It’s not JUST a 5K.

Here I sit at lovely Panera Bread again getting my lunch and nice dose of free Internet. {One day I’d like to go home to my dad’s house and find that he magically has service, but I’m not holding my breath.} My lunch was quite tasty!


I didn’t realize until too late that I was given a piece of bread instead of an apple as my side. Umm, duh, people. Why would I want more bread?! No need to carbo-load!

I am resuming my regular way of eating today, after my delicious cheat meal last night. And I couldn’t be happier about it! I really don’t know how cheat meals used to make up my ENTIRE source of food. Craziness.

What was last night? Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh time! Yinz know how much I love that place! {If you don’t, search my blog–you’ll see that I talk about it all the dang time!} I donned my new H&M dress and a vintage belt from my grandmother:


I look more like I’m ready for a St. Patty’s Day party than a German Bier Garden! But my lederhosen were dirty, soooo…

It was a blast as usual! I met up with my friend Colleen {pictured below}, her hubby, her brother, and my friend Vanessa. We drank and were merry. We were merry and we drank.


My beer was seriously heavy.

Did that count as a weight lifting session?

I munched on a steak salad, fries, pretzels, cheese, and more beer. Then, Vanessa and I went over to the Cheesecake Factory and I had some low carb cheesecake {Really, Cherie? Like it mattered by then?!} and a skinny sangria. Needless to say, I’m in total detox mode today! Good grief!!

One of my favorite parts of the evening was just taking in the sights of my beautiful hometown city around me.

Am I really going to be running over those bridges in THREE days? EEEEKKKK!!!!!

Saw so many people running along the river! Loved it!! Cannot. Wait. To. Live. Here. Again. –but I’ll write more about that in another post! 😉

I also stocked up on some more Steelers gear earlier in the day on a trip to Dick’s. Yes, again. I got this $70 Ben Roethlisberger women’s throwback for only $12.70!!! YESSSS!!!


Clearly, you can take me out of Pittsburgh, but not take the Pittsburgh out of me!!!

Which brings me back to this race. The whole reason I made the Dick’s Pittsburgh Marathon’s 5K my first race was because one, it is sponsored by Dick’s, and two that it’s in Pittsburgh.

So here I am. This will be the last posting before the race. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do a race recap shortly thereafter. But again–Internet issues! :-/ I do have some thoughts to mention here, BEFORE the race, though. Excuse my while I rant. Just my opinions, but it’s my blog. I need to get them out!

1.) If I hear one more person say the word ‘JUST’ before they say the words ‘a 5K race’, to me I’m announcing this now that I WILL GO OFF. This isn’t a threat; it’s a promise!!! As in, “Oh, you’re running just a 5K???” or “It’s just a 5K. It’s no big deal.” I cannot express how RUDE it is to me. It’s not JUST a 5K race to me. It IS a big effin’ deal. It’s my first race and I’m proud of it. There was a time that I couldn’t run for 3.1 minutes, much less entertain the thought of running 3.1 MILES. {Also mind you, one year ago this time, I was in a walking boot, remember?! Now I’m in a race!} That’s pretty dang awesome that you’ve run 87 ultra-marathons. But apparently you’ve forgotten what it was like to run a shorter distance race and how it’s a major thing to someone. This is my beginning. Stop short-changing it!

2.) Along the same lines, telling me you ran a 5K when you were seven years old. (Or in grade school, high school, college, or you just did 4 of them this month already.) That’s great. Good for you. I’m happy about that. Honestly. But when you say it with the same tone as in the above statement, “It’s just a 5K. It’s not big deal. I ran one when I was seven.” it then becomes a different type of comment to me. If you’re just making conversation, that’s one thing. Cool. But when you use that tone and attach it….umm, yeah, okay showoff.

3.) Because it seems like errryone has already run a 5K, there’s not much hubbabaloo about running one. I can’t find any 3.1 oval shaped stickers like I can of the 13.1 and 26.2 ones. I don’t get a special souvenir confirmation ticket for the race because I’m not doing the half or the full marathon. There are hardly any sort of discussions on the FB page or Twitter for the 5K race participants like there are for the half and full. Etc., etc., etc. It’s really like it’s no big deal to people and that bites. This is a major deal for a lot of us; recognize it!! For many of us, it’s our gateway into the world of running. Make it so that we feel special and want to progress to longer races. Don’t act like it’s JUST a 5K. Yessssss, Dick’s Sporting Goods Marathon organizers, I’m talking to you, especially.

4.) Yes, I’m going to run a half mary. I’m excited about it and already planning for it. But again, when you state, “Oh, just a 5K? You need to do cut your teeth on a real run. At least sign up for a half marathon!” I seriously want to slap you. And yesss, I heard this comment already. It’s like it’s written down somewhere in a runner’s handbook that unless you run at least half, you don’t get any street cred or something. Eff that. One more time, people–the 5K is a real run, too.

There hopefully will be a time when I’m running longer races and my first 5K seems like so long ago. But I’ll still remember it and won’t act like it’s nothing at all when someone talks to me about running his or her first. It’s the same thing as losing all this weight. Yeah, I’ve lost 80. But I still remember when I had only lost 8. That was just as big of a deal and an accomplishment. It took work, it took dedication, it took determination. I don’t scoff at people when they tell me, “Hey, Cherie, I’ve lost my first 1o pounds.” I’m THRILLED for him or her to begin the journey. Yes, I’m way beyond that point now, but I still remember and appreciate what it took to get here. I’d NEVER say, “Oh, it’s JUST 1o pounds. Talk to me when you’ve lost 50.” I mean, right?!! Seriously. It’s the same damn thing.

I could say more, but no one is stealing my sunshine today no matter what, so I’ll stop!! Rant over. I feel better. 🙂

I’m excited, I’m ready, and I’m going to do my best. I’ve come a long way, baby! The next time I write to you, I will have earned the title of Runner of Steel!

Comments 41

  • Go you! I didn’t run my first 5K until I was 25, and it was not easy for me either. I didn’t run my first half after that until 2009. Don’t let anyone discount your first race – go out there and rock it! Also, I love Pittsburgh and have run the half there (grew up nearby.) Great city!

  • Ha, totally in agreement 🙂 I think sometimes people forget that everyone starts somewhere and they get a little big headed! Good luck at your 5k– I know you’ll do awesome! 🙂

  • Amen. And go Cherie, go!!!

  • Remind them NOT everyone’s goal is to become the ultimate runner. I haven’t done a 5k yet and only plan on doing one. Running is my 2nd to weights. I could probably kick box someone across the room but I don’t bring it up (girl’s gotta have secrets) 🙂 Your right about the 5k but I find quite a bit of support on the c25k site, the groups on fatsecret.com and blackgirlsrun.com ……. I see a lot of similar discussions on bodybuilding in regards to women. I’m not looking to be a bodybuilder but use it as a tool for better fitness and would like to enter a fitness competition. Many say that is only a bikini contest as the women aren’t as muscular. Why can’t we just all support each other in that we have done something to promote our health? I’m a middle aged woman just looking to have fun while maintaining health.

  • Congrats on the 5K–I’m proud of you! Always an inspiration! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your green dress and belt (and of course the steal on the Big Ben jersey). The pics made me teary-eyed…oh, how I miss my ‘Burgh. I keep going back and forth with moving back–still have my house there as a just in case–but can’t bring myself to leave the New Mexico sunshine. Oh, the indecisiveness I have…

    Good luck this weekend!!

    • Thanks, Rachael!!! I will much the sunshine here, but for the few 10 days or so we get it in Pgh, it’ll be worth the move, lol!!

  • Your first race IS a big deal! Enjoy every minute of it and take it all in! I LOVE that you are going for it and doing a race, especially because it is in your city! Are you going to move back some day?? Maybe we will be able to meet someday!!! 🙂

    • Thanks, Holly!! Yes, we are. Finally convinced hubby. Just working on the logistics part now!!

  • Very best of luck in your race! Ignore everyone who says “just” a 5km, I honestly don’t understand people who are like that – I think they are secretly jealous that we are out doing something active.
    Enjoy every step of the 5km, you’ve done the hard work in preparing, you’ve earned the right to ENJOY the experience. Looking forward to seeing your race report 🙂

  • there is no such thing as “just” any distance of running. Running is not easy as anyone who runs knows! I am sick and tired of the elitests (i dont mean elite athletes. i mean the ones with the elitest snotty state of mind) who think if we’re not running sub 3:30 marathons we’re not real athletes. SO OVER IT.

    have an AMAZING time at your first race. Embrace it. Enjoy it. there’s nothing like that first race.

    • Thank you!! Yes, yes, yes AMEN. I don’t think I’ll ever be a sub 3:30-er. And that’s okay! I’m just happy to have legs that let me run and if that marathon is a sub 6:00 one day, heck, I’ll be good!

  • People say the stupidest things. A 5k is an accomplishment, think of how many people don’t do 5k’s. There is a reason for that! I hope it went well!

  • LOVE this post, Cherie! I struggle a lot with feeling like an inadequate runner because I’ve only done one 5k and it was finished in 30:55. To most “runners”, that’s slow and lame…but I worked my tush off to get there, and so have you! Your 5k is just as epic to you as an ultramarathon would be to Kara Goucher. You’re going to rock it, and don’t forget how awesome you are for putting the time, heart and soul into training for your first event!

  • I totally agree with you! I’m slow, like really slow. But I’m doing more today than I was last month or the month before and that’s what matters to me. Don’t let haters get to you. Go kick some 5K ass sis!!! 🙂 And after you do, relish that moment, because you deserve it!!

  • Kick butt in your race! I think 5Ks are one of the hardest races out there!

  • Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about yourself or your running. You’re making the decision to be active and make yourself better, THEY have probably never run anything. Runners don’t do that to other runners (unless they’re a-holes). You’re going to kill it, let all that negativity fuel you!!

    • Thanks, Courtney!! Yeah, sadly, the people saying these things have been other runners!! Definitely of the a-hole variety!

  • I think people think they’re helping by belittling the distance. You’re right though, it’s not helpful and somewhat hateful. I believe the point trying to be made though is that you’ve made absolutely amazing life changes and you’re such a motivated person this should come easy to you. Pink Runner is right though, you always remember your first race. I actually cried when I finished mine, LOL! I think people were like ‘who is this girl and what is her damage!?!’

    I too was overweight this time last year. I think I’ve lost a total of 40? So I understand the importance that completeing something you’ve never done before. It’s like I said on the book though, nerves are inevitable. You’ve shown your strength time and time again. You got it girl!!! Best of luck.

    • Thanks Katherine!! And congrats on the 40lbs!!! I’m glad I’m not the only one who cried, haha!! I cried during the race–was just so overwhelmed by it all and so happy to be in a place I never imagined I could be!

  • You are setting your own goals and accomplishing them and that is what is important. Don’t let the marathoners bring you down, they had a first 5k at some point too! And think about all the people that totally ENVY you for being able to run a 5k.

  • Love this!! I’m doing a couch to 5k right because I’m just not a runner. Today I ran for 20 minutes straight and couldn’t be more excited. I’m proud of you and your 5k! I’ll be following to see how you do!

    • Thanks, Jill! And love that about the 20 mins consecutively–anytime I run a certain amount of time that I haven’t before I get sooooo happy, too! Way to go!

  • Your first race is a GIANT deal! I remember every last detail of my first 5K and it was a moment I will never ever forget. Screw the haters. You’re a runner no matter what freaking distance you race. People are idiots!

  • You are too funny. I’ve run all distances from 1 mile to 26.2. Honestly, I find a 5K harder than a half marathon. Sure 13 is longer, but 13 is so relaxed and enjoyable. 5Ks are 100% speed and it feels like a 20-minute, gut-check prolonged-sprint take-no-time-to-look at anything but the next person to pass tour of agony. Whereas the longer distances are more enjoyable and while more leg endurance, FAR less cardio. I think 5K’s are the king of speed. Next time someone says “just a 5 K” you have my permission to respond, “Well, I figure I can do the longer stuff when I’m older and slower…but I want to run FAST while I’m young.”

    • Thanks, Scott! I’m hoping my Half will be enjoyable! I just registered for one for next year and I’ve already started to get ready! I did have a waaaaay better time on this first 5K than I was expecting {a full 11 minutes faster}, but I wasn’t going for speed. I was just trying to do my best and make it across that line! I’ll work on speed for that next one! 😉

    • Excellent reply Scott …love it…woops I am older…yay I can go slower lol

  • […] I just wrote about days before the race in my post, It’s Not JUST a 5K, my race was JUST as important as the half and full marathons. It couldn’t have only felt […]

  • Thank you so much, Becky!!

  • Thanks, Alesha!! And congratulations on the 54lbs!! You’re so right–there has to be a first for more to follow–love that!