A New PR Feels Great, Even If You’re Still Almost in Last Place
Today was the third 5K, that I have participated in. My first one was two years ago when I first learned that I actually am a runner. At the time, all I wanted to do was finish in under and hour and I did! My first time was 59:08. A time horrible by most people’s standards. But, I met my goal and I was happy. Plus, it was nice knowing I really could only go up from there.
My second 5K came earlier this year, when a friend of mine was running her ﬁrst 5K and I was going to be in town at the time of the race. So, I decided to sign up and contribute to a good cause even if I did just walk the entire thing. Just walking the 5K ended up being enough to beat my previous record with a time of 51:55. I felt just as proud of myself for this time as I was proud of my friend for putting up an awesome time of 35 minutes for her first 5K.
Today, I’m happy to say I beat my time once again and managed to do a sub 50 minute 5K (a goal usually reserved to many 10K runners) with a time of 49:25. That’s about a 16 minute per mile pace, not even close to the last pace sign of 11 minutes in the picture above.
Even though I’ve accepted that I’m currently a slow runner, I still had some reservations about doing today’s race. My previous race entries were Non-Proﬁt Charity races which are generally less competitive than ones like today’s race. It was the first time I realized I could come in last because I knew most of the people who had signed up were going to be running the whole thing. I don’t mind being slow but I have to admit the idea of coming in last does still bother me. I have often heard the quote that says
My husband often likes to tell me that when you run, you’re really just racing against yourself and even one second better than last time is a victory. I tried to keep these things in mind the Dead Last Finish is greater than Did Not Finish, which always trumps Did Not Start at all. morning of the race. And I definitely had these thoughts in my mind as I was coming to the ﬁnish line with only a Mom pushing her kids in a stroller and a pregnant woman walking the 5K with her Dad were behind me. The thoughts did help but I was really pumped up when I saw that the clock still had a minute to go to 50:00. I actually ran faster that last minute than I had the whole race in order to have a new personal record. In the end that was all that mattered and I couldn’t be happier about my ﬁnish today, even coming in almost last.
I also have to mention that I was very glad to have had the support of a friend from the learn to run program there with me who has a great attitude and stayed with me during the whole race. The thought of coming in last or first doesn’t matter at all to her. Her only goal was finishing and having a nice time. That truly is the best approach to have. But, I have to admit I have a competitive side so for now I’ll stick with trying to better my PR each time.