Monday, December 23, 2013

Under 30, Before 30

For the past year and a half or so, I've been running one race a month. My main objective was to simply stay in shape and to challenge myself to improve on both distance and speed. I ran three longer races in the past year - the St. Pete Women's Half Marathon, the Peachtree Road Race (10k), and the Atlanta Marathon 10 Miler. The rest of my races have been 5k's, so about a year ago (after the half marathon), I set some goals for myself to get faster - first to get back to a 10-minute-mile pace, and then to run a 5k in under 30 minutes, before I turn 30 (which is exactly 30 days from today!).

I have a good group of friends here in Atlanta who have been running with me on and off during that time. It has been a great way to hold each other accountable, which is extremely motivating on days when I really don't want to run. It has also made it much more social and enjoyable when we have a delicious brunch planned after each race. We all run at a different pace, so even though we start together, we run by ourselves and meet up at the finish line.

That is, until a few months ago when Adrienne, one of my old college running buddies, moved to Atlanta. She and I started running together regularly again and I was back to my old pace pretty quickly. After our 10 miler where we nailed exactly a 10 minute mile, I knew if I trained a little bit harder I could reach my second goal. Adrienne unfortunately had really bad shin splints so I was back to running by myself. I mainly worked on speed, with interval training. I only found one race in Atlanta that fit my schedule, but it's not until January which was cutting it pretty close to my 30th birthday. So I convinced my mom and Leslie to run a Turkey Trot with me on Thanksgiving Day and I'm proud to say I achieved my goal - under 30, before 30! I officially finished the race in 26:32 which is drastically faster than my usual time. It was a great race and I was so excited!

It was freezing cold that morning, Leslie and I were a weeee bit hungover, and I was pretty sure she and my mom were going to kill me for making them run this race. But in the end it was probably the best race I ever could have picked to meet my goal, and we all really enjoyed it. So much so that we might make it a new tradition whenever we are in town for Thanksgiving.

Now there are a few caveats - I've been training in Atlanta's humidity and hills, so it played in my favor BIG time to run a race in Florida in late November when there was a lovely ocean breeze, no humidity, and definitely no hills ;) After the incredibly hilly 10 miler I ran the month before, it was a nice relief when a spectator warned me about the "hill" up ahead, which was a meager speed bump :)  The other caveat is that it was only a 3 mile race, so it wasn't technically a 5k. But I am totally counting it. So thank you to all of my running buddies for helping me get there!! Looking forward to another year of racing ahead of us!


  1. You've inspired me! I love the under 30 min 5k before turning 30. I have 6 months to train - eek! ;)


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