I completed the 5K I decided all of two weeks ago to do, and trained for twice. It went quite well, considering.
The last 5K I did was Easter weekend and I felt pretty sensational during that one so I was a little worried this time around might be a challenge as I pretty much haven’t run since Easter. My only goal was not to be slower than my last time which I think was around 38 or maybe 39 minutes. I did finish in that allotted time and the race didn’t feel too terrible, as in, I could run without feeling like I might keel over at any moment.
I did, however, notice that for the first mile and a half a slightly hunched senior citizen was in front of me. He seemed to be about seventysomething and ran in what resembled a slow shuffle. He was consistently in front of me, his senior shuffle just a tad faster than my jog. I wanted to beat him but I was at such a comfortable pace that I thought, why rock the boat and kudos to him for getting at it like that. But when I was pushing in on mile two, and still I felt comfortable to be coasting behind a rather old man who was shuffling while I dripped with sweat from my jog, I thought, maybe I ought to push myself just an ounce harder and overtake this guy.
I did and yet his shuffle haunted me the rest of the race, making me run faster than I cared to. I kept trying to discreetly look over my shoulder without looking paranoid that he was gaining on me. I could hear his shuffle though, consistently reminding me to not get too complacent in my run and maybe run faster than the 70-year-old, who despite being 70 and shuffling was clearly more fit.
My sister’s boyfriend snapped a photo of my finish and it made me realize something else. I couldn’t help but recall the 5K I completed on January, and the photo from that day as well. And then I suspected they might differ slightly.
Here is the one from eight months ago.
Here is the one from three days ago.
Even if I was getting surpassed by a very fit 70-year-old, it wasn’t the worst thing in the world after all.