like to exercise, I’m not a distance runner. I have no sense of pacing, so running for me goes like this:

First two minutes: *running fast* this is great! I feel so alive! So free! I should be frolicking in a field of daisies somewhere!

Next 3 minutes: *still running* look at me. I’m running! Good job Emma.

Next 2 minutes: *slower* Is it working? I’ve only gone how far? This is getting ridiculous.

After that: people do this for fun? 

Usually sometime after that I switch to walking, and then go back and forth between running and walking every minute or so after that. So as you can see, not the most seasoned of distance runners.

But a group of my friends were doing the 5k this past Saturday and invited me to join in, so I said pulled a FOMO and signed up. The kicker? I signed up on Wednesday. To run on Saturday. Thank goodness they weren’t doing a marathon. (jk lol I will never ever ever run a marathon. As if.)

My first ever 5k! Teaspoon of Nose
Before the race: we’re ready to go!

Saturday morning arrived, and it arrived cold. In continuing the not-so-prepared-for-this theme, I don’t own much cold weather running gear. I ended up wearing regular leggings (don’t have any of those cute athletic leggings) underneath my gym shorts for an extra layer of warmth, piled a long sleeve shirt over a short-sleeved shirt and called it good enough.

Weather stations predicted the temps wouldn’t get above 40° before we finished the run. I know this makes me a wuss, but for almost-April in NC that is Just Too Cold. Four friends were doing it too, and it was universally agreed  that had we not decided to do this together, we’d have all bailed. Thank goodness for friend accountability/peer pressure. So after picking up our packets, we promptly found the nearest open building and camped out until 5 minutes before the race.

When eventually dared to venture outside, I was shocked by how many people were running! There were hundreds of people. I mean, I know people like to run and compete and support good causes, but dang! There were an impressive amount of people. The Franklin 5k is organized by Relay for Life and Zeta Tau Alpha, and the proceeds go to breast cancer research – yay for people showing up for good causes!

As we joined the crowd of people ready for the starting gun, it occurs to me that I should’ve brought headphones. I always work out with music, but for some reason didn’t bring any today. It didn’t occur to me that while I signed up with friends, I still run better with a distraction built in. Next time, bring headphones.

It also didn’t occur to me how crowded the route would be. We ran around the roads on UNC’s campus so the road was wide, but because the distance was [relatively] short, people in the middle 60% of the pack didn’t really spread out that much.

Running outside was both easier and harder. Easier because someone else had laid out where I go, and the faster I ran the sooner I’d be done. But harder because coldness. But I liked that there were lots of people cheering on at various points (thanks, Zeta!) and clear markers of how far we’d gone.

I managed to run the first 3k, and then did my run/jog/walk the rest of the way. My time is nothing to brag about, but I’m happy with it. I’m counting it as a resounding success, because I didn’t suck. And hey, it’s my personal best, right?!

Basically, I’m really glad I gave in to FOMO and ran. I’m so glad for friends who invite to try new things. I had such a great time!

Stay tuned next Tuesday for Caffe Driade on #TriangleBucketList

all images original to Teaspoon of Nose

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