I'm pretty sure that goes way back to elementary school. I'd hate to think that getting picked last over and over at kickball could affect me at 37. But I'm afraid it does.
I also think that's why I'm so comfortable in my Wednesday track group. Many of them are the superstars of Greeley. They regularly place or even win their age groups at major races. One of the older females won her age group this year at the Bolder/Boulder. That's almost 50,000 runners, folks, and she beat them all. And in this group, she's just one of the runners.
I know there's no way I'll ever compete with them. They were blessed with genes I don't have. They've been runners their whole lives. I'm on my fifth summer. They ran track or cross country in high school, and some of them even ran in college. I was in marching band. They're too good.
At least that's what I told myself.
I set two milestones for myself this summer, two longtime goals that I've had since I began running competitively. The first was to break 22 minutes in a 5K. I thought that was attainable. Sure enough, I did it July 4.
The second was to break 6 minutes in a mile. I honestly wasn't sure I'd do that. That's 1:30 quarters. Try running a quarter-mile in 1:30. It's hard. It was really hard for me to put four together. I could put two or even three together. But four? No.
And last year we ran the mile three times as a group, and my best time was 6:20. I was pretty pleased with that. It was a great time. For me, I thought.
Yesterday, I ran a 5:57 mile.
Yes, the course was fast. And to show you how fast our group is, that placed me maybe 20th out of 35-40 runners. But I still broke six minutes. I still can't believe it.
Maybe I should believe it. Maybe I should stop capping myself. Maybe now the sky's the limit.