Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chasing Dreams: A Shiny New 5k PR

I'm going to jump out of order in my weekend recap to tell you about the highlight of my weekend:

Lose Your Shoes and the Shoes Off Your Back 5k
Paaaaaaain face. Photos By Karstan Brown

Setting a new 5k PR!! (19:50)

Now I realize for some people this may be no big deal,  but for me it is. You see, my previous 5k PR of 20:31 has stood for a solid 8.5 years (since Aug 2004). It's been a long journey for me to get back to the point of even coming near setting a 5k PR. You see, shortly after setting my previous PR in 2004, I became burnt out. I hated running and didn't see the point of it. Once that passed, I wanted to get fast again yet didn't quite know how to get there. I knew I had it in me to eventually get back to the point I had been in high school, but it has taken many years of trials and failures and in the process I've learned a lot about myself as an athlete.

The sub-20 5k has always been elusive to me, a goal far off in the distance that I never could let go of. To be honest, something that I coveted for many years as a threshold or gateway to being considered "fast." I never let go of my dream of one day breaking that barrier, yet I find it to be interesting that the very journey that lead me to it has also caused it to lose value. Yes, I run to push my limits and see how far I can go, but I now know I'm not defined as a person or runner by my times, placement or PR's. I now run because I love to do so, not because I'm out to win a prize or win the affection or attention of others.

During this race I felt a strength that I've never experienced before. I felt smooth, steady in stride, aggressive in my race strategy and willing to put myself out there and risk failure. After 3-4 easy weeks of running, all of my hard work was coming to the surface. I went through the first mile in 6:13 and it felt perfect. In the 2nd mile I sought to chase down the people in front of me, and I did. When I went through the 2nd mile b/w 6:10-6:18 and wasn't dying, that's when I knew I was in for a great day. I love that moment in a race when you know you're on your way to doing something epic!
The last quarter of a mile was an uphill slope and I definitely struggled! But I kept my eye on the clock so as to not let that sub-20 slip through my fingers. What a race! After finishing, I immediately hugged the hubby and congratulated the other girls I had been racing against as we all had a great day. Then we caught our breath and headed off to cool-down.

Post-race feelin' pretty good! Photo By Karstan Brown
Whatever your goals or dreams are, I encourage you to stick with them!! Focus on the journey and not so much the outcome and don't forget to be patient!

This distance may be off but the time doesn't lie!!

1st through 4th females (R to L). We all had a great time!

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