NEWTS #10: WWWP5k in Manchester, UK

I came across this post last week, and was instantly inspired. I was going to run a 5k as my TSN of the week. Not just any 5k though – the Worldwide WordPress 5k ! I encourage all of you to take part too in any way you’d like – check out the post to find out more.

Once a week, a park nearby holds a 5K Park Run. There was no excuse now. So here I was, at midnight, registering myself for this park run the next day and feeling excited. Skip forward to 8am the next morning, to my alarm blaring out. It took me a full 34 minutes of laying awake in bed to convince myself to get up. I went through all the pros and cons of getting out of my cozy, warm cocoon. Luckily, the ‘long-term happiness’ arguments beat the ‘short-term satisfaction’ ones. Well done, me.

25 minutes later: I was gathered around the start line in the park with about 200 other keen beans. It was a great atmosphere. It was a beautiful morning. Everyone was upbeat. I went alone (didn’t manage to convince my housemates to join me at such an early hour..), but it didn’t matter. I just stood there, overhearing groups of friends fretting over not wanting to come last, old pals catching up on their summers, and sensible runners sharing stretching tips. I felt like I was already part of the community. It felt good.

They blew the whistle, and off we went. 5K is long. Bearing in mind that I hadn’t done much (if any !) exercise in a year or so, this proved to be quite the challenge. I was doing well, keeping a steady pace, until about 10 minutes in. Then I had to walk on and off. The toughest part was when a volunteer went ‘nearly halfway there!’ when I thought I was much further. It was truly dispiriting.

37 minutes a.w. (‘after whistle’), I was crossing the finishing line ! I was one of the last few, but it still felt good to finish. I had completed a 5k ! Those who bothered to stay behind cheered for everyone as they crossed the finish line. I found it a bit embarrassing, because my face was SO RED, but it still felt awesome.

That feeling of accomplishment got me through the next couple of days of aching muscles. The idea of climbing stairs would reduce me to internal tears – it was that bad. I should have listened more closely to the stretching tips. Next time !