Commitment : 5k Plans! | Fit and Free with Emily
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Lordy! Just when I wanted to get back on a roll with blogging, that nasty-ass winter ick tried to beat me down. I spent two hours in the ER this morning around 3am :( Apparently my eardrum hadn’t bursted … until now. WOW, worst pain in my life. It really scared me because I couldn’t hear very well outside of that ear and I was almost nauseous. Anyway, two hours, one bottle of stronger antibiotics and one bottle of Vicodin later … I’m a pretty happy camper ;)

Last time I mentioned my fitness goal for this summer : to run five 5k races! For those of you who haven’t been around since the beginning of this little blog of mine, I ran my first 5k a couple of years back. (Sweet video of me crying in that post, FYI. lol)

My dad and I, after our races! He rocked the 1/2 marathon.

It was such a life changing experience. Going from the mindset of “I’m too fat to run, EVER” to meeting my goal of running a 5k in under 45minutes really gave me an enormous boost of self-confidence and pride in myself. A lot has happened since then: graduating, moving, getting pregnant, etc. I’ve gone back to my pre-runner weight, and honestly, a little of that pre-runner mindset. I’m so looking forward to starting the momentum again!

So here I go! I’ve got my five 5ks picked out. If you live around these races (I’m talking to YOU Ivy, Dessie, Sarah!) you should probably run them with me :)

#1 : “Ronald Runs” 5k | May 8th | Iowa City : This will be a great opening 5k for me. The proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House (yay kids!) and the race is casual and fun. It winds through the hospital area in Iowa City and a beautiful golf course. Kids, pets, strollers, walkers, everyone is welcome! I would love to bust out the jogging stroller for this one and take The Little One with me! Even Foxy Fiance says he’ll come along!

#2: “Dam to Dam” 5k | June 4th | Des Moines : The Dam to Dam holds a special place in my heart. This was my 1st and only 5k, so I really want to beat my previous record (42 minutes) here. This is an enormous event in Des Moines – making it the largest 1/2 Marathon in the entire nation! The 5k has over two thousand participants. It’s usually hot and fast – winding through downtown and ending along the river.

#3: “Midnight Madness” 5k | July 9th | Ames : My old stomping grounds! I went to college in Ames, and was always envious of the runners in this city. Ames is kind of known for their unique races to get the college kids involved. This race is at night! It starts around 10pm (with several race lengths) and ends at Bandshell park with all the pasta you can eat! There’s lots of people and a band usually plays as well. It’s basically one big midnight party :)

#4: “Willowwind Fun Run” 5k | August 6th | Iowa City : I hope to make this my fundraising race. Willowwind is an amazing private school in Iowa City. They put an enormous amount of time, money, and effort into establishing  school that focuses on the arts. Iowa has had many public grade schools have to cut out their art/music programs entirely. This fun run is to help raise money and awareness to keep this school running and providing it’s students with an amazing education. In a perfect world, my Little One would go to this school. Tuition is pretty crazy, so I’m not sure that will be possible. If I can’t help with tuition, I certainly can run a few miles for a good cause!

#5: “Seawall to Seawall” 5k | September 3rd | Clear Lake : I’m most excited for this race, because I’ll be running it with my brother’s girlfriend, Ivy, and my step-mom Deb. Which means they can’t back out – now that you’ve all read this ;) It takes place at Clear Lake, a community in northern Iowa. It’s beautiful, quaint, and always a good relaxing time. I love that their name echo’s “Dam to Dam,” but more lake-verbage. :D September sounds like a great time to run a race, weather-wise. Also, I’ll be getting married one month later! What better way to blow off some steam and get away for the weekend.


What do you think? Sounds like a good variety, right? Even if I have to walk part or all of these races, I still want to complete them with pride. Remember my theme this year? Determination. I’m making big goals, and doing everything I can to complete them! I plan to start up the Couch to 5k plan, which I did back with my 1st 5k. Once this sickness is over, it’s just me, my nike plus system, and the open road :D


Do you have any goals for running season?

Anyone else fighting off a winter ick??



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  • Ivy Rohlwing

    I’m in!!

    • Emily

      Yay! You should do the midnight one with me too :)

  • Suzanne

    Sounds awesome Emily!! Good for you for committing to all these great races. They sound like loads of fun. I have an 8K coming up and considering a 10K but it seems like such a big jump 5k to 10k..yikes!

    looking forward to reading our race recaps.

    hope the ear is feeling better very soon.

    • Emily

      THanks for the support, Suzanne! 8k? You’re a rockstar! That sounds so much longer than a 5k to me, haha. I think you should definitely shoot for the stars and rock the 10k!!

  • Kelly

    If I tried to run I would probably die. I am just getting where I can walk 45 minutes a day! Ha! I would LOVE to work up to it. I too have had strep and upper respiratory infection last month. I had to have a shot of antibotics and a shot they called a “sinus cocktail” to open me up where I could breathe. Hate to hear it about the little one, I always hate it when my little one is sick! (who I am I kidding, he is 10-years-old now) but no matter the age I had rather me be sick than him. Hope you feel better soon.

    • Emily

      Thank you for the well-wishes, Kelly! I know what you mean .. I have a feeling that I’ll always hate it when my daughter is sick, even when she’s 20. haha :) You CAN run!! Believe me, I never thought it was possible too. You should check out the Couch to 5k program. It was the only thing that allowed me to build up to running. I even repeated some of the weeks when it was too hard for me. Check it out!

  • *tara

    Woo hoo! You can do it!

    • Emily


  • Ryan

    Hi Emily!
    I tried this comment earlier, but don’t think it worked. Here goes again.
    Though not a run, I signed up for Bike MS: Pedal the Plains. Pretty sure I had a bout with temporary insanity. But I am committed now. So now I have to:

    1. Do some fundraising
    2. Lose some weight
    3. Get my butt on the bike!

    #3 will commence in earnest tonight.

    • Emily

      I love your “temporary insanity” decision!! :) Sometimes I think just signing up with out thinking is the only way we can force ourselves to get out there and do something crazy! I hope the training goes well for you – keep me updated!! Biking is a whole different animal to me, I’m so impressed with distance bikers!

  • Christina

    The only way to stay ahead of the game is to plan!! Good way to plan out some runs to keep you motivated :) I need to go sign up for a few myself :)

    • Emily

      Heck yes you do!! Just come over to Iowa and we can run together ;)

  • Elizabeth

    Midnight Madness – my old stomping grounds! I used to run that race when I was in high school. Things have changed, though, since the early 90s. If I remember correctly, the race started and ended by the Hilton Coliseum. Have fun and good luck!

    • Emily

      Thank you, Elizabeth! I always love hearing from fellow Iowans :)

  • Brittany

    Yay Em! Sooooo honkin proud of you! I’ll be doing 5k’s with you in spirit! Love you!

    • Emily

      Yay! I’ll keep you in mind when I’m running my bootay off ;)

  • Gym

    5 different 5k’s? Emily you are a mad woman! Good luck, I’ll be following along!

    • Emily

      I know, I know – I might just die trying! haha. Thanks for the support, Gym :)

  • Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner

    Wow, I’m sorry you feel so crappy. I hope you feel better soon! I have traded in running for the elliptical because I finally got fed up with the cold and snow, but I’m really looking forward to spring when I can get back out there! So far, I have no race plans because I want to see where my running is when I head back out there first.
    And Clear Lake—yay! I grew up in Mason City, the next town over. I’ve never heard of the seawall to seawall race, although when I lived in Iowa, I was not a runner yet!

    • Emily

      Hey girl! THanks for the well-wishes. I’m with you … the elliptical definitely saved my winter blues, but i’m MORE than ready to hit the pavement! I’m looking forward to seeing what races you decide to do this season :)

      I know exactly where Mason City is – I love that area! I’ve never heard of the race either, I think it might be fairly new. I’ll be sure to post lots of pictures of that one, so you can reminisce on your old Iowan days!

  • Jessica

    I hope you feel better soon! Way to go, signing up for all of these 5Ks! Great job! I have a terrible fear of jogging & running. My resting heart rate is elevated & gets so high when I exercise. I’m always worried I will collapse & die on the track. Crazy much?! Lol. I started couch to 5K a few years ago & made it to around week 4 then gave up.

    • Emily

      Have you talked to a doctor about running? Maybe it’s not the best choice for you. Something like swimming laps might keep your heart rate in a safe zone and still get that cardio!

      I know what you mean – running pretty much terrifies me too, but also oddly fascinates me. I probably just have a death-wish. ;)

  • Erin

    Emily, thanks for being such an inspiration. Today, for the first time in my life I jogged a mile without stopping or walking. Although it took 13 minutes, it felt so good to reach this accomplishment. I didn’t feel exhausted afterward so I kept going and reached 1.5 miles for a finish time of ~20 minutes! I don’t know about doing a 5k but my plan is to be fit enough to meet Air Force standards.

    The Couch to 5k Program is correct about starting off slow. At first I just walked fast on the treadmill but now I am jogging after a month of warming up and preparing my body for more cardio exercise.

    • Emily

      Erin, you’re so awesome!!! Running a mile with out stopping is an amazing accomplishment. I can’t wait to be at that point! I’m so excited to hear about how you’re doing NOW (b/c my reply is SO late, my apologies).

      • Erin

        You’re not the only one who got sick…I pulled a muscle in my leg while enjoying my new jogging speed. I was so disappointed but Mike felt that I needed to take a break to let it heal. He than began helping me with ab and uppper body workouts with free weights. Let’s just say I have NO upper body strength but I am working on it now ;)

        No worries about a late reply. I just love seeing all your inspirational images each day. I have no idea how you find them but I love seeing them. Thanks!

  • Michaela

    I genuinely want to do the midnight madness with you! I haven’t ran 3 miles since high school – but July seems like a safe enough goal! (hopefully not too far away where I have that constant false idea of how fit I’ll be in three months… haha)

    Also – You. Go. Girl!

    • Emily

      Let’s do it!! :)
      You can definitely do it. I’m starting up the Couch to 5k program this week. I’m sure I’ll still be running a 40ish minute 5k, but who cares!! I really hope you run it with me

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