At the beginning of April, I participated in Brother Wolf's fundraiser 5K, Run for the Paws. I found this 5K online and decided to participate because it was relatively close to where I live and I would be able to complete one of my New Year's resolutions--to run in a 5K for an animal organization. Brother Wolf is an animal rescue organization near Asheville, NC. Their goal is to make the entire city of Asheville a no-kill zone for homeless animals in shelters. I felt like this would be an excellent organization to run a 5K for!
For about 4-6 weeks before the race, I was slowly working my way up to be able to run 3 miles without stopping. When I found out that my work was offering a health and wellness class for $25 and that price included a temporary membership to the YMCA for the duration of the class, I decided that the YMCA would provide me with what I needed (a.k.a--the treadmill) to time myself and really practice. So after I signed up for the class, I also signed up for the 5K. I started with just running a mile and timing myself. I spent a little bit of time trying to improve my time before moving on to 2 miles. Because I had been already incorporating a lot of run/walking into my weekly workouts, it wasn't too difficult to increase my running distance. Before I knew it, I was running 3 miles and was ready for the 5K. My best time before the race was just under 29 minutes for 3.1 miles.
(Here I am getting ready to start the race!)
(Here are all of the serious competitors getting started!)
(This was the group that I got started off with. I really could have moved up closer than this because I spent the first two or three minutes of the race trying to weave in and out of people walking and running slower than me.)
(This picture was probably taken about 3 or 4 minutes into the race.)
The next few shots are just some action shots taken along the way. If you look closely, you can see a dog running in almost every picture! You can tell this was a race for an animal organization! It really was a lot of fun seeing so many dogs and dog friendly people. There was also a dog wellness expo set up with the race. There were a lot of local businesses providing information and giving out free samples of dog food, bones, etc. I ended up bringing home some great treats for my dogs!
(Here I am getting ready to cross the finish line at 30 minutes and 30 seconds. If I hadn't had to weave in and out of people getting started, I am pretty sure I could have been under 30 minutes! I am pretty happy with my time considering the last time I ran a 5K, I weighed around 250 pounds and completed it in about 45 minutes. Definitely an improvement!)
After the race, we went into downtown Asheville for the rest of the day. We ate a Mellow Mushroom pizza where I had one slice (yes, I actually stopped at one slice) of vegan veggie pizza.
Then we just spent some time walking around and enjoying the beautiful, sunny day in Asheville. It was an amazing day to be outside!
I had already made my mind up before we went to Asheville that I was going to treat myself to some vegan ice cream at the Hop Ice Cream shop. They mostly have dairy ice cream but they usually make 2 or 3 vegan flavors. I think it's really cool because they make the vegan ice cream there at the store and they usually have different flavors that you might not find anywhere else. The photo below is of blueberry lemon pound cake vegan ice cream. It was amazing! I always just have one scoop in a cone when I go and that's always just enough.
I am so happy that I participated in the Run for the Paws event. It was a great 5K to be a part of and I achieved one of my New Year's resolutions! Yay! I think I am going to look for another 5K or maybe even a 10K for another animal organization to compete in. I found that having a goal that I was working towards with a time table helped me really stay focused. It kept me motivated and moving forward because I knew where I needed to be by a certain date.