“When there is nothing left to lose, we find the true self—the self that is whole, the self that is enough, the self that no longer looks to others for definition, or completion, or anything but companionship on the journey.” ~Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open
My 5k personal best was set in November of 2013. I ran a 24:50 in the middle of marathon training. I fought hard for every second on the race clock. This summer I wanted a new PR. I wanted to prove I had become stronger than I was three years ago.
My quest started in May. All summer I chased the clock.
ODU Big Blue – 26:44
CXB Lowrent – 25:56
Corporate 5k – 26:52
Summer Series (pushing Chet) – 33:22
Allen Stone – 27:01
Rock n Roll 5k – 26:24
Along the way, I realized how subjective the race clock can be. Some courses are short (CXB Lowrent). Some courses are long (Corporate 5k). Some races are hot and humid. Others are windy. Some days my legs feel great. Other days they feel like cement.
Chasing the race clock is a gamble. It’s a roll of the dice. What will be delivered on race day?
I can tell you the details of every race above. I can tell you what races felt amazing and which races felt heavy. I can tell you what races I loved and which ones I survived, and none of that has anything to do with the race clock.
Two years ago I sat across from the coach of my training team at a coffee shop. I was debating if I should join the team again. I was a little burnt out. I was a little guarded. I was a little deflated by running. I was cautious. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to be surrounded by a team. In that conversation I referenced an article I had read that resonate with me. In that article Elite Runner Lauren Kleppin commented on her performance at the New York City Marathon.
I was hoping to be an inspiration! I definitely survived, but I wanted to thrive.” ~Lauren Kleppin
I was stuck in survival mode, and I wanted to thrive on the race course and in life. He promised to change that.
Two years later that coach and my training team flooded both the course and the sidelines of today’s race. At mile two I was greeted by a sea of cheers. I was reminded of how much I love this journey.
The journey hasn’t been easy. I’ve made progress and I’ve had setbacks. I’ve doubt myself and I’ve had runs that feel like anything is possible. It’s a constant tug of war between surviving and thriving. My 5k PR is still three years old, but I know that I’m stronger today than I was then.
Today thriving is winning.
Mile 1 – 8:09
Mile 2 – 8:20
Mile 3 – 8:41
Final push – 8:22
Age group – 5/199
Female – 23/961
Overall – 112/1520
While I’m incredibly proud of these numbers, I’m most proud of the road I’m on. I’m proud of my progress, and I’m excited about my potential. I’m proud of the team I call family.
I’m proud I didn’t give up.
Today thriving is winning. Thriving is winning because I quit trying to prove that I’m faster or stronger. Thriving is winning because friendship and team mean more than PRs.
I can’t think of a better way to end summer!