What 5k for Colombia Taught and Reminded Me

I went to the run for fun and to support my husband’s church. It was more professional than I thought though I later found the course length wasn’t accurate.


I was wrong about a number of things that day.

  • Don’t judge a person by their appearance
  • Drink a butt load of water on hot days
  • Take it easy on hot days
  • Be prepared for the tinkles if you’re a woman who’s given birth at any time in her life and has drunk said water
  • Stash chapstick in that hidden pocket in your clothes if the day is hot
  • 4pm on any given day in June (even early June) can be too hot to run


It was a perfect summer day complete with the sun being strong enough to bake your bones. The backs of my legs felt like my face when I open the oven after baking a dish for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. And that was just standing with my back to the sun.

Luckily running creates your own personal breeze so I never felt too uncomfortably hot. My mouth was dry except for sticky mucus and my lips felt shriveled. My skin was covered with a nasty coating of salt. I was sweating but not much. When I looked in the restroom mirror about 2-3 minutes after I crossed the finish line (had to walk a little ways to get there), I didn’t look sweaty; I looked baked.

Lessons Learned: Drink water and take it easy on hot days; stash chapstick on person; early early morning is better for running in June than 4pm.

Like always, I picked up speed when I neared the finish line aaaaaand was passed literally 1 second before crossing the line.

The look on my face made everyone laugh and shout out “OOOOH!” They felt my pain.

No worries. I felt no pain. When I had safely crossed I was laughing. I recognized the lady as someone whom I had occasionally played leapfrog with since the start of the race. She came up to me afterwards and apologized (while laughing). Her son had slowed her down at times and she had been using me as her goal for the last mile or so. She had been determined to get ahead of me before the end of the race. And boy was she bookin’ it to meet that goal. I’m sure my increased speed at the very end didn’t make her too happy. She was sprinting.

My time: 29:04

This 5k time is false as the course was .5 miles short of a full 5k. However, my speed was constant so had it been correct, I would’ve finished close to 34 minutes which is back to my pre-winter speed. Yay!

Lastly, I’m ashamed to admit that I judged a fellow runner based on her appearance. This was a humbling lesson to relearn.


I took one look at her large hips/butt and thought she would be a slow walker huffing and puffing long before the race was finished.

Not once did she walk. Not once did she slow down. This woman was ahead of me the entire race. I even lost sight of her when I stopped for my son in the last mile.

I made an epic fail and judged her. I am ashamed that I did this but I welcome the shame because it’s put me back in my place and re-opened my eyes.

She did an awesome job and deserves respect.

look awesome be awesome

Lesson Learned: Don’t judge others on their appearance.

Those are my lessons. But I have one last thing to touch on. My son. He’ll be turning 5 years old July 3rd and has wanted to be race with mommy for the last 1-2 years. I didn’t sign him up because I knew, even on a bike, he wouldn’t make it through the whole race. My husband took charge of him and they biked along the course on their own.

Almost 10 minutes after I crossed the finish line, I saw my son pedaling his little heart out (he managed 2 miles!). I thought he’d stick to the pavement but he veered off toward the finish line. Everyone cheered him on. When his bike got stuck in the grass he jumped off and ran, crossing the finish line to loud cheering and a huge hug and congratulations from his mom. I gave him the cold water provided for the runners and told him it was “racer’s water.” He was so excited.


I also got a water bottle to commemorate my participation.


Do you run for fun or to compete? If you compete, do you compete against others or yourself?


About Katie St. John-Shin

I believe in living life and not letting it pass you by. I mean, come on, if you really want to do something but don't have the courage to do it so you let the opportunity disappear, you may regret it for the rest of your life. How can you know what you're capable of unless you go for it? Like every writer, I naturally plan on becoming world-famous (not really). I love reading, writing, fitness, coffee, watching my favorite movies/shows, listening to music, and trying new things even if they're sometimes terrifying. I'm a writer, a group fitness instructor, a personal trainer, and a nutter for doing all of the above.

Posted on June 5, 2014, in Personal and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I want to run to compete against others … but usually I have to run for fun AND compete against myself because I’m usually one of the last finishers. It’s too hard on my ego to compete against people when I know there’s no hope for me to keep pace with them. Love your post !!

    • Hehehe I know how you feel. I had delusions of grandeur when got ready for my first 5k. I soon learned that I’d have to be happy competing with myself if I wanted to keep going. Running and I have a love/hate relationship. But I always love it when I’m done. Especially at the end of a race and I see I’ve done well. 😀

      Keep it up! Just to try is better than a lot of people. 😉

  2. Woohoo! Congrats on being back to your old speed! 34…now I have something to aim for in a distant future wherein my feet and ankles don’t try to kill me. ^_^ And when I don’t have shin splints…’cause I think I gave myself shin splints…even though I stretched like crazy before every walk/jog. >.< Actually, it kind of amuses me. The thought that keeps flashing through my head is "Gee, I'm in the same place Katie was when we were roomies. Except I'm, yanno, 10+ years older with a kid in tow." Hehehe. (Speaking of yanno, Yana and Una popped into my head for a brief reminisce the other day. While trying to jog through foot and ankle cramps, no less. I think Yana probably gave me the, "You're joking, right? This is the best you can do?" stink eye while Una's eyes got all anime big and she said, "Come on, you can do it!" They'd make a great training team. Fun stuff!)

    • hehehe Jeez. I didn’t forget about them but I haven’t thought of those characters in forever! You’re right about Yana giving the stink eye. Una probably would’ve slowed down to keep pace with you all the while cheering you on. hehehe I still like those names. Shin splints could also be due to the shoes you’re wearing. The physical therapist told me back in the day that my shin splint was caused by my shoes. I needed more arch support. That’s why I wear special inserts now or at least shoes that hold my arch up. I miss cute girly shoes. ;_;

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