Over the weekend, I ran in an official 5K run for the first time in approximately a decade. Back when I was in graduate school, living in the Los Angeles area, I ran approximately one such race a year. But it's been over eight years now since I left California, and I hadn't run one since.
But that changed Saturday morning. Perhaps needless to say, I'm a bit slower now then I was back then. I ran this race in 24:15. Back in my L.A. era, I recall that I generally ran then in 21 minutes or so. (Except for a brutally hilly course at Pepperdine University in Malibu that pushed my time above 24 minutes.) And before that, in 1989 when I was in college in Chicago, I once ran one in 18:48. It wasn't a fluke, as a year later in Houston I ran a 5K in just over 19 minutes (19:03, as I recall).
My 24:15 gives me a goal to beat next time around, though, and hopefully will give me an incentive to exercise more regularly. That's my real goal in this, after all. Getting decent times in races is the only way I've ever been able to maintain an interest in running for exercise.
The race results are posted here. Alas, I have been disappeared from the list! In retrospect, I think they gave me the wrong number when I signed up, and so my finishing time was recorded as someone else's. They do have another participant listed at 24:15, and I'm pretty sure I didn't finish within a couple seconds of anyone else. Based on that table, I was around the 73rd finisher out of approximately 330. That's better than I figured, since I started out the first half-mile or so faster than I should have, and spent the rest of the race continually hearing the footsteps of those overtaking me, including a few fellows who looked to be twice my age.
If this were some parallel universe where I had been able to match my times from 1989-1990, I would have finished in twelfth place. I guess I was pretty fast once upon a time even though I didn't have any training discipline back then either.
I think I'll try again in a month or so, and hopefully can break 24 minutes.