Courtesy of Ashley from Oh, Jones...
I never thought that I would be writing a motivational post on training for a 5k.
I also never thought that I would run a 5k, but this April I did just that.
I had this idea to do the “Couch to 5k” program and spoke about in passing with my best friend.
A couple of days later she asked if she could join me on my running quest.
We plotted out a running schedule and found a race that was based on something we both loved:
Yes that’s right, friends – the first 5k I ran was for a cupcake.
I believe it was called the “Cupcakes for a Cause 5k”
We didn’t really investigate the actual cause as we both felt our hunger was enough reason to run.
We ran based on our predetermined schedule and although we had a few missed dates, we were ready to go the day of our race.
I finished the race in 50:52.
My goal for my first race was to finish in under an hour and was super happy that I made it!
I was even happier that Sara and I got not one…
but TWO cupcakes
After finishing the first 5k I took a little hiatus from running.
And when I say hiatus I mean 2-month break.
I would see my running shoes and think to myself,
“Eating a burrito sounds way better than running. BURRITO WINS!”
Needless to say when summer came around I realized I kind of (and I stress kind of) missed going to the gym regularly.
I wasn’t feeling as jazzy about myself.
The post run adrenaline has long since worn off.
So I decided to start all over again and get back to the grind.
When I started to write this I was looking for all sorts of motivation tips.
One day I was at the gym, and stumbled across this beautiful bulletin board:
WHAT A COINCIDENCE.
It was a sign!
So I did a little investigation of their tips.
They had the following suggestions:
1. Set Goals
2. Find a buddy
3. Keep a journal
4. Take a picture
5. See results
Really? That’s how I was supposed re-motivate myself to run more than a few seconds without getting tired and heading for the nearest ice cream cone?
Although I found some of those tips mildly helpful, I came up with a few tips of my own:
1. Develop a play list of music that frightens you enough to run faster than usual.
For instance I have a whole bunch of Eminem on my playlist for the sheer fact that when he’s yelling in my ear that he’s angry….I kinda feel like he’s yelling at me. This motivates me to get it in gear and run like I’m on the actual 8 Mile.
I actually stumbled upon this next tip accidently.
The new gym I go to they have treadmills with TVs attached to them.
I felt like Aladdin and Jasmine when I first saw these bad boys.
As I jogged while watching E! I sang “A Whole New World” to all of those around me.
Clearly I’m not used to the finer things a gym has to offer.
If you’re lucky enough to come across one of these puppies might I recommend watching a show like “NCIS” or “Law & Order SVU” or “E! True Hollywood’s 15 Most Shocking Kidnappings.”
I was no longer training for a 5k friends. I was training for a potential mugger, kidnapper, or random assailant.
If you are not lucky enough to have one of these fancy treadmills, might I recommend downloading some episodes onto your iPod touch or iPad because I’m pretty sure fear fostered from watching those shows helped me run my best mile time.
2. Find a buddy that will never let you skip a gym day
I do agree with finding a buddy to work out with.
They help you stay accountable.
However, you have to find a buddy that will not let you skip a day.
Even if you beg.
A buddy that will find you when you hide.
Will continue knocking on your door, even if you use a fake accent to tell them no one by the name of Ashley Jones lives at that address.
One who will make you lift weights to tone your self-declared “lunch lady arms” even after you’ve successfully thwarted an imaginary attacker on the fancy treadmill.
Luckily I have one named Taylor.
She brings the pain as seen below:
No matter how many times I promise to buy her nachos Taylor drags me to the gym.
I’m better for it.
Plus I know that if I don’t go to the gym with my buddy I feel bad for making them brave the beast that is the gym alone.
And let’s face it, walking into the gym alone can be scary in itself, even if an episode of “Criminal Minds” isn’t playing in the background.
3. Set a goal…that goal being a person in the race that you want to beat
I know they say that the day of the race you should run at your own pace. You aren’t in competition with anyone but yourself.
However, I disagree.
I sized up my competition and picked whom I wanted to beat.
Even if it was by one tenth of a second.
She kept me moving whether she knew it or not.
I was still a little salty to find out that a 64 yr old woman ran the whole thing in 34 minutes while my 24-year-old self ran it in 50.
Thus I have set my new goal:
Beat anyone over the age of sixty’s time.
Is this realistic?
Probably not but I know that at least one of them will be passed by this unstoppable force.
4. Run towards food.
I love to eat. I don’t know if that was made clear before.
So let me declare to all of you here and now:
I, Ashley Jones, love to eat.
Nothing motivated me more than knowing at the end of my 5k there would be a delish cupcake at the finish line.
I love knowing that when I get off the treadmill I’ve exercised enough for the day to throw a slice of cheese on my sandwich.
(On Weight Watchers, they say you can’t even taste the cheese on a sandwich. I counter by saying the sandwich tastes better just knowing that the cheese is there. It’s not rational…but it is delicious.)
I run towards an edible target.
Whichever race I run next, I’m hoping a huge burrito will be waiting at the finish line with open arms.
If food isn’t what gets you going, run towards something that will.
I’m also a big fan of the free t-shirt.
Free anything after running is nice, am I right?
The biggest piece of advice I can give when training for a 5k is laugh.
Laugh at yourself when you trip.
Laugh at yourself when “Moneymaker” by Ludacris comes on your iPod and you sing a little too loud in public.
Laugh when you and your gym buddy realize that maybe a half-mile is all that might be happening that day.
Laugh when you realize that you wore your work out pants inside out. (That might only happen to me…. but when it did I laughed.)
Most importantly laugh when you cross the finish line because you are so pleased that you accomplished your goal and know that there is some sort of delicious treat (burrito, cupcake, long nap) on the other side.
Running a 5k was something I never thought I would accomplish let alone running two.
If I can do it I know anyone can.
Good luck and shake your moneymaker those 3.1 miles.
It’d be LUDACRIS for you not to.
(See what I did there? A little pun)
No? Just me?