A year ago in February I decided to sign up for a 5K.
I trained for a month and progressed from barely being able to run one slow mile to running the 5K.
I ran the Shamrock Shuffle in 31:52. I was so proud of myself.
After that race I was hooked on running and have been running ever since.
This year I signed up for the shuffle again. My goal was to run it 4 minutes faster, 27:55.
In November I ran a turkey trot 5K and ran it in 27:55. Again, I was so proud of myself for shaving off that time since my previous 5K. But then I found out the course was 1/10th of a mile short. Not a huge deal, but I really wanted this 5K to be 27:55 for the full 3.18 miles.
I trained all winter, doing sprints and cross training and keeping my miles up. But I was discouraged. When I ran my sprints on the treadmill I still felt slow. I was never going faster than 7.2 miles per hour, and that was only for 400 meters, and I always wanted to die after. I needed to go even fast than that to beat the 27:55 that I had planned to do.
The week leading up to the race I was nervous. I was anxious. And I was prepared to be really upset with myself because I just did not feel like 27:55 was obtainable. But race day came and I tried to stay positive and upbeat, despite the cold weather and my nerves.
The race started and I felt myself take off too hard and too fast. But I tried not to slow down too much. "Just keep running, you need to be slightly uncomfortable to meet your goal," I told myself.
It was hard. I pushed myself.
I was being passed by old men, children, and people pushing strollers left and right.
What the actual fuck.
Here I was working as hard as I could, feeling the burn in my legs, and fucking 80 year olds were passing me?
I kept on though, knowing I was doing my personal best, and just hoping against all odds that I was going to finish in 27:55.
I rounded the last bend and saw Mr. G near the finish line. I sprinted. I heard "Go Shauni!" and smiled. And then I saw the clock under the finish line and was so relieved.
That is an 8:34 pace.
I cannot explain how proud of myself I am. Never in the last year did I ever think I could run a 5K in anything less than 27 minutes. I would read blogs and stories about people running their 5Ks in 26:XX and felt sorry for myself--"I will never be able to do that. Those gals are fast!" Not only did I blow my PR goal out of the water, but I blew it out of the water by over a minute.
I feel like a real runner now.
Thanks for listening,