My first 5K

by Ophelia Chan

I couldn’t imagine that I could finish a 5K race until I was halfway through the eight-week program of the Women’s Beginning Running Group.  

I would say that the eight-week program was full of fun, friendship and useful postrunning information. I liked the fact that our leader Letitia sent us information even before the program started. Before we even had our first training session, we received an e-mail with an attached pdf file clearly stating the interval and duration of each week’s run/walk activity, as well as the topic of each week’s post-running activity. I found the “Basic Info and Tips” and “Race Strategies” to be both useful and practical. Even before I met Letitia in person, I told myself that I had joined the right group.  

My instinct was right. I enjoyed the whole process of a friendly run/walk atmosphere, plus the down-to-earth approach. The mentors were very friendly and encouraging. There was no teasing or negative comments in the group. All I got was positive, supportive and encouraging tips and advice from the mentors and members.  

Letitia always emphasized that the number one goal of running is to have FUN, which is so true. To be honest, when I practiced running, I was so out of breath and it was hard to understand that I would have fun. But I’ve found that I really DO have fun. The joy, the feeling of accomplishment inside, is way higher than the physical struggle during my run. Don’t be deceived by the look of my exhausted facial expression; all the redness and sweat are the byproducts of the FUN.  

I would like to give a big round of applause to all the mentors and especially our leader Letitia for sacrificing their own practice time to mentor and coach me. You guys even spent extra time to mentor us on weekend mornings. That is AMAZING! I embrace the exciting experience of my first 5K. I told myself this is not the end. It is a great start.

This story originally appeared in the Nov/Dec 2015 issue of In Passing.