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Running My First 5K After 4 Years

Hey y’all! How was everyone’s weekend? I was either watching football or some other type of sport or I was babysitting and making money, which for me doesn’t sound like a bad weekend. I got to cheer on the Wolfpack this weekend to another victory as well as my Michigan State Spartans. There was also one other thing that I did this weekend that I have been training for for the last few weeks, and that is that I ran the Canes 5K on Sunday. Now you can guess from the title that this was my first 5K in 4 years but this was also my first race of any kind in 4 years.

What a funny feeling it was to do something for the first time in 4 years that used to come so naturally to me. I’m going to give a little background real quick. Growing up I played every sport underneath the sun but didn’t love any of them until my mom signed me up for Girls On The Run where I fell in love with running. From there I ran track in middle school and high school but then found cross country in high school and really fell in love with running even more. But the real game changer was before high school when I stupidly said I was going to run a half marathon and indeed I did in my 8th grade year of school. I got hooked and ran 8 half marathons over 3 years and even did a Tough Mudder.

But I got stopped in my running career because of injuries that completely made it extremely painful to run. When I started on my major weight loss and keto journey at the beginning of 2019, my doctor asked me to make some goals for physical activity and one of them was to get back into running. It continued to be my goal every time I went back to my doctor until I finally one day tried it. I am the type of person that to keep myself motivated, I have to have some kind of event, like a 5K race, to train for.

When I was younger, I used to run the Canes 5K and that was actually one of the first 5K races that I ever ran. It felt good to sign up for the Canes 5K again and be my first race back into running. I didn’t think I would be, but I was actually nervous to run on the day of the event even though it was just a 5K, but it was because it was my first race back. I was also nervous because throughout my training I had incurred some injuries with my calves, achilles, and feet. Prior to the race, I had been doing a lot of rehabbing and taking measures to make sure I didn’t injury myself any worse than I was. It was a hard course and even though I knew the course, it was harder than I remembered. There were some extremely long and excruciating hills that really got me, holy crap!

My time was 32 minutes and I was truly proud of that because during my training I had not come close to this time. That and I did it! I ran my first race in 4 years and finished it in a great time. I loved the feeling afterward and thats what we like to call a runner’s high! I definitely want to continue running and sign up for more races but going to take my time and make sure I listen to my body and don’t injury myself. As my dad loves to say to me, it’s a marathon not a sprint!

The Canes 5K is an awesome race because they do such a great job of giving back to the community and make it fun for everybody. They have the 5K race of course but they also have a 100- and 200- yard dash for the kids. There are also blow up events and other fun activities for the whole family. Our amazing mascot Stormy is there to pump everybody up. Before the actually race they have an opening ceremony where our very own John Forslund comes out and introduces some of the Carolina Hurricanes coaching staff and players that have come out to support and interact with all of us. This year some of the players that were there were: Brock McGinn, Jordan Staal, Jordan Martinook, Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Dzingel, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Lucas Wallmark, Brett Pesce, and Jaccob Slavin.

After the race they have an awesome pancake breakfast for all of us to take part in and even an award ceremony where the fastest runners in each age category are given an award. When you register for the race, you are given a race t-shirt, a race bib, and wristband for a free beer afterwards, and a free ticket to a small list of games for the upcoming season!

Do y’all know of any good races that I can register and train for next? If so let me know, I want to get another race on my calendar. As always thank y’all for stopping by and reading. I will see y’all back here next time.

Love, Dani

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