This morning I ran the NYRR Coogan’s Salsa, Blues and Shamrocks 5K in upper Manhattan. The weather was much worse than last year’s (60, sunny vs. 50, pouring) but on the bright side, the course was much less crowded! At least, I didn’t find that I was weaving quite as much.
Since I just got out of Self-Imposed Injury Bay and haven’t been speed training, my only goal was to PR over my last 5K in October. I started off a little fast but I was feeling good, taking the hills as they came.
Around the 2.4-mile mark I was starting to get a stitch and regretting going out at a pace I couldn’t maintain. I watched a guy pass me with what looked like his 8- or 9-year-old son in tow. Oh, super, a prodigy. Then the guy began to talk:
I know you’re hurtin’, buddy, but this is the time to give it all you’ve got. We can still finish under 30…
Uh… WE CAN??
…but you’re going to have to push. You’re going to get a huge PR. You’re doing a great job.
So let’s just say my own massive, massive PR — 2:35 from October, 5:18 from the same course last year — was 49% all the slogging on the treadmill between October and now, all those crap 2.5- and 3-milers after work when I really didn’t want to;
25% meeting up with a running group before and after the race;
1% my iPod armband magically keeping my player from shorting, despite the rain;
And 25% some guy I’ll never see again, but who caused me to dig in and finish clutching my side and SUB-30.
I didn’t know I had it in me. Well, neither did that kid I guess. Whoever you are… thank you is not enough.