Sunday, December 30, 2007


I'm not typically one to introspect too much but occasionnaly, I do. But I decided to spare you my inner turmoil following my unexpected success this morning.

I will gloat instead.

In this morning's race I beat my younger self even though I'm 20 years older than him. I beat him although he had all the advantages of youth. I'm trying to imagine the opposite: what if I had known back then, that my older self would kick my ass by a couple of minutes in a 5k.

I remember my frustration back then at not being able to run 5k under 25 minutes. I felt like I was trying as hard as I knew how.

Now, after a few months of training and at the ripe age of 43, I have exploded through that old barrier.

Now I have to accept it. You probably think: what's the big deal? So you ran under 25 minutes. Well, that limit was engrained in me. Even though I wasn't running anymore, I can remember a particular 5k run when I was about 13, a specific spot where I knew I wouldn't make it. Again. Once in a while I would get that flashback and wonder. If I start running, could I do it?

I tried to start running again many times and failed for all the mondane reasons that we've heard or experienced over and over. Kids, family, laziness, excuses, aches and pains... This time, I felt something snap into place. So immediately, I set myself two goals: run 5k under 25 minutes and 10k under 50. I have done the first so decisively that I just know the second goal is reached as well.

No book that I've read gives you any idea of how much improvement you can expect. We all have a limit, they say. Well I thought mine was at or around 50 minutes for the 10km. Now I know it's not, but I feel lost. When I look at those pacing tables, or expected finish times, where do I direct my eyes? Will I ever run a 40 minutes 10k?

I somehow feel as if a familiar safety net has been removed from somewhere under me. I used to know things. I used to know my limits. Now I don't. Should I try to find out? Does it matter?

I guess I did introspect after all.

No comments: