I’m not going to lie. I love ending up surprising myself with some super fast time that I kinda thought was unachievable. It’s the best kind of runners high.
Of course, having had a baby less than three months ago… I don’t really have much in the way of expectations. I have no benchmark workouts, not much for postpartum race times and my legs and lungs haven’t yet caught up with my ambition.
Still, I was thinking around 41-42 minutes sounded reasonable… and sub 40 sounded amazing.
The weather was near perfect for running this morning outside of a menacing breeze. I was also fortunate to be able to run with a super star friend who is just getting back to racing after puncturing a lung… which kept me moving when I felt like curling up into a ball on the curb. This thought crossed my mind often, I pretty much bounced from, “I’m totally OK. Could I run faster?” to “What is wrong with me? I think I’m dying.”
For instance, my stomach was all knotty in the first few kilometers. I was trying to remember if the feeling was reminiscent of over eating at the breakfast table or just running too fast. Checking the watch at the first mile marker to see it not yet tick past the 6, I decided it was the latter and slowed to a only mostly horrifically uncomfortable pace but one that didn’t make me want to barf.
I finished in a blah 40:59. I usually like :59s… in running :59s often mean week long elation, while :00s trigger nothing but regret and feelings of utter failure. That one second can be the difference between singing in your post race shower to lying in a dark room for days wondering why, oh why, you slowed down to avoid stepping on that child and lost that 1 to possibly even 3 seconds maneuvering around. At one minute less that :59 would have mattered. It would have shot me into the stellar 30’s race zone. 40 or 41… I saw the time coming. Meh.
Still, these races prove that a slow and continual progression is happening. Perhaps they matter most. A few weeks ago, I couldn’t do a pull-up to save my life, now I can do a few. Last month, I ran a 21:30 5k. I doubled the distance today and cut off a minute. That’s worth something. After all, that means lasting change… it’s a slow march on… but the little steps get you somewhere big.
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