So many of my friends tell me how awesome it is that I’ve done a 5k and have signed up for a variety of other runs including mud runs. I told them you can too. If you don’t sign up you’ll never do it. They always tell me they aren’t ready. I proceed to tell them the story of my first 5k.

A long time ago I ran track. I was actually the girl with the fastest mile in junior high. I haven’t run much since then, and I’ve never run more than 3 miles at a time. I was always a short distance runner. My best times were for runs a mile and under.

Running my first 5k, I didn’t train more than running a mile at a time or on a consistent basis. I signed up for the 5k the day before and I had two goals. My first goal was to finish and my second goal was to not to come in last. I accomplished both goals!

For the first quarter mile I was nervous and I felt sick to my stomach. It could of been the fact that it was just above freezing and I’m a fair weather runner. After the first half mile I thought I wanted to just walk a little, I pushed myself a little further with my inner dialogue. Every time I thought I wanted to slow down if only for a moment I convinced myself to keep running just a little further. Pretty soon I was halfway and then I could see the finish line. I thought to myself, I may be slowing down to a snails pace but I can do this. I can run the whole thing. I didn’t break any records but I finished with a respectable 35 minutes and I wasn’t last. I thought it was pretty cool that I ran the whole thing never having run that far before in my life. I know that if I can do this, you can too.

No training for my second 5k either (other than my normal workouts) and I managed to shave off 5 minutes. The race was complete with an incline at the finish which made it even more of a challenge.

What is a bigger challenge than a 5k? For me it was a 5k through a mud obstacle course. I prefer to be clean and sweating while working out is unavoidable but gross. So, I challenged myself and completed my first 5k mud run. It was dirty and oh so fun. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Oh wait, I am! I have already signed up for my second 5k mud run and another 5k run the same month. I think I’m addicted to signing up and showing up.

Weather you are just beginning to run or it’s been awhile, sign up for a race and challenge yourself. It may help you that races are plentiful these days and everyone seems to want in on the fun. Sign up with a friend and do it together if it’s easier to hold yourself accountable to someone else. Just put one foot in front of the other and show up. The rest is easy!

Bucket list, check, check!