Tue | Dec 6, 2016

Krysta Weighs In: my first 5K

Published:Monday | September 22, 2014 | 12:00 AM
I can smile now that it's over, but man, did it hurt! SLEEK Photo/Contributed

Krysta Anderso, Lifestyle Writer

In the same breath that they say if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life, if you love the physical activity you are engaged in, you will never workout a day in your life.

To date, the only activity that I experienced that love and passion for without it feeling like a chore is dance.

But I'm all about broadening my horizons and exploring new things. So if I wanted to truly weigh in on all things healthy, I had to conquer my fear and participate in a 5K run. And what better way to kick this than by doing The Gleaner 180 5K Run/Walk?

If you are new to this series, welcome health fans to Krysta Weighs In, my journey to a healthier me, while addressing any potholes, highways or roadblocks I stumble upon along the way.

Leading up to the main event

It was said that when running a 5K, you should ensure you get a good night's sleep. Unchecked.

The race was scheduled for Saturday morning, which meant that Thursday and Friday nights were designated for rest. Those two nights were dedicated to work, and a bed did not see my face or body until 3 and 1 a.m., respectively.

Ensure that you eat properly as you prepare for the run. Again, unchecked. I grabbed food when I could and while the choices weren't as unhealthy as they use to be, I was still inconsistent. NB: I did not eat anything before the race in fear of bringing it back up.

Ensure that your cardiovascular system is in order. Unchecked. I only went to the gym one day that week, and was in no way, shape or form, ready for the race.

Ensure that you engage in some form of warm-up before you take on the rigors of such a physical activity. I think you get the drift by now. And it doesn't pay to not be a morning person doing a early-morning 5K. You know who did not reach in time for the warm-up. Luckily, the walk from the parking lot to the starting line was approximately 1K: that was as close to a warm-up as I got, arriving just in time for the start of the race.

And then they're off

Now, under normal circumstances, I would walk because running involves the clashing of legs with my knock knees and all. But I signed up to run because I wanted to challenge myself. I would've walked, but I wanted to see how far I could go.

After a fresh burst at the start, it wasn't long before my fuse ran out. The air was thick and so was the tension, with only the sounds of lefts and rights, with a mixture of squeaks on pavement to break the silence. This was serious business.

But I was in good company #teamfamily and #teamlifestyle that is #myboss stood by my side as I executed intervals of walking and jogging. With an unexpected uphill on the path, this run was easier said than done.

Here comes trouble

After about my third burst of energy, I realised that something was wrong. Slowing down, I discovered that an old injury had resurfaced and it was one that I had never factored in - my groin.

Those with groin injuries know that the area is hard to heal and ought not to be stretched, so I decided to play it safe, jogging lightly and walking for the remainder of the journey.

In the interim, I shouted encouragement to those I knew who ran with the wind right past me. I felt guilty for holding my team back, but they were determined to get me through this no matter what, since I felt like giving up at 2K.

Looking forward

So I must confess, while many looked forward to making a fast time at the finish line, I looked forward to the designated music cars along the way; and by the final car, I was dancing up a storm to the tunes of yesteryear. Once a dancer, always a dancer.

By the last 1K, I was just about done, but my mother would not have it. She literally took me by the hand and pulled me the rest of the way, refraining, "You can do this, you're going to finish." This support is not sold in stores.

I reached the final leg of the race and my reward: a last jog to the finish line, giving it all I could. My time came in at under an hour which surprised me because I felt like I had been out there forever.

In the work days that followed, many were abuzz in the office comparing finish times. When I asked a co-worker how I hadn't seen her, out of genuine concern, I was floored by her response that there is no way I would have seen her from so far behind. Ouch.

Maybe I bit off more than I could chew, but I was never very competitive. At the end of the day, I placed more focus on the fun factor.

In closing, I learned that 5Ks are not for me. I am just grateful that at least I can say I did it once and completed it with the help of those closest to me (I now appreciate walking more than before). We celebrated The Gleaner's 180th birthday the healthy way and proceeds went towards a good cause, so I was happy to have been a part of that.

Join me next time as I weigh in on other alternatives in the grand scheme of health and fitness.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com