10k isn’t THAT far, right?

Saturday November 16, 2013 was a big day for me. It was my first time: my first ever 5k race.

The experience was significant for me. <– No, that’s a gross understatement. Running that 5k had a profound impact on my psyche.

The truth is, for my whole life I believed I couldn’t run. I actually believed I was physically incapable of running.

I wasn’t good at running in elementary school. And I certainly didn’t get any better with age. When 11th grade rolled around and I was no longer required to take a gym class, I smiled, knowing no one could ever force me to run again.

The funny thing about that last sentence is that I often used to joke that if I found myself being chased by a bad guy, I would literally just turn around to face him, throw my hands up in defeat, and proclaim, “Here – take whatever you want. Who are we kidding? I can’t outrun you.”

So, quite truly, no one could ever force me to run again — not even a knife-wielding villain.

untitledI began running, on a treadmill, early in My Year of Sweat journey last year. Mostly I focused on interval type workout, like the ones here, which meant I spent as much time walking as I did running. It was a great way to burn fat and boost my metabolism with high-intensity intervals, but it didn’t make me feel like a ‘real runner’.

Eventually I trained to run longer. I ran for 5 consecutive minutes, then 10, then 20, and finally 30 minutes straight.

I wasn’t fast, but I proved to myself that I could run for half hour, with no walk breaks, and that made me feel like a real runner.

I moved away from running after I achieved that milestone.

Still, something inside me longed to prove I could in front of others, in a group run format. I ran 30 minutes straight, but I did it alone, on a treadmill. There were no witnesses. There was no fanfare.

When I completed that 5k race in November I was able to tick off all the little boxes in my own mind, finally legitimizing my accomplishment. I ran a 5k, among a throng of other runners, and achieving a personal best at the same time.

Once again I moved away from running after chalking up another milestone.


3 months later though, and for reasons unknown to me, I decided I would start again. I think part of it was to give myself a quick and easy workout during some upcoming weeks of business travel. The beauty of running is that you can do it anywhere. All you need is a pair of running shoes.

I ran a few [and by few, I mean exactly two] times in late February, before leaving Las Vegas. And then I made the decision to download a Train-for-a-10k app on my phone. This little tool would give me both a schedule and a plan.

So I guess I decided to run a 10k.

Yet, even as I told people that I was using a Train-for-a-10k app, when the inevitable follow-up question would arrive, “Oh cool, when is your 10k race Nancy?”, my response was, “Oh, I’m not actually doing a 10k race. I’m just training for one.”

That's right Mr. Shatner, What The Fuck indeed.

What. The. Fuck. indeed.

I have now done about a million runs [and by a million, I mean 8], 5 of which have been outdoors. One of which was in NYC.

Do you all remember how I used to complain about cold-induced asthma? That’s the nasty respiratory disorder that rears its ugly head when those afflicted exercise or exert themselves outdoors in cold temperatures. In the past, when I’ve attempted even very short runs in temps below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, I have wound up with a nasty lingering cough for hours (and sometimes days) later.

It is March. I am in Toronto. My runs have been in temps ranging from 33 – 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Each one has sucked giant sweaty camel balls, I’m not gonna lie.

But… guess what?

There has been zero coughing [and by zero, I mean ZERO] during or after any of these runs.



So today I am declaring my intent to run a 10k race, dear readers.

I will be slow. Painfully slow. But I will complete it.

My current plan is to run in the Moms Rock 10k in Las Vegas on Saturday May 10th. This, of course, assumes I’ll be in Vegas on May 10th, and I have yet to book that trip.

If I don’t make it to back to Vegas in time for that race, I am committed to finding one in southwestern Ontario, which I will complete before the end of May.

There. I’ve done it.

Nancy is running a 10k race, friends. Who would have thought?

194Keep moving,

xoxo nancy

If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.” ~John Bingham

92 thoughts on “10k isn’t THAT far, right?

  1. Nancy this is awesome!! 😀 your journey to running sounds like mine
    “I can’t run, I can’t run..,.,I am running!”
    I am so pleased! You will rock the 10krace absolutely! 10th may is 2 weeks after mine 😀
    No coughing is such a huge step forward too 😀 xxx

  2. Wooooohoooo go Nancy!!!! Guess what? I just started the 5 to 10k training on my app this week!!! So far I’ve done two sessions – ran 7.2 km day 1 (Monday) and 6.9km day 2 (Friday) and then my calves hurt like a motherfucker. Loved it regardless and psyched to continue. I’m aiming for a 10k race in July. A bit behind you but I’m with you all the way. Right now I want to high 5 you!!! Excited for us both!!!

    • Wow–your app is aggressive! I’m on Wk 4 Day 3 and I just hit 6.2k. You’ll be ready for yours long before I’m easy for mine. 🙂

      So excited we get to cheer each other on! Hey….come to Vegas and run yours with me!! 🙂

  3. Yay!! That is great! I did one 10k, years ago in my early 20’s but I remember liking it at the time. I am like you and am considering downloading some kind of training app just to make the running more fun with some kind of goal…but I actually have no real goal of doing any races. Just need something to make myself not feel like a hamster on a wheel. This post was so funny…I loved it and found it motivating! I am determined to make some changes,…starting Monday (no..seriously 😉

  4. Funny – I could have written this piece too! … same history, same intro to running. With dozens of races behind me including many half marathons and 2 full marathons, I STILL don’t feel like a real runner. I guess my brain is missing the ‘muscle memory’ from childhood 🙂
    If you are looking for a Toronto race mid May, the Sporting Life 10k down Yonge St on May 11th is an amazing experience. It was my first 10k race many years ago and one I still love to do. It is a sea of runners and a real thrill to be a part of it.
    This year I will be running it with both my sons which will be really exciting. Well – to clarify that – I will be on the starting line with my 2 sons. ok – who am I kidding? – we will be in completely different corrals and I will be far, far behind them from beginning to end 🙂
    Happy training and happy racing 🙂

    • You have run 26.2 miles? Twice?
      You are a special kind of crazy, Joanne! 🙂

      Thanks for the info on the Sporting Life 10k. If I don’t make it back to Vegas for the May 10th run, I’ll definitely check that out as an alternative. Would be fun to get to meet you there!

      Happy training to you. Hopefully our weather improves soon. I nearly froze my face off running 6’ish kms yesterday. 😦

    • Thank you, my lovely! I’ll need loads of cheering to carry me those 10k, I’m sure. It seems a looooong way off at the moment. I think my longest run to date is 6.2k. BLAH!

  5. Hey Lady! Believe it or not, I’m still alive…just not blogging. I just spend my time trolling your blog and not commenting. 😛 I am SO PROUD of you! I ran my first (ahem…only) 10K last April. The locally famous creamery (Blue Bell Ice Cream) hosts it as a fundraiser for the high school athletic department (yes, I live in a small town). The best part (besides the self-satisfaction of running a 10K – duh!) is – no lie – all you can eat ice cream at the finish line. Popsicles mostly. I ate 5 fruit bars. It. Was. Awesome.

    After that, I pretty much stopped running. No idea why. Doesn’t matter, really. I recently started running again. Mostly to pray and get centered. But that half marathon is still on my bucket list… I’m rambling now. Crap. Sorry!

    ANYway. The whole reason I emerged from my troll cave is to tell you that you rock. You will rock that 10K and live to write about it and you will inspire others. Like you do with every post.

    Your friend always,

    • Hello stranger!!! I have been thinking of emailing you just to make sure you are still alive and kicking! I even visited your site a week ago to see if I’d missed anything. I miss your words!!

      That 10k sounds awesome. Unlimited ice cream would be a big motivator for me to hit that finish line, for sure. 🙂

      This training thing sucks, big time. But I keep reminding myself that I’m running outside, in the cold, and my body is not shutting down in total protest. When I consider that, I can’t help but admit that my lungs are so much bigger and healthier than they were a year ago. The running is still crazy, crazy hard – but at least now it’s shifted slightly to more mentally hard than physically hard. Just ever so slightly though. 😉

      Stay close – I miss you! And please let me know how you’re doing (email)! Be well!

      • I was doing the couch to 5k app on my lovely torture machine – the elliptical. Then it broke and I have worked for month to fix it. In the meantime I had to start exercising outdoors *gasp* I quickly discovered that it’s not as easy to run outside. so the last couple of months I’ve been walking. Today, I ran! Day 1 of C25k all thanks to you!

        On a side note, I don’t like you anymore.


      • KATE!!!@#@! Yeah you!!!
        If you are anything like me, when you find yourself completing that first 5k race, you will feel invincible!!

        Do it!

        I’m so, so excited for you!!

  6. Fantastic! I love that the little boxes waiting to be ticked line up with your goals to be more active.
    There’s a 26.2 mile marathon in NYC every year if you’re interested… 😉

    • Haven’t done it yet, babe. I’ve still got a LOT of training to do. It seems very far away at the moment, given I haven’t run farther than 6k yet… BLAH! wish you were here to train with me. 😦

  7. I hiked 5 miles through the Colorado National Monument last summer and I was so very ready for it to be over. I don’t run and thus can’t imagine running a 10K. Kudos to you and I look forward to hearing all about it 🙂

  8. This is such a great goal and it will be delightful to mark your progress along the way. If you have room in your life for reading one more blog, I’d like to introduce you to Lori at http://slowhappyliving.com. Lori started running just a couple of years ago, and she is now “all in” with a half-marathon to boast, as well as continual training. I was able to meet her in Santa Barbara a year ago, and I think you’d really enjoy getting to know her, too. 🙂 You runners are an inspiration.

    • I’ll definitely check Lori out, Debra, thanks for the reco. I have followed a couple of passionate runners’ blogs in the past but then ended up unfollowing. I think because I never connected with their description of having fallen in love with the sport. I look forward to exploring her words to see if I can find inspiration and motivation there. 🙂

  9. You are my hero. All that running and training and discipline is AWESOME. I despise running and am abysmal at it. When I ran my last mile in PE in 9th grade, I said that was my LAST MILE. I’m looking forward to hearing about which of the 10K’s you end up doing.

    • Oh I hate it and suck at it too, my friend. Perhaps I suck slightly less now than I did before. Although that’s debatable given the current training regimens and results… I’m not sure why it’s important for me to do this. I just know it is. Hopefully the lessons will reveal themselves along the way.

  10. Now here’s where we’re different. I did run in elementary school and I haven’t since! Never mind dire respiratory consequences, I’m afraid of the jiggly bits! You do love a challenge! I’m feeling like a bit of a slob just going to yoga 3 times a week. I’ll being thinking of you on the 10th. O_o

  11. Bravo Nancy! You’ve got all the girls running now! I used to run 10K and few times even longer distances in my late 20s but my knees didn’t like it too much…so now I’m only into walking and stalking, mostly birds 🙂 You go girl!

    • Oh Tiny, I keep asking myself why I thought taking up running at almost 50 years old would be a good idea. Can’t say my knees or hips like me very much right now. 🙂

  12. I started running on the treadmill last year after thinking I could NEVER be a “real” runner. It helped so much with my anxiety. It’s harder for me to run outside and I can’t figure out why. I’m hoping to ease back into it though as this terrible winter lets up.

  13. Awesome! But. I’m not a runner. I just can’t 😉 Haha no– I want to try. I’ve tried the couch to 5k app before but I never make it all the way through (I’m so easily distracted/lazy). The Boyfran and I were talking about this earlier though… I need to find a good place to run (not on a treadmill, they make me feel dizzy and weird) in my area.

  14. Pingback: psa: don’t run with a broken ass | my year[s] of sweat!

  15. Pingback: monthly challenges recap: March edition | my year[s] of sweat!

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