Today's Take It and Run topic on Runners' Lounge is 5K/10K races. My first race ever was a 10K. It made realize that I could run further, even though it was pretty tough. My second 10K was shortly after the marathon. It was hot and harder than I had planned (after all, I had just run a marathon....sheesh!), so I haven't fallen in love with this distance yet. For some reason, I don't have a lot of desire to do a lot of 10K races.
The 5K, however, is easy to love. It works well with one of my biggest shortfalls- going out too fast. In a 5K, I can practically sprint the entire thing. I can go out with the crowd and succumb to the added adrenaline and have a fast first mile. I can settle into a nice pace for the second mile and then give it everything I have for the last one. No matter how bad I feel, I know I only have a relatively short time left. I can do anything for twenty-five minutes, right?
I never thought that I would enjoy 5K's. I always thought that distance was better for fast runners. Doing my first after running every other distance gave me a very pleasant surprise. Three miles was always my "recovery" run or my "easy" run. To push myself to run harder and faster for that short distance felt great.
One of the other things I love about 5Ks is that I'll be able to talk my friends into running them. Just about all my friends can run three miles. When I try to talk them into signing up for a 10K or half marathon, I get a lot less enthusiasm-- if not full-fledged fear. With a 5K we can all meet up at the beginning, run our own race and meet up again at the end.
A 5K is a wonderful way to support local charities. From Race for the Cure to the Race for Literacy, there seems to be a 5K run for every cause. I think I want to run a 5K race every Thanksgiving from now on. It was not only a good cause (helping the homeless), but a fantastic way to start the day. I felt great all day on Thanksgiving this year. I was energized and felt pretty proud of myself for getting up at o'dark-thirty to run in the rain while the rest of my family slept in.
I think the sweet little 5K might be seeing more of me this year. It is usually budget-friendly, schedule-friendly and a lot of fun.