What I Learned Since Starting to Run 5ks

Ever since I was a teenager, I have always dreamed about running a 5k race. For the longest time, I thought that goal was always unattainable and out of reach. That is, until now. This past August, I finally laced up my sneakers and ran. And, I finished my best time. Yesterday, I participated in my second race, and finished in a time I never thought I could.

Running and training for these races have taught me about myself, and have changed my way of thinking completely — even when my running shoes are off. So, here are some things I learned since I began running.

It only matters if you finish. There is always going to be someone who is faster than you will ever be. That said, I have accepted that I am never going to be the fastest nor get the fastest time in the race. For me, it only matters about crossing that finish line, because there is honestly no better feeling.

No one is paying attention to you. One of the many reasons why I never participated in races until now was because I worried that I was always going to be too slow. Truth is, no one at these events is paying attention to you. They are too busy worrying about their own stuff going on. They are not judging you whatsoever. Once I realized that, I began to focus on my own body and my own pace. And, of course, finishing in the best way that I could.

I began to love my body. During COVID, I gained about 20 pounds. I have been struggling to lose the weight since. So, in the last few years, I have developed a negative perception of my body. Running, and the fact that I was able to run these races, has made me realize that my body is strong. I am nowhere where I want to be when it comes to my weight, but the fact that I was able to complete a race in record time has made me appreciate its strength.

I can do anything I set my mind to. Running has continued to teach me that if I set my mind to a goal, I can do it by working hard. It may not be perfect, but I still did it.

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