Every time a bell rings…

Besides reviving this blog, I’d also like to reboot it a little. The first time around, I thought I had to keep this blog strictly home-related. I didn’t really have any fun or personal posts. I’m gonna give those personal posts a go this time around and see how it goes.

So, I’m going to make the first non-house post about something I’m really excited about and a little proud of. I ran a 5K! If you know me at all, you know I’ve never been a runner. I half-heartedly played a few sports for most of my adolescent life, but even then I never would have considered myself as an athlete. And I would dread the days in gym class when we had to run the mile. Throughout college and the past few years I would sort of start a gym routine, or try out yoga or zumba, but they would never stick.

Then, after watching my best friend – who is amazing by the way – run a half marathon and seeing how awesome that was, I decided I wanted to try to stick to something for once.

I had also heard really good things about the C25K app. Now, after using this app for 9 weeks to work my way up to a 5k, I only have good things to say about it as well.

The app starts you out with a walk/run routine, so in the beginning you’re only running for a little bit and then walking to recover pretty frequently. As the weeks progress, you’re running more and walking less but you’ve eased into it. I never thought that within roughly two months time I would go from huffing and puffing after a few minutes to running a solid half hour without stopping. (Granted, I’m not very fast, but I’m pretty happy with the progress I’ve made so far.) In fact, the first day I ran 20 minutes straight without stopping (which may have been a first for me) I immediately went home and registered for a 5K.

And I am so glad I did.

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I did the It’s A Wonderful Run 5K in Seneca Falls. For anyone unaware, Seneca Falls is believed by some to be the town Bedford Falls (of It’s a Wonderful Life) was based on . So, each year the town holds a festival¬†with events and shows and people dressed as characters from the movie walking around town. It’s basically the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit.

The run starts on the bridge in town – or the bridge George Bailey visits in the movie – heads through the some residential streets, and takes you right down main street right before you cross the finish line. Oh, and the run begins at dusk, so you can fully enjoy all the Christmas lights around town.

And BONUS! Irene and I whipped up some DIY race shirts to commemorate our first (hopefully not last!) race together.

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Originally we thought about making a shirt that would look like the rugby shirt George Bailey wears in the movie, but during a trip to Michaels to scope out what supplies we would need, we found these instead:

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We got our wings! These were simple iron-on decals that cost i think less than $5 each. The t-shirts were also pretty cheap, and the rest of the supplies were things I already had, so these shirts cost us less than $10 each. The absolute best part about that, though, was the fact that more than one person approached us to ask us where we had bought our shirts and to compliment them. To make them we just ironed the decals on the back and drew in the phrase “Every time a bell rings” on the front using stencils and sharpie markers.

The race itself was fantastic. I was nothing but nerves the day before and the day of the race, and probably stayed that way right up until the start. Definitely experienced some adrenaline though once I started running. I had never run with people before and suddenly I was surrounded by ~3,000 other runners, including tons of people dressed in costumes or other festive decorations. I’m pretty sure the adrenaline also helped my time because I crossed the finish line with a time of 28:50, which was a full minute faster than what I had been doing in the practice runs leading up to the race.

And I love the shirt the runners got too! Basically, everything about this race was awesome and I was on a high for the rest of the weekend.

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Overall, I can’t say enough positive things about this experience. If you’re thinking of running but don’t know where to start, use C25K! I seriously cannot recommend it enough. If you think this run sounded like fun, sign up for next year! I already can’t wait to do it again.

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Anyone else out there doing any runs lately? Any races out there you know of that are a must?