Sometimes when you shoot for a goal, you fall short. Sometimes you miss by a mile. Sometimes you’re days late. And other times, you miss by seven measly seconds!
Yep, that’s right. I ran my 5K on Sunday and finished in 30:07. Seven seconds away from my goal time of 30 minutes.
I’m not even really sure where I came up with the goal of running a 5K in 30 minutes or less, but recently I’ve become obsessed with it.
First let me say, I really should be proud of myself. 30:07 was a PR for me. In fact, I shaved off a minute and 40 seconds off my previous PR I set in June. That’s pretty amazing. I know that.
But, I’m frustrated, too.
Some people seem to be able to run a 5K in under 30 minutes with no problem at all. It’s not fair that it’s so difficult, and so painful for me. My lungs burn. I begin to cough with every stride. My body doesn’t want to run that fast. (And by “fast” I’m only talking slightly under a 10-minute mile. The first woman to cross the finish line ran a 5:46 mile!)
I tried hard to pace myself at the start. To negative split like I learned while training for the half. To remind my asthmatic lungs to keep breathing. To save my energy and push myself at the end. Even still, as the 3-mile marker came in sight, I had nothing left in me besides trying not to puke (Sorry, that’s gross). I looked at my watch, knowing that if I could just sprint the last tenth of a mile, I could finish in under 30. But I couldn’t do it. Mentally, I tried to talk myself into pushing harder. Physically, my body told me I couldn’t.
So, I did what I could do. I reminded myself of the girl I saw running with only one leg. And 5:46-mile girl who was finishing as I was approaching the halfway point. And the people I passed as I was about to finish and THEY were approaching the halfway point. Each of those people were pushing against challenges of their own, but they were all persevering.
I might not meet my goal today, but I can’t quit. I just had the best race of my life, and if I stop to walk/breathe/puke now, I will have given up.
So, I ran it out. Didn’t sprint, because I couldn’t. But I took all I had left and crossed that finish line in 30:07.
Yes, I’m still a little disappointed that I didn’t reach my goal. But, I didn’t fail. That race was a step toward my goal; I just haven’t reached it yet.