Today was the first Team in Training track practice, and in today's track practice, I reached another milestone. A huge milestone.
A while back, I wrote a post about why I like to run, as well as why I want to run and improve at running. You can read that post here, but the gist of it is this: I had a horrible experience running a mile when I was in sixth grade. It was physically and emotionally painful, as well as humiliating. On that day, the mile I completed was somewhere around 13 minutes, and the 13 minute mile has been my bogeyman ever since.
About a month ago, I recorded my first mile that was less than 13 minutes, which gave me an amazing and victorious feeling. But like the final home run ball for Barry Bonds, my personal best had an asterisk next to it. You see, when I recorded that time, I was in an area where the mileage was not marked, and I was going downhill the entire way. So even though I had broken the 13 minute marker, I didn't truly believe it.
Today, however, was an entirely different story. We were running on a flat track. A standardized track where four laps is a mile. And I completed four laps on a standardized flat track in 11 minutes and 31 seconds.
I'm tearing up even as I'm thinking about this, because now I know in my bones that the 13 minute bogeyman has officially and truly been defeated. Like finishing my half marathon for the first time, truly defeating the 13 minute bogeyman makes me wonder what kinds of things I have always wanted to do but never thought I was capable of. It makes me wonder how much I'm limiting myself. The door has officially opened for me to dream bigger, go farther, and achieve dreams I never even dared to dream.
I am incredibly grateful for the help and support I have received from my husband, my friends, and my family to help me get where I am today. Particularly today, I am grateful to my dear friend Christina Coto, who ran with me this morning and encouraged me, while still reminding me to focus on my breathing and my form. Without the encouragement of people like Christina, this would be a much more difficult and lonely process.