Finally! The elusive sub-30 minute 5K

Way back on January 20 I wrote about my big hairy audacious lifetime-probably-impossible running goals for 5K, 10K, and half marathon. Of the three, a sub-30 minute 5K seemed the most doable, and I’ve been actively chasing that goal for a few months now. I’d gotten tantalizingly close with a 30:13 on April 4. I think I may have done it on April 6, but I forgot to check my watch at 3.1 miles so I can’t count it.

Today I did it, fair and square.

Although I’ve been home for two weeks, I somehow haven’t made it downtown for a Thursday evening beer run until tonight. The first week I was still too tired from four days of driving plus packing and unpacking, and I didn’t go. Last Thursday I didn’t go but I can’t recall why… perhaps it was raining.

This morning, even though it was raining, I woke up already looking forward to a brisk waterfront run followed by a wonderful locally-brewed beer.

I figured I’d run 3-4 miles tonight. The rain had stopped and it was a bit breezy but not too cold. Only three other people showed up,  but it was nice to be welcomed by running acquaintances whom I hadn’t seen in four months. The usual discussion of pace and distance ensued. They all said they ran “slowly,” in the 9 to 10 minute per mile range, and that they planned to run 3-4 miles. I shrugged and said that I’d be well behind them, while thinking to myself, “I can do that, and I can let them set the pace for me.”

They took off running, and I stayed with them. We were running along at about a 9:45 pace. Approaching the end of the first mile, they sped up. I did too, but I couldn’t keep up with them and had to let them go. I kept them in sight, however, and I kept pushing. I did the second mile (which included my turnaround point) in about 9:40. Then I did the third mile in 9:04. The last tenth of a mile was a waltz! I hit the stop button on my Garmin at 29:30 and walked the rest of the way back to the brewpub.

Mission accomplished! Big hairy audacious lifetime-probably-impossible goal smashed! I know, it was unoffical but I get to count it!

I celebrated with a lovely local porter — dark, sweet, and creamy.

Now I’ll have to set myself a new lifetime-probably-impossible 5K goal. Or maybe I’ll focus on the most doable of my remaining two original goals. Perhaps not on the hilly course of my hometown half marathon… but I think maybe, just maybe, a sub-2:30 half marathon is realistically attainable. Maybe at the lovely, flat Victoria race in October???

One step at a time.

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Posted on April 12, 2012, in Running and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

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