I ran my very first 5k way back in 2006. This was just a one time event. I signed up on a whim and had no idea how to actually train for a race. I did all of my training on a treadmill except for one run. I finished in 32:37 and went right back to my non running lifestyle.
|Approaching the finish line of my very first 5k.|
Over the next few years I would occasionally dabble in running, but I didn’t sign up for any races. At this point in my life running was something I did to just to stay in shape. My best friend talked me into signing up for this 5k in 2009 and, after walking it 2 years in a row, I decided to run it in 2011. I trained using Couch to 5k, and in spite of having a great training session, I ended up having a terrible race (39:57). Pro tip: If you are allergic to poplar trees, running a race on a street lined with poplar trees is NOT recommended.
After that difficult race, I decided to just keep running so I wouldn’t need to start over next spring. A year of running and some well timed allergy medicine the morning of the race allowed me to hit 28:51 (plus two other sub 30s that year). By this point I had the running bug.
In 2013 I signed up for my first half marathon and the increased distance led me to taking a full 5 minutes off of my time (22:59). After my third half marathon training cycle that time was cut down to my current PR of 22:13. I am definitely happy with the fact that I have taken over 10 minutes off of my 5k time, but it has left me wondering what I could accomplish if I really applied myself to the 5k distance.
Which pretty much brings us to right now. Today is exactly one month out from my goal race. I have a pretty lofty goal of breaking 20 minutes, but I am realistic enough to know that it is not going to happen this year. Sub 20 is a 3-5 year goal. This year I am hoping for at least a 30s improvement. So to finally get to it, this is what I would like to see this year:
21:41 (6:59 pace). I’d really like to see a 6:XX 5k and taking 32 seconds off of my time seems like a reasonable goal (fingers crossed).
Stretch Goal: 21:09 (6:48). 70% age grade. Taking over a minute off of my time would be huge. I don’t know if it is quite possible this year, but it would be a serious step towards sub 20.