The last time I set a PR was on January 5, 2013, during an 8K. It was my first-and only- 8K, so I didn’t think much of it. My time, 35:34 was unimpressive to me, and I remember being really annoyed because the course was long. (It was- this was not me just not running the tangents.) Little did I know that would be as fast as I would run for a long time.
About a month later, I began developing terrible cramps in my calves when I ran. And since then, running has been a struggle. Add in the health problems I’ve been experiencing as of late and running is sometimes a struggle.
I didn’t really know what to expect last night. I ran seven miles at lunch and felt okay, not great, not terrible, just a little creaky. I took Tim’s iPod and he has roughly 17 songs on it, only four of which I knew (“Fat-Bottomed Girls,” “Hate Me Now,” “Guerilla Radio,” “Get Lucky”), so I went back to Pandora pretty quickly.
I started to get really nervous after work, I did some hip stretches and then ran an easy two miles to warm up. I made my way to start. I had to wait a while for my heat, but once my age group lined up, I really was regretting signing up. But, too little, too late. As the gun went off, I immediately got passed by a ton of people. In this case, my inability to pick it up quickly eventually helped me. I hit the first quarter-mile in 1:30 and the half in 3 flat. Then, I just focused on passing people, and I was flying past a ton of runners who went out too fast. The thing about the mile is… it hurts and its 100% efforts. I passed the third-quarters sign at 4:37, and I finished in 6:17.9.
A shiny new PR. By nearly 20 seconds.
As I’ve said a million times, the mile is not my strong point. I know a 6:17 is nothing to brag about (and please don’t think I am!), but for me, that’s my fastest mile time ever.
Not two years ago. Not three summers ago. Last night.
And, strangely enough, that was good enough for third place in my age group (the top two were sub-6, so there was clearly a large gap). So, I have a new medal for my collection. Naturally, I missed them calling my name and getting to go get it because I was getting a beer. Gary had to come get me.
Am I back? Nah, not 100% yet. But this was a nice confidence boost that I am hopefully well on my way.
And then I drank 1,000 ciders in the beer tent because that was totally necessary.