So, I was hoping to do a local 5k this past Saturday morning. A low key race that I could just register for the day of the race, so I wasn't committed ahead of time. But, I still wanted to do it. However, life sometimes has other plans and I didn't make it. Noah came home early from school on Friday with a fever and was still dealing with the effects the next day. In fact, he got up at 5:30AM and asked me to hang out with him in the family room watching TV. I tried to get him to go back to bed, but to no avail, so we headed downstairs to watch. I thought I might have an outside chance of still making it to the race, but he was clearly feeling needy and I didn't want him to get upset, which would no doubt have happened if I had left the house. In any case, I tried to catch up on sleep on the couch. Later that day, when he had finally gone down for his nap, I was able to fit a run in. My initial goal was to just run 6 miles or so at a decent pace. I wanted to run around 7:30/mi since that is about where I should be for a tempo run, I believe. But, a funny thing happened. I could tell that I had speed in my legs, so I just let it rip. I started off at 7:30/mi, but I get inching up the pace as I ran. When I realized I had a good shot at running a personal best for a 5K, I figured I should just go for it and I did. So, without a race course or any competition, I destroyed my own record in a 5K. My previous time in a 5K was 25:24, but I've now done that distance in 21:50, which is a 7:04/mi pace. This is huge for me and a great sign that my speedwork this year is working. I then took it easy for the last 3 miles and jogged on home, a big grin across my face.
Now, I've only run one 5K before and it was the first race I ever ran. And, I had only been running for a few months when I did it, so it makes sense that I would have made some real improvement. Nevertheless, I didn't think I had improved this much yet. With some more speedwork, some actual rest, and real race conditions, I think I can do a 5K in sub 7:00/mi pace. This also means that I've got the speed to do a sub 3:30 marathon (around 3:27), assuming I do the appropriate distance training. That gets me much closer to my goal of qualifying for Boston, but I still need more speed for a 3:10.