New Things: Run A 5k

Every year on my birthday I compile a list of new things I want to try.  Some of them are really difficult and obscure, some of them are shockingly mundane.  You can read about previous adventures here.
Why yes, I do wear eyeliner while running obstacle-riddled 5ks!
If you’ve been reading Yes and Yes for any amount of time – or keeping your eye on that sidebar of new things I should be trying – you might know that ‘Run a 5k’ has been on my list for, oh, three years.
Despite the fact that I was on the track team and dance team in high school (and I still take dance classes!) I’ve always believed that I Am Not An Athlete.  I’m not good at catching and throwing things, therefore I must be a failure at all things that involve moving my body.  This is also part of that super cool If I’m Not Immediately Good At It, I Don’t Want To Do It school of thought.  Are you a student there, too?  Awesome.

I’ve been putting off doing a 5k for all of the usual reason – I was traveling, the weather was bad, I hate sports bras.  But while looking through my own blog archives, I came upon this post and decided that it was time to make that business happen.

So how do you convince yourself to do a 5k after three years of avoidance?  You spend money on an entry fee, you have a specific race date, and you have too much pride to fail.

A good friend from high school was sweet enough to sign up with me and as soon as I got my confirmation email for LoziLu, I signed up for their (free!) daily training emails, bought some running capris and started aiming for mediocrityBut here’s the weird thing:  I wasn’t particularly mediocre.  I was, like, good-ish!

On the day of the race, my friend and I arrived awkwardly early and spent an hour appreciating all the costumes of the other runners (cows! tutus!  jean shorts + mustaches!)  When our heat was called, we lined up with about 40 other runners and trundled our way up and down three miles of hills, through two ponds, a giant slip and slide, two mud pits, a cargo net and several more obstacles. The race officials didn’t time the runners but my photo-taking, encouragement-yelling mister timed us – and we finished the three mile, 10-obstacle course in 33 minutes!

What?!  I wasn’t innately awful at running?  In fact, I was slightly better than mediocre?

Well, now I have to do it all the time and become awesome at it, right?  Right.
I signed up for The Warrior Dash the next day.

What things do you assume you’re bad at?  Have you tried to get better at them?  How do you feel about sports and athletic stuff?

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  1. Kim


    I always wanted to run an obstacle mud run but then after doing thre first three weeks of couch to 5k realized that I abhor running.

  2. Sarah Evans

    Wow – awesome muddy photo btw!

    I am just part way through my Couch to 5K programme and strangely find I am enjoying it (when I have the time to fit it in that is).

    Good on you – hopefully I'll have my own race photos in the bag by this time next year.


  3. Sandy aka Doris the Great

    Congrats! I love the eyeliner and mud ensemble! Just like something I would do ….. but I probably wouldn't be running …. perhaps just walking fast!

  4. Ellie Kornexl

    I'm running a warrior dash at the end of June! Super excited and intimidated at the same time!

  5. Alli

    Sweet! Congratulations on your run, it looks like a world of fun too!

  6. Morgan

    mud runs are my jam! seriously addicting 🙂

  7. jess

    that's awesome – i thought i was horrible at running but my mom made me sign up for a 5k with her, now I can run a half marathon and it wasn't really even that horrible to train for haha. By no means am I amazing, but it feels pretty cool to be able to do something I never thought would happen!

  8. E. Charlotte

    Awesome! Glad you finally did it! I've done races like this with all the obstacles. It's a fun way to knock out a 5K. 🙂

  9. Hannah

    Yay, Sarah! That's awesome – it must feel so good to finally cross it off your list. AND this 5k sounds infinitely more fun than any other 5k I've heard of – I love the obstacles. And it's fun to just laugh at yourself and do it out of pure joy.

  10. Hannah

    Yay, Sarah! That's awesome – it must feel so good to finally cross it off your list. AND this 5k sounds infinitely more fun than any other 5k I've heard of – I love the obstacles. And it's fun to just laugh at yourself and do it out of pure joy.

  11. Mandy

    Congrats, Sarah! That's awesome! And I love the muddy pics!

    I ran my first 5k a couple months ago, for pretty much the same reason you did — pride. Ha. It was awesome though! I agree about never ever feeling like an athlete. PE was kind of the worst thing ever in high school, and that turned me off to a lot of exercise for years. But now I've realized it's more determination than anything else that makes an athlete, or, at least, a runner. And I ran my first 8 minute 30 second mile this morning! High school Mandy would never believe it!

    Here's the post on my blog about my 5k experience (and a super dorky picture to accompany it):

  12. B (Make Do and Spend)

    Well done! It makes me think I should really get back into running again…

  13. Karen

    Wow, that's actually really good with the obstacles and everything. Woot!

  14. Terri

    Haha, that is awesome! My friend did a similar race.

  15. Beth (i run like a girl)

    (maybe you've caught the running bug now? appropriate given that it's National Running Day) 🙂

  16. Amy

    Congratulations! This is a little sickening to me because even after a year of semi-regular 5ks 33 minutes is like my best time ever! I have been so bad at sports for so long that my head is really the thing holding me back now, doesn't help that my family still mock me for doing any form of exercise because for 20 years it was my most hated thing! Well done on your run 🙂 I think I'm going to sign up to an official one so I can try and finally beat my 33 minute best!

  17. Hannah

    That's fantastic, well done! It really is just about having the gumption to put a plan into action 🙂

  18. FMD

    way too much happy jolly cuteness up in those pics. oh wait, that's NOT POSSIBLE. thanks for allowing me to vicariously get those 5k endorphins 🙂 and CONGRATS!

  19. Ben and Brandy

    Congratulations! Careful, races do tend to infect like the travel bug! 🙂

  20. Emma Feuling

    Awesome job! I ran my first regular 5K after 2 years of putting it off just a few weeks ago, and I'm doing a Lozilu run this weekend!

  21. Julia H. @ Going Gulia

    Congrats chica! I did a similar 5k last summer…except I ended up getting 8 stitches after it because I'm a clutz and apparently shouldn't be doing obstacle course races. But it was a BLAST!!

  22. Maggie Olson

    Sarah! What day are you doing the Warrior Dash?! We're racing on the 1st!

    Your MInnesota Tough Mudder Fangirl

  23. Lovers, Saints & Sailors

    Nice one Sarah Von!

    I've been wanting to sign up for a 5K for a while now and today 2 wonderful bloggers I follow (both of whom do not post about sport related stuff and are entirely different countries) posted about running a 5K!

    It's a sign!

  24. Kit

    Well done! I've always hated running but recently joined a little running club at work- partly in line with my new get fit plan but also because of the great social aspect. I'm never going to love running but I was surprised to find I'm not half bad and it feels pretty darn good when it's all over too!

  25. Ana


  26. Chelle Lynn

    The amazing Tolly of Austin Eavesdropper inspired me to take Aerial Silks classes. I was surprisingly not bad at some things…and surprisingly super terrible awful at others (I actually just bogged about it yesterday!). I'm determined to get it right, though. My eggs may dry up, and I may be old and grey, but I WILL learn to climb up that damn silk!

    Congrats on checking a big one off your list!

  27. Sarah Von Bargen


    I'm running it on the 30th, in the 5:30 heat! Are you doing the color run? I'm doing that one, too 🙂

  28. Camels & Chocolate

    How cute are you with your darling braids?!

  29. Julie Buz.

    Awww… AWESOME! That last photo of you is precious. :o)


    Well done! I love how huge your grin is in the last photo.
    I used to run in primary school. It started with a few little jogs with my dad, and then grew into me competing in school cross-country tournaments. I was good, really good actually. I remember doing brilliantly on an inter-school competition and then deliberately slowing down and losing because I didn't want to have to take a day off school to go to the interstate finals. I don't know what was going through my head.

    I've just started running again. I'd forgotten how awesome it makes me feel.

  31. .aquarienfisch

    First of all, hey, congrats! Very well done!

    This was one of the firsts posts I've read and gee, it's so inspiring! 🙂 I was never allowed to do sports when I was a child due to some stupid periosteal diease sh*t that was going on in my legs. Thus, I was never good at sports. I never learned how to run properly, how to jump, how to throw. and I really feel like I need to catch up on that…

  32. Christine

    Hello! I truly enjoyed your email today. I’ve been trying to become a better runner and downloaded this app immediately! Thank you for sharing 🙂 A great reminder to stay focused with my photography business as well.

    So much love,

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