Fitness Update April 2023 | My First Downhill 5k

Hey friends, and welcome to the blog! I hope your day and week are filled with God’s blessings.

Yesterday was a big blessing to me. In order to get in better shape and to be a good steward of the body our Father has given me, I started running nearly two years ago. Believe me when I say it wasn’t pretty when I began. (It isn’t always pretty now, too!) But with time and consistency, I have improved. I love the way running makes me feel, and I run three to four days a week now.

I haven’t run a 5k since the fall, and I was excited to see how I have improved over the past five months or so. A hometown 5k was coming up, so I decided to sign up for it. The only caveat was that it was a downhill race for two of the miles. I wasn’t sure how my knees would hold up, but I decided to go for it.

I also was a little worried because I have hit a snag as far as my heart rate goes. Over the past couple of months I have been dealing with a personal issue that has caused immense grief in my life. Since mid-March my heart rate has been way higher than it was during previous work outs. It is amazing how our mind and body are related, and how stress takes a toll on your body. I am doing all I can to find peace at the moment, but it is definitely hard.

So normally going into a downhill race, I would hope to set a personal record. But given my heart rate, I wasn’t so sure. I didn’t want to do any harm to myself! I decided to do my best, but to not stress about time. This was supposed to be fun!

The morning of the race was in the 40s, which was perfect. I was pretty excited when my husband and I drove into town. The sunrise over the mountains was beautiful!

Once we reached town, we boarded a bus to take us up the mountain. There was also a half marathon and 10k starting farther up. The state highway was closed for the race, and it is a beautiful road.

The first two miles were awesome. There was a definite downhill slope, but it wasn’t too severe. Once we reached the two mile mark, we started going up and down hills and bridges as we made our way into town. I started to not feel my best, but really pushed it to the finish line.

I finished in 26:00. I couldn’t believe it! My last personal record was 28:51.

I also placed first in my age category. My husband placed first in his category as well, with a time of 25:59.

Having him with me really helped. He was so encouraging during that last mile.

I am now looking forward to having some time to relax and hopefully allow my heart rate to regulate itself. I am thinking of signing up for a 10k in a couple of weeks, but strictly for fun. Running a 10k is one of my goals for the year, and it is heating up fast. After that, I don’t plan to run in a race again until the fall.

My ultimate goal is to one day be able to run a 5k in under 25 minutes without feeling like it’s going to kill me, ha! My plan is a lot of slow runs, with some sprints sprinkled in.

Anyhow, it was a good day with an unexpected outcome. I’m so thankful that I was able to experience it.

Thank you so much for stopping by today!

Blessings, Nicole

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