My Budding Obsession with 5Ks

28 Apr

Me and my 5K Running Budy, post-race.

Me and my 5K Running Buddy, post-race.

Stefanie at The Broke and Beautiful Life wrote a post earlier this year on how races are better investments than a gym membership. I couldn’t agree more, which is why I’m excited to find that I’m becoming slightly obsessed with 5Ks. Some races are cheaper than others, to be sure, but I don’t like running enough to throw down several hundred dollars for the big marathons. Community and cause-oriented 5Ks are just fine for me, with a few trendy runs sprinkled in for flavor.

On Saturday, I ran my second 5k of the year with my sister-in-law. Running a 5k is on my “30 before 30″ list and so far I’ve completed three, including the obstacle-laden Mud Run I blogged about last summer. Saturday’s run was the first time I jogged the entire route and I’m pretty pumped about it. I’m in better cardiovascular shape than I realize since I did zero formal training leading up to the run. (Disclaimer: This is not advised. My knees were tender during the last half mileĀ and to avoid injury, I really should train for these events!)

So far, I’ve spent $115 on three events. The Survivor Mud Run was purchased at a daily deal rate of $35; the Sharin’ O’ the Green 5K cost $30 plus $15 for a long-sleeved race shirt (which I wear all the time so it’s totally worth it); and this last one was just $25. The last two events benefited important causes and has helped me become more active in my community.

I’ve also learned something about myself during these 5K events: I thrive in group settings. As an introvert, this is a pretty astounding realization, but when it comes to being active, I feed off of the group energy and tend to push myself harder and enjoy myself more. This is true not only for running but also for yoga, my go-to fitness activity. I’ve done at-home practices here and there, but nothing beats an instructor-led group setting.

My next 5K is at the end of May and I’ll likely do one or two more before the year is over. There are a ton of opportunities in my community to participate in these events, which is great because I can be choosey and opt for cheaper runs without feeling like I’m missing out. However, I tend to overbook myself in these situations and I need to make clear-headed decisions before throwing down the plastic for a 5K every weekend. My challenge will be restraining myself so my budding obsession doesn’tĀ become an un-frugal addiction.

Spill: What’s your latest obsession?

10 Responses to “My Budding Obsession with 5Ks”

  1. Tonya@Budget and the Beach April 28, 2014 at 7:14 pm #

    5k’s are my favorite length run because they take about 30 minutes, the energy of the crowd is fun, and you usually get a beer at the end. :) My workout obsession is just being well rounded with both weights and cardio. I feel a lot healthier and stronger than when I trained for a half marathon. Crazy I know.

    • Kendal April 28, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

      You’re not kidding about the free beer — I live in the Napa Valley of Craft Brew so there’s always something tasty waiting for me at the finish line. Gotta cancel out all those burned calories, right? :) I think it’s all about balance — I felt really strong this weekend after doing the 5K and then doing a Power Yoga class the next day. Good stuff. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life April 28, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

    Congrats! There’s definitely something electrifying about the group atmosphere. I love it. I need to get myself signed up for a run again!

    • Kendal April 28, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

      Def! It’s a good time of year, too, because it’s not frigid but it’s not yet scorching, either. Your post helped inspire this one, so thanks!

  3. Travis @debtchronicles April 29, 2014 at 11:06 am #

    I enjoy reading about fellow runners…congrats, Kendal! My current obsession is training as well – I’m doing my 4th marathon in October but will also be doing other races along the way as part of my training. I did one back in February, and have another one coming up at the end of May. Hope to read more about your running adventures!

    • Kendal April 29, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

      Thanks Travis! I really need to start training so I don’t injure myself. I’d love to train for the Bolder Boulder 10k and will likely add that to my list for next year. I like the idea of incorporating 5Ks into your training program because it mixes it up a bit. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Kali @ Common Sense Millennial April 29, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    I love 5ks! Like Tonya said, they don’t take up too much time and the energy is always fun. I think that’s awesome you’ve been enjoying them :) Glad to hear you’re becoming a fellow runner!

    • Kendal April 29, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

      I hope to become a fellow runner! It’s definitely not something I do all the time…I struggle when the weather isn’t just right, but I hope to make it a habit. That’s part of the reason I like 5Ks so much; they help me realize how fun it can be! Thanks for commenting, Kali. :)

  5. Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter May 14, 2014 at 3:22 am #

    Oh man, I could only wish that my obsession was running 5Ks! I can’t bring myself to run races at all. Even running on the treadmill is not appealing to me. I have seasons of obsessions; sometimes, it’s blogging, sometimes it’s gardening, sometimes cooking, sometimes health. It’s hard to keep up with myself!

    • Kendal May 14, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

      I go through stages, too. When it comes to health and fitness, I wish I could be more consistent so it doesn’t feel like such an uphill battle! I never thought I’d enjoy races but I am stoked about the fact that I’m no longer exhausted at the finish line, and that my knees and shins don’t ache the rest of the day. Hopefully that feeling will keep me motivated so I don’t have to start over! Thanks for commenting.