5K Walk/Run/Write Challenge 2017

This weekend is the 10 Minute Novelists‘ semi-annual 5K Walk/Run/Write Challenge, and I wanted to chronicle my adventure! The basic gist of this challenge is that participants must either walk or run a 5K course (you can plot your own course, run/walk on a treadmill or elliptical machine, or join an official race depending on your circumstances) AND write 5,000 (i.e. 5K) words within the same 24-hour period. The event is open from April 7 to 9, and you can pick whichever 24-hour period works best for you.

I decided to complete my 5K from Friday to Saturday, as I got a pretty good chunk of writing done on Friday, and then plotted out a good walking course for completion on Saturday. It’s a circuit in my small town from my apartment up to the nearest Starbucks and back again, which allows me to complete half of the 5K walk, then write some of my words at the café, and then follow that up with the rest of the 5K walking back home.

Although Saturday started off gray and drizzly, it actually ended up being the perfect day to complete a 5K walk!

Blue sky and tall trees – another day in paradise, here in San Diego!

So, I started my day with the walk part of the challenge, heading out around 9:15 AM. I had library books to return, so I loaded them into my backpack, along with my iPad, a notebook, and a bottle of water (and of course my wallet!) and out the door I went… only to discover it was raining, ever so slightly. It was just misting enough to be a problem, as I didn’t want to arrive at my destination (i.e. Starbucks) drenched. Thus I went back inside and grabbed my umbrella, then back out into the 55-degree day.

First, I decided to swing by the post office to mail a letter. I dropped that into the box, and then proceeded onward to the library. I began snapping pictures of the gray day, on a whim, to document my journey. Here are some of the results:

A gray day, starting out on my journey

At the library, I dropped off my books. By now it was about 9:28. The library doesn’t open until 9:30 (go figure) on Saturdays, so I went around to the side of the building and snapped more pix of some wildflowers, as well as the awesome images of birds and other animals that decorate the side of the library. (The owl is definitely my favorite.)

After the library, I continued towards Starbucks. It was still gray, and while the drizzle was becoming more intermittent, I still kept my umbrella up because I felt it called attention to me as a pedestrian – particularly in places where the sidewalk in my town happens to run out along the side of a fairly busy road. As an added bonus, it was also shielding me from any stray sunbeams that might be sneaking through, given that I didn’t have any sunscreen to apply to protect my delicate skin.

I finally reached the very last house, marked “Howell,” which indicated that I was almost at my destination…

And after much waiting at various crosswalks, I finally arrived! The mermaid beckoned me inside:

Like a beacon to a drowsy sailor in a storm…

I asked a party of three bicyclists who were pulling up where they’d come from. They said Rancho San Diego, which is “down the hill” from Alpine – the “hill” in question actually being Viejas Mountain. Who would bike up the side of a mountain for fun?! (Apparently these guys!)

After waiting in a rather long line-up, I finally got my morning latté and grabbed a table to begin the second leg of my 5K: writing!

I’ll spare you the dull details, except to say that I got 1,899 words written in about an hour at Starbucks. After that, it was just getting too noisy and crowded, so I decided to head back home for some peace and quiet to finish the writing in my home office.

I packed up my things, took my coffee, and headed over to the nearby Albertson’s to check out their sunscreen selection. Since the cheapest offering was $6.95, I decided to nix the sunscreen purchase and simply dug my green hat out of my backpack to block the sun’s evil rays. I continued my 5K, back the way I had come, and decided to stop off at the Dollar Store to see if they had any supplies I might need. (Oh, who am I kidding? I always need more supplies, when it comes to stationery!)

Once inside the dollar store, I tried not to go too crazy, and only purchased:

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  • A bar of lemon scented soap
  • A candle that smells like clean laundry
  • A clipboard (to replace one I recently lost)
  • A packet of 3 colorful file folders
  • 2 notebooks with birds on them, and
  • A packet of Riesen candy


Upon leaving the store, I continued to snap pictures, feeling happy that the walk back to my house was all downhill from there – the hard part of this 5K was over!

When I arrived at this, I had to stop into the antique/craft mall in the open lot next to Janet’s, to see what kind of things were for sale…

This bull is anatomically correct. I… have proof.

Inside, I found these lovelies:

I also found lots of kitschy and beautiful antiques in the trailers at the back of the property. I never even knew this stuff was here! Since I only had $5 cash on me, I mostly window-shopped until I found something I absolutely had to buy: a comic book for my husband! It was a comic called The Maxx that he has told me is his favorite, and it was only $2! So I brought it to the main building, paid, and was on my way once more.

As you may have noticed from the sign behind that metal bull, there’s a Vintage Market on Sundays, which I am now eager to check out. According to the proprietor, there are more vendors on Sunday, so there are bound to be more intriguing sights to see.

During the last leg of my journey, I snapped even more photos of the wildflowers on my path. Here’s a sampling:

So that was my Saturday. I currently have 46 more words to write to complete this challenge, so I’m going to write another few words in my current WIP and call it a night!

How was your weekend?


  • Debs

    I have huge envy. I have nothing nearly so lovely, nor interesting, for a walk in my locale. It feels crazy to get in the car to go somewhere to walk, but it’s that or commuter traffic and commuter homes. And most of them are behind walls, so you can’t even photograph their gardens! I miss my old neighbourhood (and my easier to maintain walking regime). I do plan to move in the next year, so a pleasing walking neighbourhood is on the “must have” list.

    • Laura Roberts

      Honestly, I was surprised to see so many flowers! But it looks like the town’s beautification projects have been doing good work, since they were everywhere. I felt like a bit of a weirdo, stopping to snap pix of all the flowers, but they were all so pretty. The only down side is that my town basically has only two main roads (both of which I walked on), so there aren’t that many choices for where you can go, unless you do get in the car and drive somewhere for a hike.