ETA: official time: 21:53! 2nd in my age group, 5th woman, 24th place overall.
here, have a laugh at my face!
21:5x (exact time TBA) in this morning's 5K. I might have shed one tiny thrilled tear just after I crossed the finish line. my goals were, in prioritized order, as follows:
1. break PR (24:03)
2. break 23 minutes
3. look sweet in my new shoes.
nowhere on there do you see "break 22 minutes," but THERE IT IS, PEOPLE. I feel like one hundred million dollars. ONE HUNDRED MILLION. perhaps even two hundred million.
I finally ran a smart race: a 7:37 first mile, then a 7:15ish average for the rest of the race. I don't have the final mile split because I forgot to hit the reset button on my watch, and my overall average time was thrown off by forgetting to hit the stop button AGAIN at the end of the race. BUT THAT'S OKAY. BECAUSE NOW I'VE GOT A 21-MINUTE 5K.
the first mile I probably checked my watch 30 times, because I started out at a 6:30 pace and had to talk myself down for the first 300 meters or so. "no, slower." "no, SERIOUSLY, slower." the opening pace felt so easy that it was really good I had my garmin or I would have killed it too early. I let myself open it up a little once I passed the one mile mark -- and it's an indication of how good I felt that I assumed the "1" was 1 KILOMETER until I checked my GPS.
in mile two I tried to stop looking at my damn wrist every four seconds and just aimed for holding steady, feeling relaxed, and pretending it was just a training run.
in the last mile we left the official race track and took a detour around the grounds, which turned out to be a good distraction. I passed a bunch of people who'd gone out too fast, and I felt a little bad about it. don't I know how that is, eh?
just after I passed a high school xc kid, his coach said, "you're a sprinter now! time to go!" and I thought, sir, that is music to my ears. I realized we were pretty close to the finish so I gunned it. we had to go around a set of bleachers to reach the track and my only regret is not having more of the track to finish on, because it's only once I can see the finish that I turn on the turbo. just as I could make out the clock (I was running too fast to look at my watch), I realized it said 21:52 and I did in fact say, out loud, "NO NO NO NO" and then turned on all the engines and motored in to finish under 22. UNDER 22!
it may be a testament to how much faster I could probably have run that I did not dry heave at the end of this race. I always dry heave. seriously. gross, but true. any time I sprint the finish like that, I have one terrible moment where I think I'm gonna boot it all over the grass, and then I'm good.
which is to say, of course now I'm thinking, I could probably break 21. since I've been running, on average, a paltry 10-15 miles a week and have incorporated absolutely zero speedwork.
anyway, let's enjoy the moment, let's not get ahead of ourselves.
I'm very proud of this:
now I'm gonna go eat a plate of bacon and chestbump a stranger BECAUSE I CAN