Beating my high school 5K time — nine years later

I don’t know what it is, or what I’ve done but I am getting faster. 

The word to note here is faster. I am not saying I am fast. I am just faster than I was before.

In high school cross-country, I worked my way up down from a near-30 minute 5K time to in the low 23s. (Yes, I cut nearly seven minutes off my race time during my four years of adolescent racing!) I was by no means a runner going into my first season of cross-country. Heck, I didn’t even know cross-country was a distance sport! I thought it was like track except you ran in the fields or in a forest or something. I thought our races would be one mile, not three!

But, with the support of awesome teammates (who are now still some of my closest friends) and a great coach, I worked my butt off. I was the one who ultimately wanted to race better. I could have given up after that first year — I almost did. It was hard.

My 5K PR senior year was 23:18 at one of our earlier meets of the season. I was pretty bummed that I never broke 23 minutes but was proud of my time.

And, since that high school race, I never have gotten even remotely close to that time — until Sunday. I crushed it.

Throughout college and post college, I would clock in somewhere between 24 and 25 minutes for a 5K race. In 2008, I snagged a 23:59 time at Dawg Dash but that had been the closest.

Now, all these past 5Ks … I had never really been training for the 5K distance. I was in shape. I was running. But, I was most likely training for a half marathon or marathon. Or, playing a lot of Ultimate frisbee. So, I was never discouraged by these 5K times.

I kept thinking, “Gees, Kristin, with actual training, you probably could beat your high school time!”

So, did I actually train for this 5K on Sunday?


The only thing I did was go into the race with the “I’m going to PR” mentality. I guess I’m still running off my half marathon PR from August that I did with hardly any training and IT band issues.

This race, my IT band behaved.

This race, Joanna and I started out at the front of the pack.

In fact, we were in the front of the pack!

I have never been considered fast but I guess in this race of about 807 females participants, I was fast. The average 5K finish time for the Women of Wonder 5K at Green Lake was 40:54. Joanna came in sixth overall with a time of 21:40. (This was a BIG TIME PR for her. Like, a minute-and-a-half or so!) I came in eighth overall with a time of 22:34. I out-kicked the ninth runner, she came in at 22:39.

The fast times (of both Jo and I) can be credited to the super flat course. After all, this was just one loop around the lake. But, I must add that because of the few number of “faster” runners, Joanna and I were running by ourselves for most of the race. This was new for me. I’m used to picking off runners as I go through a race. This time, I just kept telling myself to push myself — until I saw the finish.

I’m almost scared to do another 5K because I feel like this is some sort of fluke. Or, the age of 26 is just the age to PR?

Jo and I after our 5K PRs (photo creed: her phone)

Jo and I after our 5K PRs (photo cred: her phone)


My IT band has caused me serious damage to my marathon training plan. (The longest run I have been able to do is 10 miles this training cycle!) Yet, somehow I can get a 5K PR (not to mention that half marathon one too!)

Maybe I’ll just ride out whatever this is through the Chicago Marathon.

And, do a little dance because I FINALLY BEAT MY HIGH SCHOOL TIME!


One thought on “Beating my high school 5K time — nine years later

  1. Pingback: Running into my (27th) birthday | Ready, set, KO!

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