Tales From the Back of the Pack

Tales From the Back of the Pack

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Year of the Monkey and the 5K

When I first started running, years ago, I remember feeling so accomplished to be able to finish an entire 5K race. Here I am many pounds (can you tell it's a lot or no?) heavier and wearing all cotton clothes (COTTON!! probably a regular bra too, ack!) running one of my very first 5K's:
ummm why did you pin your bib to your boobs?
I hate this picture with all my heart. I've wanted to delete this picture in the past but I couldn't bring myself to do it because it's the only one I have of when I was racing 5K's back in the day. But I sure wish it wasn't so dang AWFUL. I thought of submitting it to the Worst Race Pics ever site, but I didn't think it was worthy enough even for that site. There's a stroller handle in this pic which means the Puff must have been a couple of years old here (she's 9 now). 

I remember these 2008-2009 years because I signed up for every 5k race I'd heard of around LA. I'd strap the Puff into her stroller and line up in the back with the other strollers and kids on scooters and  happily push us both the finish line. WE HAD SO MUCH FUN! 

Here's the Puff running HER first race which has nothing really to do with this post except that she is clearly a natural when it comes to action shots. Run buddy Val (years ago) called me a cheap bastard for not ponying up the cash to buy this cute pic. My friends are awesome like that. 

After a while, I grew bored of running in LA and the 5K races weren't that much fun anymore. Running 3.1 miles isn't very far and it's over just like that. I got bit by the travel bug soon after these first years and ventured out to other cities to run. When I finally committed to run a half marathon I felt like if I was going to put in the effort to train, I wanted my efforts to be rewarded with an entire RunCation-destination-weekend event. And off we went to San Francisco. 

My first solo adventure was to New York for the Divas Half on Long Island and it was a LOT of fun. Exactly the experience I was looking for.
I still wear this shirt! 

But now, I've come full circle again. Booking airfare, reserving rental cars & hotels or Airbnbs, all the packing (and forgetting stuff to bring so having to buy duplicates) is not as enticing as it used to be. The RunCation has lost it's luster. 

And the Absolute worst thing about traveling is making babysitting arrangements for the Puff and having to leave her behind.

I've decided 2016 is not only the Year of the Monkey but it's now also the Year of the 5K for me.  
I want to get back to doing those local races--there are TONS here in LA--and train for speed instead of distance. I do have one half marathon planned for this year, in April, but it's local as well. And maybe I'll add in another later in the year. We'll see! 

I'm excited about this new focus & what's to come. 

QUESTION: Do you know your Chinese zodiac animal? 
Mine is the PIG. I love it!


  1. I used to love 5ks, but now it feels like getting up early for such a short distance isn't really worth it. Still, I'm going back to the shorter distance races now and I think I'll find my love for them again!

  2. I also used to love 5K. i can not get into running right now. I am the year of the pig too.

  3. I think I really used to run 5Ks wrong because for the longest time they were my least favorite distance. This past year, though, as I rebuilt my base and got back into social running some, I enjoyed the couple that I did so much more. My Chinese Zodiac animal is monkey so I guess this is supposed to be my year. :)