A few weeks ago I ran a 5k as part of a fundraiser for some friends. I perpetually have the goal to get under 20:00 but have never done it. My best yet is 20:06. This course ran through fields and forest so I knew I would be slow.
Near the end I came up on some kid, low teens I would guess, running ahead of me. He seemed so bothered that I caught up that he sprinted ahead. And then he ran himself tired and would walk. I caught up. This happened twice. The third time I caught up to him was at about the 1/4 mile to go mark, when I normally push it. I said “OK pal lets get” and started running hard. About half way to the line he caught me and passed me. I finished about 15 feet behind. He collapsed and I walked over and gave him a fist bump.
My overall time was in the 22’s. So I was not proud. But what really got me was that 10 years ago I could have smoked this kid. I could actually notice how much slower I have gotten over the years. My stamina is at an all time high, but I really am slow. I knew it would happen. And to some extent I have felt it even before now. But it was really strange to feel it so quantifiably and in the moment. Getting old sucks.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Getting old is a state of mind so you’ve got to snap out of it. Consider increasing your mileage during your training so when you do your next 5k—it’ll be a lot easier. Also, throw in some speed workouts here and there. You’ll be able to catch and beat that kid next time.
Thanks Jim. I’m still working it. We may be old, but I agree that we don’t act it 🙂