After this run I went through my running logs for the last 15 years to see how close I'm getting to lifetime records. I discovered that back in 2000-2001 I broke the 26-minute mark 5 times: 25:59, 25:56, 25:52, 25:25, and 24:41. I have always thought that those times were a result of my marathon training. I was regularly running 5-6 days a week, completing long runs (10-20 milers) each weekend, and surpassing 100 miles a month several times. Since my pulmonary embolism in 2004, I have been cautioned not to do marathon training again, and so I have long believed that those sub-26-minute 3-milers were a thing of the past.
But here I am, averaging 60 miles a month, running easy 1-milers most of the time, and as of November 6th I was within 10 seconds of seeing that 25 on my watch again.
And then came the Turkey Day 5k, on November 28th.
I have two enormous regrets associated with this run:
1. I forgot to charge my Garmin watch, so I was using my old-fashioned, non-GPS watch.
2. I somehow missed the 1-mile sign.
If I had worn the Garmin or seen the sign, I might be able to report a new lifetime record for a single mile. My previous record is 8:09, and my 2013 record is 8:25. I am confident that I ran my first mile faster than 8:25. In fact, I very likely broke the 8:00-mark, but I'll never know for sure. This is what I do know: I ran my first mile and a half in 12:09, and my two-mile was 16:24.
I also know that my first sideache in years slowed me down in the last mile (8:55). Fortunately, I did see the 3-mile sign, and I am pleased (and bewildered) to report that I smashed my 2013 3-mile PR by running a 25:19. Dude. That's the second fastest three miles of my life.
How is this happening? Based on what I know about fitness, I would never have predicted that kind of speed would be the result of daily, mostly slow, mostly short running. I would never have predicted that I would run the second fastest three miles of my life just three months before my 50th birthday--with such low mileage and so little high-intensity training.
All I can say is this: what a delightful surprise, and, thank you, God, for legs that can run.