I will run the first kilometer in less than 5:20 minutes. I will then run the second kilometer in less than 5:40 minutes.
These two resolutions were ringing in my mind as I slipped on my purple running top and marched out of the house into the biting cold of a July morning. Bariki, our long-serving neighborhood shopkeeper was still asleep, as was evidenced by the darkness in his shop.
Four minutes later, I was at Kamuti’s butchery, the starting line of my morning run.
On your marks… I told myself… Set… Go! I sped off, eager to complete this first kilometer in less than 5:20 minutes. After the first few steps, I breathed a sigh relief. My hips, knees, thighs and ankles felt good so I gradually increased my speed.
I knew that this would be a good run when I ran effortlessly past a STOP sign where I normally pause to rest for a few seconds. When I finished this first kilometer, I was thrilled to learn that I had completed it in 5:10 minutes. Awesome! I fist-bumped the cold air.
I ended up finishing the second kilometer in 5:16 minutes and the third one in 5:15 minutes. Because I finished the fourth and fifth kilometers in 5:44 minutes and 5:23 minutes respectively, my total time for the first 5k was 26:48 minutes.
By my standards, this was a blistering pace that set the tone for the rest of the run. It took me 1 hour, 6 minutes and 8 seconds to complete the 11.57-kilometer run. This translated to an average pace of 5:42 minutes per kilometer – a new record that beat the old one of 5:46 min/km by a good 4 seconds.
In the words of Bwak the Bantu Poet, ‘consistency delivers the sweet taste of victory.’