The Connection Runners + RUN

My best few years of running...

I'm turning 27 tomorrow. Rather, I'm rounding the last corner in my race to 30. It's kind of like running the last .2 miles of a marathon, the last .1 of a 5k, the last mile of a long bike ride. I've loved and hated various moments within my 20's, just like I've loved and hated various moments in a race - cried out in pain, fist pumped in joy, walked to catch my breath, sprinted to speed through a tough stretch of road.

When I tell those younger and older than me what age I'll be tomorrow, they often squint and shoo away the number with a flick of their wrist. From my older friends: "27? Oh, I remember what that's like. You've got a lot of life ahead of you" or, from a student: "27? That's not too old Mrs. A; at least you're not as old as my mom". Despite such reactions, every year I turn older, I feel, well, old. Like I'm behind in the race to something, and I need to sprint to stay with it.

There's good news to be heard, though, in turning 27. I've read article after article that states a runner doesn't peak until their late 20's. So, as I make my way towards 30 tomorrow, I think it's time I lay out a few goals in order to take advantage of what could kick off my best few years of running.

  1. Run a sub-26 minute 5k. My PR to date is 26:15, and that was on a somewhat hilly course. I'd love to see a 25:xx finish either at the Corktown 5k on 3/13 or MSU Shamrock Run on 3/19.
  2. Complete the Chicago Marathon in 4:15 - 4:30. Chicago is one of the Big Five Marathon Majors (with Boston, NYC, Berlin, and London), and might be the only one of these five that I ever get to do, so I want to run well.
  3. Rebound from a miserable performance at the Tigers' Opening Day Dunkin' Donuts 1/8 Mile Race. My team took fourth last year after I failed to quickly switch into the official Cup E. Coffee race shirt and race down a back alley in Detroit. (Sorry, no link to this race. It's an exclusive, invite-only thing. Kind of like Boston, but without the rigorous qualifying times or prestige.)

That's all. So, I might be getting older. I might not be getting carded when I buy a bottle of Winter White at the local liquor store. I might not be able to see our TV very well when we watch movies, so I wear my glasses. I might not understand the youngins' obsession with Jersery Shore, Justin Bieber, or texting over talking face-to-face. But I just may hit some awesome PRs this year while I enjoy the peak.

race, road, and more:

My best few years of running... + RUN