Hell Yeah!

The title of the post is one of my favorite lines from a good TV show that was cancelled too soon – The Unit.  I just finished watching the fourth and final season of it this week and one of the last few episodes has that line in it at a pivotal moment.

But that’s not why I wrote this post.  I wrote this particular post on The Paul Gillespie Experience because I’m pumped.  I ran the Race 4 Domestic Violence Prevention 5k this morning  and I couldn’t be better.  Not only did I get to meet Tyler Palco (former QB for the Chiefs; he waved the starting flag for the race) but more importantly I ran the 5k in a personal best time, with not only an average but every single mile under the 9-minute mark.  My final time – 26:18 – was the best I’ve ever run a 5k in by 3+ minutes.

The Whiskey Run in March was my prior best at 29:30; the last 5k I ran (the Paws 4 Autism one before Easter) was 34+ minutes.  I cut 25% off my previous official run time and 10% off my best run time this morning.  That has me so excited you just can’t imagine it.

And almost just as good as my time was the fact I paced myself solidly throughout.  My first mile was 8:23; my last mile 8:56.  So my last mile was within about 30 seconds of my first, telling me that I’m getting much better at pacing myself instead of burning up the track to start with (“burning up” for me, anyway) and then faltering by the end.

I feel so much better right now about my 24-minute goal by September.  I have zero doubt I can hit it now.  I didn’t have a lot of doubt I could do it before, but honestly when I ran mid-30 minutes for my last 5k it was starting to creep in that maybe I wasn’t doing what I needed to.  But not now.

I did two things differently on this run: I paced myself better (music helped me tremendously; just keep the feet moving to the beat and do not walk or even jog) and I only paced myself, not strangers.  I think that was my biggest mistake last 5k – I paced a young lady who I thought was on a 30-minute pace, but turns out she was closer to a 35-minute pace.  So by tying my pace to hers I was artificially holding myself back.  I’m OK to pace with my friends when we run because I know what they’re running; I’m not OK to pace with someone I don’t know.

I can’t wait to see if I can break that 26-minute mark in the next couple of weeks.  The next scheduled run I have is a 10k at the end of May, but I may try to sneak a 5k in between now and then if there’s one around.

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What do you think?