This recap is two weeks old, but I think it’s worth the read:
There is a certain number I’m associated with that has been haunting me for years.
It isn’t my weight. I actually don’t weigh myself or even have a scale in my house.
It isn’t my age. That number seems to keep increasing, no matter how often I truly keep forgetting the correct number.
It’s my 5k time. 20:10. And it’s been a limit, a boundary, for the past 15 years. Since then, I have felt self-induced pressure to break my high school 5k Cross Country PR set at the age of 17 (If you did the math, you know I’m 32).
Yes, it sounds ridiculous. But I have always felt, deep down in my running soul, that I was capable of breaking the 20 minute barrier.
To be honest, I did think it would happen WAY before I was 32! Yet, this also feels like the perfect time in my life to break down barriers and push limits.
So now you know that I’ve PR’d, I guess you don’t need to keep reading! I’ll keep it short and sweet, which is easy since it was only a 5k:
I ran the Sharin’ O The Green 5k last year where I got close to my PR. So, I knew this was a flat, fast course with great potential. What I didn’t know was how freaking windy it was going to be! Like, 19 mph winds and 40 mph gusts.
The course runs as a lollipop, and luckily, the main out/back portion was only a sidewind. It was the middle loop that was a real struggle to maintain pace.
Mile 1: Everyone went out really fast. Or, at least I went out really fast. I tried to keep remembering that this wasn’t a race with anyone but myself. And if I wanted to PR, I needed to be smart about this pacing. So I evened out to a pace I felt I could manage for 3.1. I was still pushing it though.
Mile 2: Always my slowest mile in a 3.1. Always. The wind was awful but I put my head down a bit and was determined to just get through it knowing it would be a sidewind again soon. My pace slowed, but I felt I was still doing well, save that feeling of wanting to puke. Seriously. Badly.
Mile 3: One mile straight back to the finish. It’s amazing how much you can be hurting in a 5k at this point. Lungs, stomach, quads, feet. And I still wanted to puke. But I still wanted to PR and I pushed hard. Hard enough to pass a leprechaun in the last quarter mile. And that felt great.
Mile .1: As I glanced at my watch in the final turn of the course, I was ecstatic to see my time and quickly calculated my potential finish time. I crossed in 19:27. A 43 second PR, dating back nearly 15 years! And I still just wanted to puke.
When that sensation passed, I could truly celebrate my accomplishment, albeit solo. I smiled from ear-to-ear during that cold, windy cool down and I felt like skipping the entire time. Elated. Bursting. Relieved. So many exciting emotions were running through me.
I have no pictures to document this moment, but I have a memory of that time I broke through limits and boundaries and answered the “what if” question. And that will last a lifetime.