As I stood at the start, I told Ironman triathlete Brett Petersen, I wanted to break twenty-five minutes in the 5K we were about to run. He was confident we would do just that. When the race began, we bolted out of the pack and were moving at a 7:51 per mile pace. I had never run that fast in a race. It would soon become apparent, I would not keep up that pace for long as we reached the first mile in slightly over eight minutes. the second was a bit tougher and I began to tire. When we crossed the second mile marker in just over sixteen minutes, Brett said my time goal was safely in hand so long as I kept up that pace. Unfortunately, I was struggling. With every step, the race seemed to be getting longer. My legs were jello. My lungs were on fire. Brett kept pushing and encouraging, but I was fading. In fact, since shortly after learning how fast we started, I was on the ropes. I did not have anything left for a final sprint to the finish. Spectators praised me and said I was flying to the finish, but I knew what had happened out there. Brett told me the race was in fact, several hundred meters longer than it should have been so I should be happy that I did break twenty-five minutes. Officially, I finished thirty seconds or so after my goal. Brett was proud of me and we parted ways shortly there after as I joined the festivities.
I have since done other 5K events, but I do not know my times from those races. I believe all were run slower than the one with Brett. I only know that a race I did with Michael Crissie saw us win my division, but it was a slow field that day. I have always wanted to break twenty-five minutes. I have never been able to do so. I have never been in the kind of shape I am in today. This spring, I have done two 5Ks. Both of them have been as the last leg of a sprint distance triathlon. In one, I did a 500 meter swim and ten mile bike before running 5K in 23:51. In the other, I stroked through a 750 meter swim and 12.4 mile bike before racing home with a 24:14 5K run portion. So in both events, I first performed my best in other disciplines before running. I ran faster in those sprint triathlons than in any stand-alone 5K I had ever done. That had me wondering, what could I do if I only had to focus on running 5K on fresh legs? Time to find out. I have registered for the Chinatown 5K which will be held tomorrow morning. The lovely and talented, Elizabeth Bilitz will be my eyes as I attempt to not only finish in under twenty-five minutes, but considering how fast I have run those other races, I will attempt to run 5K in under twenty-three minutes. one never knows, if the conditions are good, maybe I can run even faster than I think possible. There is plenty of pressure because I know how fast I have to run. There is also pressure because now I feel I must perform. After all, I am the Tri 6A Paratriathlon National Champion. I have a responsibility to bring my A game every time I race no matter the distance or event. I am an athlete who will represent the United States in London at the world Championship this year. I can not have a pedestrian time. I must run fast and finish strong. By this time tomorrow, I will hopefully have a new personal best at the 5K distance. If all goes well, I will have broken twenty-five minutes will relative ease.