*I hope you enjoy Glenneth's story. I know that not everyone feels crazy enough to run marathons and wanted you all to see that you can be healthy and happy without having to run 26.2 miles.*
Two years ago, my hubby became a runner. I know that sounds bizarre, but he did a 5K one Saturday and kept running. LOL. When he would go out and run during the week, I would go walk. The next 5K he was going to do encouraged and welcomed walkers (not all 5Ks do), so I decided to do it. Two years and over forty 5Ks later, I have a little experience with them. As a walker. Not a runner. I have walked every single 5K I have done. I honestly have no desire to run, but I love walking.
My average time ranges from 45 minutes to 58 minutes. I have been last. I have been beaten by people older than me and people younger than me. I have wanted to quit, but didn't. Some 5Ks I love, others I tolerate. There is a greenway here in Knoxville that bothers my legs each and every time I do a 5K on it. I love Fall and Spring 5Ks much more than the hot summer ones.
Why do I do 5Ks?
- Walking is good for me. Keeps me up and moving. My schedule is usually walking Tuesdays and Thursdays with a 5K on Saturday or Sunday.
- I do love a good t-shirt.
- While hubby and I don’t run together, it is something we both enjoy. And when he finishes the 5K, he will run back and find me and walk to the end with me. Fun!
- Even if I finish last, I have beat everyone on the couch. Yes, I know it sounds kind of corny, but its true.
- Luckily the Knoxville Track Club is VERY supportive of walkers. Most all of the runners are friendly and I have gotten to know quite a few. I wave and cheer for them as they pass me.
- Practice, practice, practice – and not just on a treadmill. I find some of the people who have the hardest time walking (or running) a 5K have only trained on a treadmill.
- Find a 5K that is walker friendly. Most of the registration forms here will say 5K Run/Walk if they are walker friendly. Or, they may have the course time limit listed (like course closes after 1 hour 15 minutes). I have been known to email the race director just to ensure the race is walker friendly.
- Get good walking shoes. Shoes are one of the most important pieces of gear you will need. I always carry a water bottle (I need more than the water stops provide). I also carry my iPhone and wear headphones to listen to music.
- Do note that some races prohibit headphones, so read the form carefully before signing up if you want to wear headphones.
- When lining up to start the 5K, walkers should move to the very back. This way you won’t get run over by the runners. They will appreciate it.
- Stay to the right when walking. This allows people to pass you if they need to.
- Enjoy the experience. Some of my slower 5Ks have been because I have stopped to take a picture (or two or twenty). Since I am not competing for time, I make sure I get in a great workout while enjoying myself at the same time.
On July 3rd, I will be walking my 3rd Pilot Fireball Moonlight Classic 5K. This race is done at 9PM. The course is relatively flat (pretty hard to find in Knoxville). They typically have around 1000 runners and walkers of all ages. It is very walker friendly and family friendly. I am anxious to see how the weather turns out this year. The first year was a beautiful 75 degrees. Last year it was 95 degrees – at 9PM! I was sweating when I stepped out of the car. I am hoping for maybe low 80s this year. Wish me luck!