Today was the most exciting race I have run since high school. Last year I arbitrarily set a goal that I wanted to run a 5KÂ race at a 7min/mile pace.Â 5Â kilometers is 3.106 miles, so that comes to 21 minutes and 45 seconds as a total time, which alsoÂ incidentallyÂ was a full 25 seconds faster than my personal record (PR).
It was an ambitious goal. I started the year not too hard. After my first race and running it in nearly 24 minutes, I realized I really needed to buckle down. So I had some good hard runs with Jason and many just by myself. Over the summer I started tracking my practice runs and trying to reduce the time it would take me to run 3 miles not in a race environment. In practice on July 26th, I ran the first 2 miles under the 7 minute pace. I knew my goal was achievable. And then in a race, just two weeks later I surprised myself by getting a PR, running the Mid-Summer Night’s Run in 21:58. I was disappointed I didn’t hit my goal time, but I only had 13 more seconds to shave off.
Today at the Spoonbread Festival 5K in Berea, KY I started out very fast. My first mile was in the 6:20 range. Way too fast for me, and I knew I would be hurting was using too much energy by running too fast. The second mile I slowed down to right around 7 minutes. Right where I needed to be, and I knew that I had given myself some wiggle room with the super fast first mile. My goal wasÂ achievableÂ but, I expended so much energy in the first mile, it could come back to haunt me. On the other hand, I had given myself a 30 second advantage, that could give me some wiggle room if I started toÂ struggle. The trick was now, not to depend on that extra 30 seconds because a slow mile could eat that up quickly. The last mileÂ I started to feel that speedy first mile coming back to haunt me plus there were some longÂ uphills. But I knew this was my chance to hit my goal, so I refused to be distracted, tucked my head down and kept running heard!
When I crossed the finish line the clock read 21:34! Wow, I had done it. I beat my goal by 11 seconds, and my PR, set just about a month ago, by 24 seconds! I even got first place in my age group! Turns out God made my body faster than I thought.