Well, yesterday (September 16th), I walked in my very first 5K! I was so excited and a little nervous. I have no idea what I was nervous about but it was great! As I’ve mentioned before, recently I’ve been walking 5K for the past few weeks on cardio days. Whenever I walk outside, I usually do 5-6 laps around the track outside my gym or 3 miles. As the event day approached, I wanted to walk 5K around the track so I’d know what to expect. LOOK AT GOD!
That’s right! I was .1 of a mile away from a 5K without even trying. I decided to make that my new distance (meaning I actually walk around 3.5 miles)! Once I did that I began tracking my time (as well as calories and speed). Most days, I complete my “5K” in 64 minutes at an average speed of 3.0 mph (lately, it’s been up to 3.2)! Going into AIDS Walk Detroit, I figured my time would a little longer with all the people. Here’s how I did!
And now a recap of the day!
- I arrived at the Royal Oak Farmers Market around 9am for registration. I was so excited. I was really about to do my first marathon (let’s not get in semantics about size here)! OMG!
- I love free stuff so y’all know I was exploring the booths to see what was being given away. Luckily I was realistic. I only got a bottle of water and a granola bar. I almost got Starbucks, but I reminded myself that was a bad idea so I got out of line! *thug tears* (I haven’t had coffee in months. I miss it sometimes. Glorious, hopped up on sugar and caffeine coffee. Mmmmmmmmmmmm!)
- I registered to vote today!!! Yes, I’m aware this has nothing to do with fitness or the walk itself but the lady was there and I needed to do it! I’m finally registered in Michigan! *side eyes myself*
- I watched the Quilt Opening Ceremony! I don’t know anyone with AIDS or HIV so I’m not personally connected. Seeing all those quilts with names and dates. Wow. I really almost cried (it doesn’t take much).
- I enjoyed the guy who helped us “warm-up”. He rolled up to the stage all laid back, so I thought he’d be the same with the warm-up. NO MA’AM! He was so energetic and full of life! I just love that. 🙂
- I signed up as an individual even though I knew of a team. The reason was, I wanted to walk at my own pace. Their reason for walking was different from my own.
- I was near the front of the walk! I’m glad I lined up early. It allowed me to finish before noon. Also, there were more “serious walkers” up front.
- I met someone with HIV. About 10 minutes into the walk, an old man randomly started talking to me. We ended up walking the rest of it together! He’s been HIV positive for the past 26 years. Had he not told me, I would have just thought he was a regular old person*. Out of all the people I’ve met in my life and illnesses they’ve had, somehow I’ve never known someone with HIV (or AIDS). I was walking for the first steps of future fitness (health) goals as well as future philanthropic goals. He was walking for himself as well as all the people he’s known over the years. He felt blessed to still be alive because so many of his friends weren’t. GOD BE KNOWIN’!!!!!!! YES LORD! I love when God sends someone to talk to me. It was great. Later I realized we never exchanged names but he’ll still stick with me 🙂
- I had to pee like a race horse. *faints* The stupid water! WHY DID I GET IT? I always have to go when I walk so I try not to drink within a certain amount of time before walking. The only reason I did today was because I hadn’t had ANY before getting there. Smh at me!
All in all, it was a great experience and I’m glad I did it. I felt great (mentally and physically) when I finished. My greatest takeaway was having the opportunity to walk with someone directly affected by the disease. Someone who made it a point to attend these events as much as possible and who watched it grow. And to just be reminded that no matter what problems people may have, many are still able to find joy in life. On that note, I’m going to leave before I (1) start to ramble and (2) cry.
My next event will be Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in October.
*Note: I wanted to make a point to say that I’m 100% aware that people can live fairly healthy lives despite being HIV positive or having AIDS. The reason for that statement was to make it clear to others who don’t know. There are a lot of severely misguided beliefs about people with both diseases and I think it not only undermines those affected but it also distracts people from the real issue. Curing it.