Lacey keeps telling me to blog about this and I've just been busy, but I'll tell my shorter long version of it...
When I started running I was doing great to finish a 5K in 40 mins. I'm not exaggerating and I don't think that is anything to be ashamed of or to keep to myself. I was out of shape, had honestly never really been "in shape". Unlike most people I know I never played sports or danced or cheered or anything of the sort. But at that point I was lapping everyone on the couch.
Speed was never a real concern for me because I was just so pumped to be accomplishing a run at all. I still do NOT think speed defines a runner, I stand by that always. However, it is fun to challenge yourself to new goals and well, I'm not trying to run longer than a full marathon, so speed work it is!
For a long long time I had wanted to break 30 mins for a 5K, but really thought that coming under 31 would be huge, so I aimed for that. In May I accomplished that goal coming in at 30:55 in a 5K in the blazing heat pushing Sugar in the stroller. So, what does a crazy person do but try to go for more. Honestly, Lacey is a lunatic and keeps pushing me and giving me pointers. Foxy does the same, always saying, "That's cool, but I bet you could do it in...". For the Firecracker 5K, which is known for being sweltering heat, I had a goal in mind. Doing lots of speed work I knew what I was capable of, so I was really mad at myself when I decided to do a cleanse the week of the 5K (which fell on a Wednesday), and honestly completely lost my juice in the last half mile. I still set a PR at 28:54 (I think), but I was really disappointed. My running pal, Skinner, was with me and helped push me to finish and said I shouldn't be disappointed, but I was. I knew how hard I had been working and knew that I could do better. So, I hit the hamster wheel some more, pounded the pavement, and kept working hard and found another 5K to sign up for, The Hot Pursuit 5K. Yep, it was hoooooooottttttt!
That was the first race I've ever gone and run completely alone. Usually I plan it with someone and meet someone there, I have plenty of friends who run, but seriously everyone was busy that day! So, I left Sugar with my friend and headed out solo in the heat and tore out of the gate as best I could. Those races aren't chip timed, so I was super OCD about starting my watch at the start/finish lines. It was hot and I could feel it, but I also knew that I was doing pretty well. I didn't use my Nike app or watch the time at all because I was worried I'd stress myself out. When I crossed the finish and looked down to hit my watch to stop and my time said 25:51!!! Holy moly! That was 3 mins faster than the firecracker, so I knew then that my disappointment at the previous race was well served and it pushed me to accomplish even more.
So, what do you do after you set a PR like that in 5K? Go for faster in a half I guess ;) Training and working towards that now--lots of effort, energy, and sweat. Watching these Olympic races, the women mostly, has really inspired me. While I probably won't go to the Olympics for running, I know that I can continue to work towards my own personal best and push myself as hard as I can to show my daughter that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to and much more when you put in hard work! Heck one of the men who came to the Olympics (and didn't qualify for the finals) has only been running for 4 years (though I'm pretty sure he's been athletic forever by the looks of him!)!!! Four years and he's at the Olympics--that is amazing!
Run like you stole something and smile when you do!!!