Turtle Days 2017 was a milestone for me. I was 7 months into working on losing weight and getting healthy and the 2017 Turtle Days 5K was a goal I had set for myself.
Fast forward to 2018 and I’m toeing the line again at the Turtle Days 5K. The weight and health work has continued and I’m down 50 pounds from my peak and doing triathlon training. On a miserably hot and muggy June Saturday I clocked a 27:01 for a 5K. 3 minutes (or 10%) improvement over last year, but I’d hoped for more.
The race course this year, as it did in 2017, finished on the high school track. And as in 2017 today I thought about my glory days as an 880 runner in high school, 40 years and more gone by now.
Back then, as now, I was a mediocre runner. I could win a race in a dual meet against a weak opponent, finish in the middle of the pack in a race with good opponents, and when our coach for some reason entered me in an AAU meet with kids headed for Division I track programs, the last I saw were my competitors disappearing into the distance.
I read an advice column early this week where the columnist said, “Think about the letter you’d write to 20 years ago you. And now think about the letter 20 years from now you might write to you today.”
Thinking about a letter to 40 years ago me, I’d say, “Revel in your strength and speed. A 2:08 880, how incredible is that? Yeah, you’re not and aren’t going to be a D-I athlete, but you’re strong and fast and your life is going to be amazing .”
Which got me thinking about the letter 100 years old me might send to 60 years old me. “A 27 minute 5K, how incredible is that? Swimming 1,000 yards in 20 minutes? Biking for 60 miles? Revel in your strength and speed!”
I’m feeling slow after a 27 minute 5K? 100 year old me says I’m a speed demon.
I think I’ll listen to 100 year old me.
1. But not at all what you’re planning, 17 year old me.