I think I confused myself with that sentence. What I mean is, last year I ran a 10K, and this year, I did the very same race. It's a good way to gauge my improvement as a runner since it was the same route, similar time of year, etc.
Last year it was the first time I'd ever run 6.2 miles. I was so thrilled to get a time of 1:07:45 (10:55/mile.) A brief blog post about that run is here.
In the 11 1/2 months since that race, I've trained a lot. I had this hope that I could do a 10K in under an hour, but I hadn't dared to make it an official goal. I really just didn't know if I was ready to go that fast.
But I pushed myself today, and when the finish line was fairly close, I saw 59 minutes on my watch. So I pushed harder, and my final time was...
I am so, so happy that I did it in under an hour!
After my last half marathon, I told myself I needed to stop looking at rankings. I've always been a slow runner. I'd feel great about my time in a race, and then realize I was ranked way below the median in my gender/age group. But today I felt like I might be happy with my rank, so I looked it up.
(Click to enlarge image. Or just read the next paragraph.)
In my age group (women, 30-34) I was 281/867. That's in the top 33%! Woo hoo!!!
I was in the top 30% of all women and the top 46% overall.
I honestly thought that my body was just wired to be slow. Well, there are certainly genetic components to speed, and I have no goal to run a 10K in 30 minutes. It ain't gonna happen. But I've realized that consistent training can take you further than you thought you could go. Being in the top third doesn't change my worth as a person or a runner; but it is a really sweet reward for the early mornings spent running.
The Engineer ran this year too, and he did awesome, because he rocks. He rarely even does 10K distances, but my former-high-school-cross-country-champ of a husband is one of those guys who is genetically wired to go fast. Plus, he's a triathlete, so while he doesn't run as often as I do, he keeps himself very fit. I'm so proud of him. His time was 47:55 (114/637 in his age group)!
Because we were both running, we didn't get pictures of each other. So instead of seeing a photo of me, imagine a 5'9" woman, slender yet voluptuous, with gorgeously-rippling leg muscles, running like a gazelle.
And then look behind her, at the skinny, 5'2" chick, happily doing her thing. That one's me.
Running is really, really fun.
You should try it.