This past weekend was pretty eventful. On Saturday afternoon, after having talked with my brother who had gotten back from one of his personal best runs, I decided that I wanted to push myself further and see what I could do. I knew I didn’t want to do another long and slow run, though I do enjoy the almost relaxing repetitiveness of those. I knew this day was for something else: a speed test.
Back in December I ran my first official 5k road race. Ellie and I had just started really getting back into running, and we wanted to get an official race under our belts. We finished that race with a decent time of 30:43. At the time I was pretty happy, though I knew I wanted to improve that time to something below thirty minutes. I was thinking to myself that I should be able to do better than this, now having run all of January and February and being an additional 15 pounds lighter. So with that, I set out into a very, very windy day.
I found a cool feature on my fitness app that I use on my phone. Basically it lets you set a distance that you want to complete for this workout. The coolness really kicked in when its voice feedback chimed in. It was not the typical message, “Your pace is 10km per hour” or “You have run 3 kilometers in 20 minutes.” Instead, the message was “Your estimated time of completion is 30 minutes.” Woah! That is a pretty handy feedback mechanism. At the start of my run, the first couple of messages I received were very confusing. It stated that I was on pace for a 22-minute 5k. I really thought that was blatantly not possible; I struggle to consistently get 30-minute 5k times. There was no way that I was shaving it off by eight minutes.
As my run progressed, the estimated time gradually increased, though not nearly as much as I had thought it would. I finished up the first kilometer in 4:58, my second in 4:57. I got to about 2.5k in 12 minutes and 30 seconds. That was on pace for a 25-minute 5k time! I was feeling pretty wiped out so I eased up a little bit at this point and ran a recovery 1 kilometer at a pace of 5:34 . . . still faster than my typical, everyday run. When I hit 4km at 21 minutes, I knew I was on track for my fastest run ever. I increased my pace again and finished my last kilometer in 5 minutes.
26 minutes and 1 second (though I think the one second was because of my fat thumb not being able to stop the timer in my excitement!). I shredded my old personal record. What surprised me even more was the fact that I still felt like I could have kept running!
Honestly, it was a pretty great feeling knowing I have made significant progress in the past few months. That run was a form of validation I needed. It was the proof of principle I needed to see that proved to me that if you put the time in, then it will pay off and you will see improvements.