Last weekend, I decided to run a 5k while on vacation in San Diego. I grew up there and knew the course would be pretty flat and a quick one. I was looking to PR. Not that it would be difficult because I do not run 5ks very often (prefer 10k and half-marathons) and my last time was 29:55, circa 2008. To commit, I told a few people I was aiming to run a 26:00 and under…because I knew that was pretty safe. I was pretty sure I could run an average of an 8:20ish mile for 3.1 miles.
Saturday AM, I’m running on adrenaline and Nespresso. I keep thinking about what my run coach/friend/ass-whooper O texted me: Don’t doubt yourself!!! At the end of the day it’s only 26 minutes of your life. I have a bad habit of holding back, even during workout runs. It’s partly subconscious; am I worried that if I go out too fast, I might get tired/run out of gas and then what…God forbid…have to walk?! So this time I tried to just run as good as I felt, while glancing at my Garmin every 5 minutes or so rather than every 30 seconds. When I was coming around the bend and saw the finish line (and my dad standing there cheering me on), I knew I would make my goal. What I didn’t know then was that I ran an average 7:56/mi pace and won first in my age division! I couldn’t have been more excited. Ok, maybe my dad was more excited. It was an amazing start to a great day–which was followed by an afternoon spent at the beach and awesome dinner with my visiting BFF. I also learned a good lesson: don’t hold back, (applies to racing and, well, life in general): putting your whole self out there, even if you fail, is always gonna be a win. My new goal? Sub-24!