I ran a 5k that I wasn’t prepared for on Saturday and came in fourth.

I was so happy when I saw a race listed for Lawrenceburg, Kentucky on a running website. In fact, I almost didn’t believe it. The Lawrenceburg culture has many interesting highlights (including bourbon, friendly people, and a gorgeous landscape) but fitness has never really been a strong suite. It’s a rare sight to see a runner on the street or someone out of high school with a gym bag (I can’t recall a single sighting of either growing up) but as with any other small and precious place, the times they are a’ changing.

The First Christian Church had hosted their inaugural 5k on Saturday to raise money for a mission trip for the youth. Just a quick trip down across the middle school parking lot, up and down Saffel Street, back up Mustang Trail, once around the park, and back behind the middle school. 3.14 miles. Surely someone who ran a marathon 2 ½ years ago would have no problem with.

What I did not anticipate was the shock to my lungs – after months of hot yoga and treadmill running, my lungs froze up in the mid-thirties. I was more winded at the finish line than I’ve ever been after a race, and on the way home I felt the way I’ve always heard an asthma attack described. My hamstrings still feel more like iron rods than tendons.

It may seem off-putting for a fitness blogger to write about recovery time for a 5k, but it just goes to show that without practice, things you may have found easy at one time just aren’t. The same may be said for choral singing, mastering sixth-grade science content standards, and conversations in Mandarin Chinese; all activities I’ve done recently without good preparation. If practice makes perfect, then lack of practice makes hilarious, surprising, face-planting moments.

I don’t think it was a waste of time. In fact, I managed to be the fourth woman to cross the finish line and at least did something active. But I do think I’ll be trying to incorporate running into my schedule a little more often – another side effect of trying something you haven’t done in a while is rediscovering the fun of it!


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