Fast don’t lie

Something struck me a couple times this week, once while I reflected again on my performance in last Saturday’s 5K, and once while pondering my one mile race this coming Tuesday:

The Fast People are REALLY fast.

I’ve always been decently quick in terms of sprinting, but this whole distance thing is different. It’s about maintaining speed through endurance.

What stood out to me about The Fast People is this: with a time of 20:12—which broke my previous personal best by 1:09—I still finished 3:58 behind the winner of the race.

Look, I finished 18th overall out of 1,645. That’s the top 1.1 percent of everyone who ran that race! Sure, that’s something to feel good about (and believe me: I have!), but 3:58 is nearly an eternity when you’re talking in terms of that kind of speed.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the winner of the 5K could put all his effort into running one single mile in 3:58.

For me to have moved up 17 spots and won that race, I’d have needed to run 3:59 faster. Again: I’d have to have run an eternity of time faster to move up 17 spots. Out of 1,645. If I had run 3:59 slower, I’d have finished 120th overall. That’s the same amount of time, but a 102-spot drop-off.

Again: The Fast People are REALLY fast.

And then yesterday as I was getting excited about my upcoming one mile race, I decided to try to find more one mile races to run in. I found some. And then I decided to check out previous years’ results.

For most of the races, my best one mile practice time would put me around the 50 percent mark of all runners.

My initial goal when I started training seriously was to run a 5-minute mile. Accomplishing that wouldn’t even have me win a one mile race. Most of the winners and people who finish near the top of one mile races finish around 4:30-ish or so.

I’d feel pretty good about myself if I got down to 5:00, but as it turns out, the one mile race is for The Fast People. I feel comfortable enough to say I’m pretty fast, but y’know what?

The Fast People are REALLY fast.

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