33 Thoughts Runners Have During Their First 5K

You'll never forget your first race.


Fear and excitement: the two most prominent emotions surrounding a runner’s first race. Whether you are an expert or an amateur, you’ve been there. You’re wide-eyed as a deer in headlights at the race’s start and passed out on the couch upon your return home. The exhaustion isn’t just from the miles you’ve run, but from the tornado of emotions that hit you first.

I recently had the privilege of running my first 5K and I’m sure you can relate to some of the thoughts that raced through my mind the entire way.

  1. It’s 5 a.m. Who would run a race at this ungodly hour!? Oh, right, me.
  2. Do I shower or sleep in? Eh, I’m going to get sweaty anyway. Sleep wins.
  3. If I wear makeup, will my mascara run all over my face? Will my eyes start burning so much that I have to drop out of the race? Better not risk it.
  5. Maybe I could bring the mascara with me, just in case.
  7. What’s the temperature going to be at 6:30 a.m.? Will the sun even be up?
  8. Do I actually wear the T-shirt I got at the expo or is it just a gift? Will I be the only one wearing it if I do? Will I be kicked out if I don’t wear the shirt?
  9. What will happen if I don’t finish in my registered time? Does something happen to you? Disqualification? Incineration? Okay, I really need to eat something.
  10. What do I eat before a race? Why weren’t the answers to these questions on the “All You Need To Know Before Race Day” page!?
  11. How do I put my bib on? Will these safety pins impale me mid-race?
  12. Ok, time for some pump-up music!
  13. Shoot, forgot my mascara.
  14. Look at all those people! This is so exciting!
  15. Still 30 minutes till the start? I just want to run!
  16. Glitter and tutus? See, that’s cute! Definitely should have showered.
  17. At least I wore the T-shirt. Let’s play “I spy something not neon yellow.”
  18. Okay, getting ready to start!
  19. Yay—our corral’s turn! Wait, what if I have to pee? #yolo
  20. We’re off! Wow I have a lot more energy than I thought I would this early.
  21. I HAVE to high-five every person with a sign!
  22. Maybe I should have brought water.
  23. No. No. Not a hill.
  24. This hill may be my demise.
  25. Did that 7-year-old just sprint ahead of me? Time to step it up. Or should I say, “sprint” it up the hill. Ha, that was a good one.
  26. Oh that wasn’t so bad! More high fives!
  27. I can’t feel my legs. That’s ok right?
  28. Can’t stop, won’t stop!
  29. I’m just going to ignore this cramp. Still ignoring. Still ignoring. It’ll get the hint eventually.
  30. Finish Line! Can I actually keep running?
  31. Wait, we get medals? Yes!
  32. Wait, we get food? YES!
  33. So, where are we going for breakfast?