Okay...so it wasn't an official 5K...just a fun run or jog or walk or crawl...but it was organized, there was a clock, we had bibs and got a medal when we crossed the finish line. In my books, that counts.

I'd been toying with the idea of a 5K for a couple of months but had been afraid to sign up for a few reasons:

1) My anxiety with being in a large crowd of people - the idea of a pack start is NOT my idea of a fun time;

2) Are there unwritten rules of runs that I don't know about...and would I break them all...;

3) I wasn't sure that I could actually run it without looking like a fool. I mean, I trudge through my neighbourhood doing a 3K loop and I can interval train on my treadmill to the tune of 4 or 5 miles - but an actual race...talk about working my anxiety up!

Anyways, I battled all that down and my first day on the Disney Magic cruise ship I signed up for the Castaway Cay 5K. It's a laid-back 5K that happens on the day that the ship docks at Disney's Bahamian island. The race happens first thing in the morning, and I thought that at the very least it would force me into some sort of workout while I was on vacation. (And how can you beat getting in a good workout while seeing some of an island?!?)

I had wanted to get in at least 2 or 3 pre-runs in on the treadmill or the jogging track on the ship before the race but my daughter got sick and that didn't happen. I headed into the run cold. I hadn't run at home in a while - outside, since October because I hate the cold; or on the treamill for a couple of weeks just because of all of the planning/preparation and travel for our trip.

I was apprehensive about the pack start - there were about 100 of us in the race - and I opted to start at the back of the pack so as not to be too overwhelmed.

I put in my headphones, started up my revamped running playlist and turned on my Nike+ to the 5K setting.

When the race started, I was walking quickly until the pack thinned out and then started my run.

As always, the first 1/1.5K was the toughest part where I wonder if I can keep going - but then I hit my stride. The course was 2.5K out and then reversed for 2.5K back to the start/finish line. Some people passed me, while I passed others...some of them were one and the same. I enjoyed the scenery and my music and felt like I could take on the world.

At the water station, the runner in front of me grabbed the last of the pre-filled water cups, so I had to stop and fill a cup - broke my rhythm, but I picked it back up again and carried on.

For the last half of the race, I had a nice pocket of space to myself.  About 50 metres from the start/finish line, my Nike+ indicated that I had completed 5K. (By the way, I LOVE this tool and have been using it for a year or so - it counts up to the halfway point of your chosen run distance and once you get halfway, it begins counting down to your finish. It also calculates your pace as you progress and you can access this information during your run with a single touch.) I motored it past the finish line and it didn't take me too long to recover from my run.

Now for my favourite part - based on my treadmill intervals and my local 3K loops, I was hoping to post a time around 40 minutes. Even with not having run for a couple of weeks, starting with a walk in the pack and having to stop to get that water - I finished with a time of 32 minutes! I am so proud of myself - and look forward to working on bettering that time!

Also - I think that when we finally get around to finishing our basement, I'll need a nice set of hooks to start hanging my 5K medals on...I think I may end up with a bunch of them!