Starting about a month and a half to two months ago, I begun running. Or I guess you could say jogging. What prompted this sudden urge for my feet to hit the pavement..? Well, I came across this 5k run put on by the North Dakota Cattlewomen’s Association. And saw that a number of my social media friends were going to Beef it up and run… So I decided that 3.1 miles was attainable goal and signed up. When I first told my farmer, he laughed. And I will admit, I thought I was crazy for a while as well. But I kept faith in myself and set my personal goal to run the entire thing. No walking.
Let me be honest with you, I am no runner. I will admit the first time I started out, I could barely run for 5 minutes without having to walk. And I would have to be making it 3.1 miles!? I had a lot of work to go. So I started running. And I ran, three or four times a week. And eventually about 2-3 weeks before the race, I ran my first ever 5k distance. Then I ran it again a few more times. And although my pace was nothing to brag over, I was still so proud that I knew I could at least do it. The week of the race came and I had planned out a schedule that week to prepare. Well, Monday went fantastic… Then last week it snowed.. And it was in the low 20s… The next day we had 30 mph wind. The weather was being relentless. But despite the fact I hadn’t run for a few days… My running partner and I headed out to Mandan, North Dakota.
We had to make a pit stop at Scheels to prepare ourselves for the weather.. Saturday morning around 8 AM was looking to be about 25 degrees. Layer after layer, some gloves and headbands.. We were looking fierce and ready to run. Beefin it up had an amazing turnout with I think near 200 people in attendance. That’s like 1/4 of the population of the town I live in! Apparently the ND beef people have amazing support for each other. I’d never ran a race in my life before, ever. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The race brought out people of all ages. Kids to even elderly were baring the colder temps to run in support of beef.
Having not run for 5 days as well as some unexpected inclines nearly killed me. But thanks for my running partner’s motivation as well as my goal in mind… WE did it. First ever 5k. Ran the entire thing.
Here we are in our post run glory. Having my first race under my belt, I’ve learned a few things.. Number one, I get hot when I run. Being it was going to be 30 degrees out, we layered up. I got about a mile into the race and started stripping clothes, gloves, headband. And finished the race with simply an under armour long sleeve shirt and pants with my beef shirt over it. Number two, I need to find some hills to add into my runs every once in a while. Being that North Dakota is mainly more on the flat side, I wasn’t expecting hills. And let me tell you, my legs are still feeling those hills! Number three… If that elderly bow legged man who passed me up while I was running could finish that damn race, I could too! Watching some of the people out there running was seriously inspiring.
Another possible reason why this race nearly kicked my butt was due to the fact that I ran my best ever time. 33 minutes 58 seconds which equals out to a pace of about 10:56 per mile. Nearly TWO minutes less than any of my training times… That’s quite a bit! Guess the adrenaline was going! Not only did I finish my first ever 5k and meet my goal, I also got to visit with some social media friends of mine.
The BEEFMAN Daren Williams flew out from Colorado to support Team Beef and break his personal 10k record! We had the opportunity to briefly meet during the tweet up in Kansas City prior to the AgChat conference. He’d been giving his social media circle (including myself) support via Facebook and Twitter and for that, I thank him! I FINALLY got the chance to meet the lovely Sarah Bedgar Wilson of J.S. Wilson Farm who hails from my new home of North Dakota! She also is originally not from here, but ended up with a farmer from North Dakota too! What is it about these North Dakota men…? Anyway, this is why I love social media. I can attend an event that is 120 miles away from where I live. And get to see two people I would have never known otherwise without the internet.
Needless to say, I was beyond proud of myself. I had never been a runner, let alone run over a mile in my life. But I ran my first ever 5k and set a personal record for myself that will be hard to beat. And it was in support of one of my favorite things, BEEF! I don’t think it gets much better than that! Thank you to all of you who gave me encouragement and support via social media. Thank you SO much to Amy (my running buddy) who gave me motivation throughout the race and joined me in a fantastic day and a half trip to this race, and thank you to my farmer. I know he thought I was crazy and laughed when I first told him, but after a while, he became my biggest supporter. Constantly encouraging me or reminding me to wake up and go out running.
Once I got home, of course, I had to celebrate. So although my farmer was out harvesting sunflowers… I poured myself a drink. And celebrated my big day. And in celebration of accomplishing goals and continuing my running, I signed up for another 5k in November on Thanksgiving Day in my hometown in California. So stay tuned for the further adventures of running in the world of Jenny.