Why My Second 5K Will Probably Be My Last

Years ago, I swore up and down I would NEVER run. I thought runners were crazy, and I hated the monotony of it. My endurance was terrible. I was not a fast runner in the rare instances I had to run, and it was just downright uncomfortable for me.

But in late April of 2018, I literally woke up one day and was like, “I am going to start running!”

Even my husband was shocked as I asked him if I could get a good pair of running shoes. I’m sure he was wondering where in the world this random new hobby came from, as everyone who has known me well and for a long time knows how I have always been clear about my disdain for running. I wanted to eventually run a marathon, and I knew I had to start out slow. I bought the Couch to 5K app and began at Day 1.

There were a few times I wanted to give up, but I liked how it would notify me when I was halfway done with my run. My Fitbit helped me keep track of my heart rate and distance. Running was an excuse to get these awesome wireless headphones, and I enjoyed starting my day with my favorite music on hand.

In about late July, I somehow finished the C25K program. It was not easy to push through, as I started getting bored and dreading the runs getting longer and longer. I would get bored right at the 30 minute mark and have to force myself to finish the run.

Right at that time, I noticed a stabbing pain in my right foot, under my pinky toe and on the upper side of my foot. I was annoying at first, but then it started to really hurt as I ran.

Okay, I’ll stretch more. Nothing.

Okay, I’ll get some insoles for more support. It helped for a run or two, and then it did nothing.

Okay, I’ll try rubbing the bottom of my foot on a tennis ball. Nothing.

My foot would throb for days after a run and made it difficult to walk.

I began to lose my confidence, and my already-at-risk interest began to dwindle even more. I was aggravated, but I did not want to quit because I had signed up for my first 5K: The Margarita Madness 5k. I was going to get my free margarita and my medal if it was the last thing I was ever going to do.

I did make it through the race, and the adrenaline was so powerful that I forgot all about my foot pain. All I cared about was not melting in the hot August sun. I didn’t care if I had to crawl to the finish line–I was going to finish! It felt nothing short of incredible when I did, and I skipped through the finish line to receive my margarita and medal.

What a great way to end my 20s!

I could tell my husband was so proud of me. It was a major boost for my low self-esteem. There haven’t been too many times in my life where I have felt like a major winner, so this moment was extremely special for me.

The next day, however, I could barely walk.

My foot was on fire, aching and throbbing whether I sat or stood. It didn’t change my mind in that it was still worth it, but we’re halfway through September, and my foot has not been right since. I can’t run without it hurting in that spot on the upper right part of the bottom of my foot.

So, I decided to leave running behind.

It was not completely difficult to decide to give up running because the pain was that great, and although my 15 seconds of fame was worth it, it isn’t THAT worth it to keep running.

I had already signed up for my second 5K for the end of September, so I have decided I would walk that. After that, I do not plan on signing up for anymore 5Ks. It isn’t worth walking them to me, so I am not interested.

But I lost my exercise identity.

Now what? Now what can I do?

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