This past Saturday, I ran my first race in two years. The last time I competed in any sort of race, it was the LA Marathon and that was to prove to myself that I could run 26.2 miles.
This weekend was all about setting the bar to compete against myself. I wanted to see how fast I could run a 5k so that I can start training to beat that time. As most of you know, I recently got back from two months of traveling in Europe (and if you don’t remember, refer to my most recent post here). I haven’t been this out of shape since before I started working out 7 years ago.
The last month and a half has been a lot of sweating and pouting over the fact that I’m not physically at where I used to be. However, regardless of how painful it was, I laced up my workout shoes 6 days a week and went for as long of a run as I could and as difficult of a weight training session as I could handle. I felt like I was in slow motion. Nothing seemed to be getting better. My strength wasn’t improving. My lungs weren’t burning any less.
Then one day, I didn’t notice the fact that my legs no longer felt like lead or that sweat wasn’t pouring down my face. Slowly but surely, I was getting back into the shape that I was before.
That’s what inspired me to run this weekends race. I wanted to set the bar for myself to have something to push for. It wasn’t about winning the race, but seeing where I was at so that I could work to beat myself.
But then I did win the race. And it felt pretty good.
*Notice me yawning? It was 6:45 am. Give me a break.
To be fair, there were only 60-ish people running this race but still! I started off the run thinking “dear god, why did I stop drinking coffee right before this. I could really use the caffeine. It’s 6:45am on a Saturday. This is un-godly.” My legs felt heavy and under-used. To top it off, it’s been unseasonably hot in LA. Even at 7:00 am when the race started, it was 77 degrees with a hot breeze rolling through. People passed me and that was okay. I wasn’t in it to win it. I was in it to finish it.
My steady pace eventually brought me to the halfway point and my legs suddenly felt light and my energy high! I made the turn and I pushed myself to pass the 8-10 people in front of me. Eventually, I wiggled myself to the first place position. As I neared the finish line, I kept looking behind me, expecting someone to get a second wind and pull me out of the first position slot. But that didn’t happen. And I crossed that chalk finish line in first!
I was greeted at the end by a small medal and an envelope for an hour long massage. Whaaaaat!
And I will need that massage. I walked home after the race and slept for an hour while the sun blazed to 95 degrees.
And so did Trevor 🙂
So, I finished with a fairly decent time of 24:10 and room to improve!
Look forward to some posts on how to improve your own 5k PR as I work toward beating my own!
And remember, no matter what state of shape you are in now or how hard you have fallen off of the wagon… you can always get back to where you once were. Not a single person has ever said it will be easy (and if they did they’re liars) but don’t let the challenge hold you back from getting to where you want to be.
Now lets go PR!!