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When It’s All Over: 4 Women Reflect On #BadassLadyGang5K Training

The 5K We’ve All Been Waiting For

For many women, running isn’t just a way to stay active: it’s a form of inspiration, motivation and empowerment. It’s the activity we do to escape, deal with the pressures of our home or work lives, run down doubt, build confidence and become part of one of the most supportive and inclusive communities around.

When Women’s Running approached me about including a training plan in the July issue, I told them that I wanted to find a way to encourage women who already run to share running with the women in their lives who didn’t. The #BadassLadyGang5K was born, and we found six women, from long distance friends to a mother and daughter, who were willing to share their experiences as they spent four weeks working toward race day.

Related: Kelly Roberts Explains The #BadassLadyGang5K And What It Means

From first week battles with fear and doubt to wrestling with back-to-back bad days during Week 3, if there’s one thing you can expect during a training cycle, it’s that life can sometimes get in the way. Going into Week 4, our team of six became a team of four. Let’s check in to see how their fourth week and #BadassLadyGang5K race days went!

Crystal

Week 4, Pre-5K

Name: Crystal

Location: Vancouver, BC

Beginner 5K Training Plan

Goal: Run without stopping!

How did Week 4 of training go? I had my best run! Followed by the worst!

What surprised you about Week 4? I really thought that after I had a great run, and was feeling so good and motivated, I’d continue to do better. It was a real letdown the next time I went out and just couldn’t get into it.

Looking back on your four weeks of training, how do you think it went? I don’t think I did as well as I could have. I didn’t push hard enough.

Did you have fun? Surprisingly, yes! I really looked forward to going out. And I really enjoyed being part of my team, and getting to bond with Sarah in a new way, too.

Did you experience any setbacks or speed bumps this week? How did you push through them? I’ve been struggling with having my feet go numb. I’m on my third pair of shoes. Fingers crossed these ones are better. I went to the Running Room and had them help me out. They also had a sports bra where the straps come undone–perfect for nursing! (I love any excuse for a cute new outfit!)

Any thoughts, questions or reflections about Week 4? I’m so glad I ended up doing this! It was a random post on Facebook by my friend, and impulsively I decided to give it a shot!

How are you feeling about race day? Nervous!

Do you have a race day mantra? “I can do this!”

What is your goal for race day? I want to do the whole thing without walking. And hopefully in under 40 minutes.

What are you excited about for race day? The moment I can text Sarah to compare notes.

What are you nervous about for race day? Not finishing. Letting people down.

Post-5K

How did your 5K go? It went really well. I ran the entire 5K, which was my goal. My time was 35:29.00, which I’m super happy with. I was trying for under 40 minutes.

What surprised you about your 5K? My last kilometer was my fastest. It really started to feel easier.

Did you have fun? I’ve really enjoyed this whole thing.

Looking back over the last four weeks, what did you learn? To just show up. Getting out the door can be the hardest part.

What’s your advice to someone who is looking to run their first or strongest 5K? Don’t let the negative self talk get you down. You can do this.

Any other thoughts, feelings or reflections? It’s opened up a whole new world. I’m a 36-year-old mom with two little kids, and I hate exercise. It’s very cool to find something new I can do, just for me. It’s more than just getting my old self back (and my old body!). It’s a new self instead. (Yep, cheesy.)

Sarah

Week 4, Pre-5K

Name: Sarah Santos

Location: Aurora, Colo.

Strongest 5K Training Plan

5K Goal: Originally 30 minutes, now to finish in under 34:09.00 (my fastest 5K to date).

How did Week 4 of training go? So much better! I loosened up a little and enjoyed my runs. I’m feeling much better this week!

What surprised you about Week 4? How much of running is mental. After such a rough week last week, I came into this week with a more positive outlook and it really changed how I felt while running.

Looking back on your four weeks of training, how do you think it went? I really liked adding intervals to my runs. It was something I’d never done before, and I liked how it broke things up into manageable pieces while still pushing me further. There were definitely ups and downs, but overall I’m finishing stronger than I was four weeks ago, so I’d say it went well!

Did you have fun? I did! It was so great to go through this with a friend to help push me through the tough times and cheer me on when things went well, and vice versa.

Did you experience any setbacks or speed bumps this week? How did you push through them? Finding time for running is always going to be my struggle, at least at this time in my life. My husband is really supportive, and having something I’m training for (like the #BadassLadyGang5K!!!) always pushes me to get out more than I might otherwise.

Any thoughts, questions or reflections about Week 4? If I can keep myself in a positive headspace, I can really do anything I put my mind to.

How are you feeling about race day? Good! I’m ready to take it on!

Do you have a race day mantra? “I am strong! I am a runner!”

What is your goal for race day? To stay positive and find a good pace early on so that I don’t tire myself out too quickly.

What are you excited about for race day? Finishing and celebrating with my awesome family!!

What are you nervous about for race day? Negativity starting to creep in.

Post-5K

How did your 5K go? After a pep-talk from my husband beforehand (I didn’t realize how nervous I was until that morning!), it went great! I really liked doing the interval runs during training, so I set up an interval run on my tracking app and it really helped me to be able to maintain a faster average pace over time than I normally would.

What surprised you about your 5K? How quickly the miles went by! I was focused on the intervals, listening to my music and enjoying the scenery in the park and before I even realized it, I was more than halfway done!

Did you have fun? I did! It was a beautiful morning for a run, and a beautiful location! There were lots of people around, but it still felt quiet and like I was on my own on the trail.

Looking back over the last four weeks, what did you learn? I learned that I’m stronger than I think I am. I don’t give myself much credit as a runner, and those negative thoughts really affect my performance. As I learn to accept myself as a runner and think more positively about my abilities, I feel like I can really make a lot of growth.

What’s your advice to someone who is looking to run their first or strongest 5K? Just start. Whether it’s your first run and you’re afraid because you don’t know how it will go, or it’s your 96th run and you’re afraid you’re going to fail…just start, and see how it goes! You just might surprise yourself!

Any other thoughts, feelings or reflections? Having a #BadassLadyGang to support you and talk you through the tough times is an incredible thing! Much love to Crystal for being an amazing Badass Lady and partner!

Mandy

Week 4, Pre-5K

Name: Mandy Cherry

Location: Dayton, Ohio

Strongest 5K Training Plan

5K Goal: To break 28:30.00.

How did Week 4 of training go?  Pretty good. I’m very tired this week from overdoing it in other exercise areas. I’m thankful for the taper at the end of the week.

What surprised you about Week 4? Just my fatigue. It’s much less speed work and milage than the other weeks.

Looking back on your four weeks of training, how do you think it went? I’m very proud. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do the speed work because I’ve never tried to push myself in that area. I committed to just trying my very best.

Did you have fun? I did have fun, especially on the track. It was also so fun talking to my mom about her runs.

Did you experience any setbacks or speed bumps this week? How did you push through them? Just some fatigue. I tried to listen to my body, stretch and cool down better and foam roll.

Any thoughts, questions or reflections about Week 4? Four weeks went fast!

How are you feeling about race day? I’m nervous, but that good nervous you get before a race. I’m also really excited for my mom!

Do you have a race day mantra? “You don’t train so it doesn’t hurt, you train to handle the pain.”

What is your goal for race day? 28:00.00.

What are you excited about for race day? Running with my mom! I don’t think either of us ever thought we’d be here. We’ve had several How did we end up here? moments; this is such a crazy positive one!

What are you nervous about for race day? That I’ll fall. This is seriously my fear with going fast!

Post-5K

How did your 5K go? It was hard, but I did it! I ran a 27:48.00! It was a cool morning, which helped!

What surprised you about your 5K? It hurt like hell! But the training and the pain I felt during training really did help me remember that I could do it. I’ve gotten physically stronger and mentally stronger! I was not expecting to learn to embrace pain.

Did you have fun? I ran my 5K and then ran my mom’s with her. Running with my mom was something I never thought we would do. It was so fun!

Looking back over the last four weeks, what did you learn? I learned to embrace the pain and I learned how to deal with the mental game that goes on when you’re physically pushing hard.

What’s your advice to someone who is looking to run their first or strongest 5K?  Find a buddy. Accountability on a new adventure helps when it gets scary and hard.

Georgia

Week 4, Pre-5K

Name: Georgia Scott

Location: Dayton, Ohio

Beginner 5K Training Plan

5K Goal: To completely run a 5K.

How did Week 4 of training go? Week 4 training…not so good. I have worked every day since last Friday. Gonna catch up on my training on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

What surprised you about Week 4? Surprised by how “life/work” gets in the way! Uuuggghhhh!!!

Looking back on your four weeks of training, how do you think it went? Not so much this week.

Did you have fun? Just a bad week for me. It happens, right?!

Did you experience any setbacks or speed bumps this week? How did you push through them? Life got in the way this week with picking up extra hours of work.

Any thoughts, questions or reflections about Week 4? Life. I plan on working my workouts in the next few days.

Do you have a race day mantra? My race day mantra is, “You can do this…you can do this…you can do this….”

What is your goal for race day? Race day goal: I just want to RUN a 5K.

What are you excited about for race day? I am excited to run my first 5K with my hero and partner, Mandy!

What are you nervous about for race day? I am nervous that I will fail. My daughter/partner says she will not let that happen and this is why I try so hard. She is my inspiration and I do not want to let her down.

Post-5K

How did your 5K go? I DID IT!! My 5K went s-l-o-w-l-y but hey, I finished!

What surprised you about your 5K? How far it really is to run 3.1 miles.

Did you have fun? I did have fun in a weird way.

Looking back over the last four weeks, what did you learn? I learned that not every day can be a good day when it comes to running. The important thing is that you shake it off and keep going.

What’s your advice to someone who is looking to run their first or strongest 5K? My advice would be to jump in, keep going, and don’t look back. That, and sometimes you will fail–but most of the time you will succeed.

A lot can happen in four weeks–but never underestimate the power of supporting the women around you. Even though our teams were using different training plans, the goal was the same: to push themselves and one another towards the strongest versions of themselves possible. So what are you waiting for? If you’re looking to build strength and endurance or if you’re hoping to find a way to fall in love with running, recruit everyone you know and train for your own #BadassLadyGang5K! Just remember, the only way you’ll fail is if you fail to try.

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

Related:

6 Women Share Their Experiences Training For A 5K

Two #BadassLadyGang5K Training Plans From Kelly Roberts

Get Fit With This 5K Training Plan Created For Beginners

Run Selfie Repeat

Run Selfie Repeat

My name is Kelly Roberts, and I'm the former president of the "I Hate Running Club." No—but really. While struggling to grieve the loss of my brother and maintain a healthy body weight (after losing more than 75 pounds), I thought, "What better way to run from my problems than to actually run from my problems?" Since those painful first runs, I've conquered everything from marathons to 5Ks and haven't looked back. I created my blog, RunSelfieRepeat.com, to inspire others to get active while making them laugh hysterically—because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. You can find me on Twitter and Instagram (mostly eating cheese burgers, taking selfies with handsome men and terrorizing my sister) @KellyKKRoberts or on my YouTube channel!