I say it was when I was in 9th grade, but actually, I think I ran my previous PR in 1988 in 10th grade at McAlpine- 18:15. I dunno, it could've been 9th grade. I never got any faster than that. I turned 30 in 2003. I ran 18:58 that year and have not run a 5K race since. Last fall, I ran on our XC course by myself and ran 19:07. I was pleased. My running's getting better & better and I started doing the math and thinking that I can run under 18:00. We have a 5K on the track May 19 and I thought about jumping in on that but I'm worried about the pressure. I went to the track yesterday to see if I could maintain sub-18 pace for 2 miles. I knew if I could, running under 18 was a possibility.
First mile 5:48. Stomach hurt a little and legs were not fresh feeling at all. I started the run 45 minutes after I woke up and blame that. Second mile 5:46. Still not feeling good, but not feeling terrible. Decided in the last 200m of the 2 mile to keep going for 5K. Last mile 5:56. Completely zoned out with 3 laps to go. Started thinking about other things and was 1:33 that lap instead of 1:26. Last 200m :40. Total time 18:10. Lifetime PR by 5 seconds. Adult PR by 48 seconds. Very happy about the time and the possibility of a faster time on the horizon.
After turning 30, things seemed to fall apart for me running-wise in a lot of ways. I just assumed I was going to get slower and operated under that mindset until this past fall. For 7 years, I did marathons, ultras, got hurt a few times, but never pushed my speed limitations. I figured, "If I can't run fast anymore, at least I can run long." Don't know why you can't do a little of both. (Obviously, someone who focuses on 100 mile races exclusively isn't going to be a great 5K runner and vice versa, but there is some middle ground.) I've been doing hard workouts faster and more effortlessly lately, but last week, after 600s, we did two 300s that were supposed to be at 800m race pace. Who knows what that is for me, but I was just trying to stay ahead of the girls as I did on the 600s. Hit the 200m mark of the first one at :33 and got passed by Mallary. She was :50. I was :52. Legs were screaming. Difficulty breathing. Next one, Mallary & Shannon passed me. I was :52. They were :48 & :50. I thought I would die.
I may do that 5K on May 19 but on a track with people watching me... I dunno. I'm very much looking forward to Black Mountain Monster 24 Hour in a month. Wasn't planning on doing it, but I think I was just put off by last year's unseasonable heat.
I've lost 30-35 pounds in the past year and that's probably been one of the biggest factors for my improved running. I felt terrible a year ago. Pushing harder has meant having to bump up my vegetarian (post/semi/not exactly-vegan) protein consumption. The last couple of days, I've neglected that & can feel nagging calf and hip problems that aren't too happy with my lapse. On to tomorrow.