Preparing for a 5K – Goals and Regrets

New experiences can be scary. My family’s word and theme for the year 2016 was “new.” Each member is embracing new experiences that they wouldn’t otherwise do on their own. We have seen growth and struggles in each of these moments.

Today we discuss the lessons learned about preparing for a 5K, including why goal setting is so important, how you can better prepare yourself for accomplishing your dreams, and our 5K regrets afterward. Click to read.

As a family, we chose to complete a 5K together in Provo, Utah. Here are the main lessons learned before and after the race.

Preparing for a 5K – Goals

Setting goals is crucial to your success. Ask yourself, what do I want to do? Is there something stirring deep inside you that you’ve always wanted to achieve? Maybe you want to write a book, start a blog, adopt a puppy, or buy a home. This list is as unique as you are.

Setting Goals

You have to set specific goals to be successful. Deciding, “I want to run a 5K” identifies a goal but still leaves questions. You want to answer the following questions to determine your specific goal:

  1. What – what is the goal you want to accomplish?
  2. When – when will you complete the goal? The specific deadline is important so you can measure your progress and have something to work towards.
  3. Where – where will your goal take place? Will you be at home, with friends or family?
  4. How – how are you going to set yourself up for success to accomplish your goal?

Following Through

Once you decide the answers to the questions above (what, when, where, and how) you need to sit down and write the action plan.

Once my family and I identified wanting to complete the 5K, we knew the date and the starting location. To prepare (the “how”) for three months prior we walked nearly everywhere. The two youngest were always riding in the double stroller, but our oldest walked with my husband and I. We knew we would have to help her with walking such a long distance in a short time.


At first, walking everywhere took some adjusting. We are used to driving to nearby locations in a quick amount of time. Our feet were starting to hurt and my daughter decided she didn’t want to do the 5K anymore. But the more we walked, the more our bodies grew accustomed to longer distances.

The key is to stay faithful to your goals and your preparation. Keep yourself accountable by setting up a rewards system for yourself. You will need to give yourself an incentive. As a family, we decided we would all go our for ice cream if everyone made it across the finish line (and we did!)

Preparing for a 5K – Regrets

There are so many lessons we learned by going outside our comfort zone and doing something we normally wouldn’t do otherwise in our life. We were grateful for the new experience and had some regrets about the 5K along the way too.


Somethings should not be taken too seriously. During the race, the organizers asked those with strollers, scooters, or anything with wheels to wait on the sides so all the runners could go through the funnel first. As my family and I waited our turn, we noticed other people with strollers trying to sneak in before their turn.

When we were able to start our part of the race some of those with strollers were attempting to run faster than the runners! Chaos ensued, and people were unfortunately hurt.

Being serious about achieving and fulfilling your goals is important – it’s the bloodline that keeps your dreams alive. Taking yourself too seriously during the process of finishing your goal will ruin and spoil the fun. Completing your goals will be work, but you should be having fun as you do.


When you complete a goal, you will stretch yourself and feel uncomfortable. If you decide to write a book and the only free time you have is from 3-4 a.m., and you start complaining about waking up early, do you think you’re going to look forward to writing that book?

Or imagine if you complain the entire time, and you finally accomplish your goal. Will you be excited for yourself and the experience you had?

There are a million reasons to complain, whine, cry or otherwise express discomfort. But there is no sweetness in reward when you do. Complaining is what will ruin your experience and make it, so you never do anything outside your norm again. You cannot be anything more than what you are without growth and progress. Discomfort is part of the process, complaining is optional.

Never Again!

The words ‘never again’ were uttered at least once or twice during this experience. As a family, we walked the 5K in 1:27:03. At the end of the race, we were tired. Our legs felt like jello, and we wanted to sit and be carried everywhere for the rest of the week (not really, but almost!).

During the race, we had near-tragic potty accidents, water malfunctions, near death experiences from other strollers running into us, nearly running people over as they randomly stopped in front of our path, and so many more experiences that would make any sane person throw up their hands and say, “never again!”

It’s our choice if we choose to move forward again. You cannot be the same person you are after you accomplish a goal. You’re refining yourself and becoming a new person. By stopping your progress, or even going backward, is doing yourself a disservice.

I know setting goals and accomplishing them is difficult, but it shouldn’t have to be this way. I know that as you set specific goals and answer what, when, where, and how you will have success. Be brave, be daring, and be a little crazy. I know you can do it!

What success have you seen with setting specific goals and accomplishing them? Leave a comment below and share your story.

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