Turkey Trot

It wasn’t an official 5k, but that’s the distance I walked/jogged through my neighborhood on Thanksgiving morning. I had promised myself that in spite of being chicken (turkey?) to enter a real race, I was going to do a “5k Turkey Trot” for Thanksgiving on my own. It was the furthest I’ve gone during dedicated exercise and I’m very proud I stuck to my promise. Here’s what I learned by doing this.

1. I am very thankful to all the fitness bloggers I follow, especially the Fall Into Fitness challengers. I am always inspired by your posts and your accomplishments. It encourages me to keep trying, to try harder and to dream of being able to do some of the things you do regularly. I know how hard it is to do the things you do and still living a life besides eating well and exercising.  Thanks bloggers!

2. I was afraid of slipping on ice and being too cold, but went outside anyways. It was 28 degrees F. First, my very old treadmill is not calibrated anymore so I would not know when I had actually gone 5k. Second, I love being outside when I walk and have really missed it since it got colder. What I learned is, yes I was a little slower because I spent most of the time being careful of the ice patches. But where I live I will need to get used to that weather conditions will seldom be ideal. I will need to work around the weather and not let it deter me when conditions are not “ideal” (not sure what ideal is yet). I also got a sense of what to wear. I really had no idea of how to dress, except I thought layers would be good. I figured I could take things off if I got too warm. I had bought this goofy face mask thingie at Walmart (not official running gear obviously) that velcros in the back of your neck. I wore it but only needed it when I was in the higher open areas. But then I needed it since the wind caused immediate stinging and numbness on my face. This really slowed me down because I was so uncomfortable with the breathing through it.

Snow on the ground and ice on the bay

Snow on the ground and ice on the bay

3. My nose runs in the cold. This is the most annoying and distracting thing for me. No idea what to do about it. Anyone have ideas? I don’t know how I could handle this in a real race in public. Blowing my nose slowed me down and distracted my focus. I went through a lot of kleenex and had to breathe through my mouth most of the time.

4. By doing this, I feel I can take the next step and actually do a 5k with other people around (gasp!). I’m going to sign up for a Color Run in spring. It’s not an official timed race, but there will be other people there (gasp!). My goal is still to do an actual race and to continue to do them if my body allows. If my running neighbor had her way, I would go with her to a nice sheltered, level 5k around the State Fair grounds on New Year’s Eve day. Now, mind you, she is my age (old) and always places in the top 5 of her age group. Yep, still too chicken (turkey?) to go with her.

5. I have an actual time I can work with on improving. 57:35. It’s slow. I walked mostly, but I jogged when I could. I don’t know if I’m approaching this in a good way, but I will jog until I have trouble breathing and then walk until I feel I’ve caught my breath enough to jog again. I try not to jog very fast either so that I can go further. What I don’t know is if it’s a good idea to get so out of breath like that. But that’s how I like to do it. Anyways, it’s a slow time, but there were a lot of factors contributing to that as I mentioned. But it’s a number finally that I can work on improving.

Here's the proof

Here’s the proof

6. It was a big sacrifice for me to give up an hour of cooking and cleaning for my dinner guests. I feel somewhat bad to have not done the best job of hosting (something that’s important to me). Yet, I am not sorry I did the 5k. It felt so good. It was what I needed for me. Being healthy and fit does require sacrifices and it’s hard not to feel guilty about spending time away from other important things to stay healthy and fit (for me).

7. I really hurt a lot in a lot of places afterwards. My knee, my foot, my hips, lower back. Lots of reasons probably. Instead of coming in and stretching and resting I was standing for 20 minutes talking to my neighbor in the cold after and then jumping right in to hosting the meal being on my feet the rest of the day.

And that was my first 5k.