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My first 5K

Dina finishes her first 5K race

About two months ago my coworker approached me and said she was running a 5K and asked me to do it with her.  My first thought: “I can’t run 3 miles.”  A few coworkers then decided they were going to run together and make it a group event.  However, I declined and never registered because I didn’t want to not finish the race and be disappointed.

I’ve wanted to get my body in shape for a while, but I’m more of a sports type of girl and I feel uncomfortable going to the gym.  Over the last few years I lost a lot of weight, but I know I really need to focus on toning and building up my stamina.  I registered for a Tough Mudder race in October, so I know I need to whip my ass into shape.  I just couldn’t find some type of workout that I enjoy doing (except softball, but that doesn’t count).


I was never a fan of running; in fact, I LOATHED it.  One of my coworkers told me she started running with the guidance of an app called Couch to 5K, and it was working really well for her.  The Couch-to-5K Running Plan is a mobile app that starts you off with a beginner’s running schedule and trains you to run three miles in nine weeks.  I figured I’d give the program a shot – it couldn’t hurt right?

I started my training at the beginning of June, and the program has you running a minimum of three times a week.  Every week the app would increase my run time and I would think the same thing: “Holy crap, I have to run for three minutes straight.  No way can I do that.”   But I did it.  Then it was five minute runs, then eight, then 15, then 20, and I kept thinking I would never finish them.  But I did.

It came to a point where I was ahead of the program because I was running almost every day.  I LOVED it.  I actually started to look forward to running.  I’d wake up in the morning and run before work, and a few times I’d come home and run again after.  I couldn’t believe it – I was once a girl that hated running and could never imagine myself even running a mile without stopping.

A few days before the scheduled 5K my coworkers asked me if I was going to do it.  I was only on Week 7 of the training, so I hadn’t run three miles yet.  I finally decided to register but told myself I could walk if I needed to.

Race day

Dina crossing finish line at her first 5K race

The race was after work on the evening of July 16 and I was EXTREMELY nervous.  It happened to be one of the hottest days of summer so far, and I didn’t think that would help my run at all.  I gave myself two goals: cross the finish line and don’t die (I know, so dramatic).  I didn’t really care about my time; I just wanted to finish, preferably without stopping.

So how did I do?  Well I’m writing this post, so I clearly didn’t die.  I finished the race in about 35 minutes – which isn’t exactly speedy but it’s definitely not horrible for my first 5K.  More importantly, I ran the entire time and crossed the finish line feeling strong – and that meant everything to me.  This was really special because I doubted myself so much.  The only person that said I couldn’t do it was ME.  There were so many times I wanted to stop and walk or give up. Hell, I almost didn’t even register!  But I did it. I proved myself wrong, and I ran an entire 5K.

And you know what?  I still run regularly and I really enjoy it.  Now I’m going to start training for my 10K. . .

Think you can’t start running?  Think again.

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing