Shall we chat about PR's?
Not necessarily to brag or boast, but to celebrate our successes?
After all, PR's (Personal Records) don't just happen. They are the result of work, dedication, and (often times) heartache. There's also the requisite blood, sweat and tears (both literally and figuratively). And, best of all? They're personal...they belong to YOU and you alone.
Anyone who has known me for awhile, or read my blog, knows I went through a pretty long plateau with no PR's happening. Granted, I still had some decent (for me) finish times, and some age group awards...but PR's eluded me for a long while.
I have some theories on why the PR's weren't a regular occurrence:
*I wasn't training specifically for a PR (in any particular distance). I enjoy doing races of all distances, so I have never really trained exclusively for any "one" specific race. I usually have a few important races (like a favorite 13.1 or a 26.2 event), but I usually filter several other races (of various distances) in and among the training.
*There were some injuries along the way. I battled piriformis syndrome for several years. There also were two incidents of plantar's fasciitis (once in each foot, but in different years).
*Finally, although I have always been an advocate for cross-training, I probably wasn't doing enough of it. In recent years, though, I have upped my stair-training and have gotten creative with HIIT workouts. I learned to like burpees (most of the time) and planking has taken on a life of its own. And, I have been walking (almost) daily, especially on my non-running days.
Ironically, I believe the simple act of running more for the pure joy of it (rather than for a quest of running "fast") has actually made me a faster and more efficient runner. Granted, I have been doing more consistent speed work than in previous years, but my workouts aren't crazy tough nor do they involve an extensive time commitment. Alas, I have finally found, quite by accident, what works for me, and I have remained injury-free for the most part. Too bad it didn't happen sooner.
Anyways, I give you my current list of PR's:
The Grand Blue Mile , 4/23/19
Sully Freedom Fun Run, 7/4/14
Fifth Season Health Solutions 8K 7/4/19
Jingle Jog 12/17/11
10K - 53:38
Run for the Roses 10/13/19
Quad City Times Bix-7 7/27/19
Capital Pursuit 9/20/15
Dam to Dam 6/2/12
Half Marathon: 1:57:22
IMT Des Moines Half Marathon 10/21/12
IMT Des Moines Marathon 10/19/14
I realize my PR's mean more to me than they do to anyone else. I don't expect any accolades, praises, or high-5's...but I do appreciate all the support I've been given. I also respect that I've drawn on the inspiration of others, and am quite grateful to have such an extensive support system of friends, family, fellow bloggers and the running community.
As you can see, some of these PR's are pretty recent, and some are long-standing. Who knows what could change, or what will remain the same. There's certainly not any races in the immediate future to test the waters. That's not gonna stop me from lacing up and hitting the streets anyways. When the racing resumes, I plan to be ready.
How do you feel about PR's? Are you driven to achieve them? Do they mean as much now as they did in earlier years?
I'm linking this with Kim and Zenaida for the Tuesday Topics Link-Up
I'm also linking with Debbie, Rachel, Deborah, Lisa, Sandra and Jenn for the Runners' Roundup
By the way...are you following me on social media? You can find me at these various platforms:
By the way...are you following me on social media? You can find me at these various platforms:
Love the list of the PRs! Well done! Every one of this is hard earned and has a story.ReplyDelete
It's true, even for seasoned runners there still might well be some PRs in the future.
I run mostly for the pure and simple joy of it. Like you, this alone has made me a faster runner. Having said that, I think I should add some (dreaded) speed work again when races come back on the agenda.
Yes, they all certainly have some interesting stories, and some awesome lessons as well!Delete
PR's are just that... personal! and of course your PR's are impressive to me because they are impressive to you!ReplyDelete
I don't generally run for a PR. Occasionally i have for a reason - like last year with the 5K before my surgery. Probably all my other PR's were after a major race or during a time that I was training for a major race. Some just happened because all of the factors came together that day. If I ran for PR's though, if that's what I focused on, I think I would be very frustrated.
While I don't run for a PR, they are in the back of my mind. As we know, there are so many things that play into a "successful" race, and it's not all in our total control.Delete
The biggest lesson that I had to learn last year was that not every race is a PR and that bad races happen. My "therapy" was running a lot of races. But with that said, those PR's are so sweet and I love writing down my times just a much as I love looking at my medals.ReplyDelete
That lesson came hard to me, too...especially after I started having a few PR's back in the early days. But, I also realized (along my journey) that the bad races often give us the best lessons.Delete
PR used to be important ...when I started running. I wanted to get better and I thought PRs measured that.ReplyDelete
Now I realize that isn't true. Every race day brings different challenges.
PR no longer matter and it's not why I race.
If they happen now, it's a shock and definitely sweet.
You are so right...every race brings its own unique challenges. The PR's are nice when they happen, but it would be a pretty defeating sport if that's all we got out it.Delete
I do think that the longer we run, the less we care about the finish line times, at least that's the case for me. My main goal is to stay healthy and injury free so that I can continue to run for years to come.ReplyDelete
I think for me, I have learned that the "fast" finish times are nice, but there are so many factors that have to play out to make them happen. The runner has to run the race, but they also have to fight the crowds, the weather, the phantom aches/pains, potty surprises, etc. NO matter how prepared you are, there's usually gonna be some surprises along the route LOLDelete
Those are impressive times, Kim! I marvel at how speedy you are. I don't really care about times so except for my marathon, which was my first and speediest one, I couldn't even guess what my PRs are!ReplyDelete
I should have mentioned that scoring a PR is kind of a Catch-22. Even when one works hard for it, there's no guarantee it's gonna happen the next time (or ever again LOL). It is best to focus on the experience ;-)Delete
I'm way too old to be setting a PR, well, except for the 4-miler PR is set on Thanksgiving morning because I'd never raced that distance before. LOLReplyDelete
And I have run so many 13.1's (I think I'm at 41 or 42), that the PR's are really getting tough. That darn sub-2:00 has eluded me for several years....Delete
I'm probably more in tune with hitting PRs in CrossFit, especially when it comes to those heavy lifts. My running has been up and down and, after my knee surgery, like you, I started to see things differently. It's not so much about the time, it's about the experience along the way and the fact that I can do these things. If a PR comes, it comes (as far as running goes. I might put in a little work to squat heavier or deadlift heavier. lol. Those things all benefit my running, anyway!).ReplyDelete
Yes, we definitely are thinking the same way (at least in terms of running). Like I said, I don't take any run or race for granted. Even the "bad" ones enable me to still lace up and do it.Delete
When I'm training for something specific, I take my training seriously. Does it me I expect to be rewarded with a PR? Heck no! I know that can take several training cycles & even then all the stars have to align just right.ReplyDelete
I enjoy a PR, and I'm willing to work hard to reach for you -- but that's obviously not the only reason I race.
I'm not sure if my PR days are behind me or not. Due to circumstances this last year (going back to Sept), I haven't been able to run as much, and I haven't been able to race at all since Nov. Right now I am just maintaining my base. I never see a reason to push myself when there's no reason, but I also don't want to stop running & start over from scratch!
The PR's are a fun surprise. I seldom set out to snag one...they're usually contingent on the race day circumstances playing in my favor as well as what my body will actually do on that given day. Like you, though, they are not the reason I lace up and pin on race bib.Delete
I still hope to hit a few PR's, but certainly not right now haha! You're right - when I wanted to PR the half distance, I really focused on it, and ironically also PR'd the 5K and 10K that same year! But it's true, it's all very personal! I've been looking back at my old races and it's been fun to remember getting PR's from time to time. Congrats on your achievements!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Janelle ;-) So many of mine came from a lot of luck (ideal weather being a big factor) and all the stars, moons & planets aligning LOL They do give us a lot of fond memories, and something to conquer when the time is right.Delete
I guess I have to take umbrage with your claim that you aren't competitive--if you weren't you wouldn't share your watch or push so hard to finish fast!!! There's nothing wrong with being competitive. Really. I am!ReplyDelete
Well, I share my watch more for accountability and honesty. I'm not always happy with my finish times and I think it's deceitful to not disclose what really went down LOL We've all had great races where everything went perfectly, and we've all had races (and training runs) that kept us humble. It's nice that it all can balance out in the end...and we keep on keeping on.Delete
I like working towards PRs because it gives me something to focus on. While I mostly run for enjoyment, I also like to have goals. I haven't PRd in real races in a long time. I plateaued for awhile, dealt with injuries, and then had Grayson. So its been quite a long journey...ReplyDelete
My plateau lasted for several years, and it was frustrating. I didn't really get "slower" but I just could not get out of that rut. When things all came together after my surgery, it kind of took me by surprise. Now, as much as I'm trying to enjoy the here and now (well, be that as it may with NO races LOL), I'm a bit apprehensive if another plateau will hit...Delete
Admittedly, I cared much more about paces and pr's back when I first started running races years ago. Now I am really just happy to be able to finish longer races without re-injuring myself. I do think taking off for a while (forced or chosen) does give your body time to heal and offer a chance to rebound. You do have some speedy PR's to be proud of!ReplyDelete
Honestly, I don't OCD over my PR's either. They're nice when they happen, but I know they're not going to happen very often. You're right...staying injury-free is where it's at!Delete
I train like you, Kim. I don't train for one specific race. I might have one or two major races in a season and a bunch of others along the way. My PR days are behind me now but I still have fun racing and competing. At least I did when we still could! :)ReplyDelete
Nice list of PRs, Kim! It's cool that they didn't all come in one bunch. I think relaxing and running for the joy of it is the best way to bring down your times. We don't run well when we are all tense. After all, it's not a job for any of us. It's supposed to be fun!
Amen, Sister!!!!! The PR's that I've gotten (especially the recent ones) all came from just running strong and NOT focusing on my Garmin (while on the course). Who needs that stress???Delete
I'm still chasing the PR's, especially in the shorter distances. Since hooking up with my running coach I've gotten way faster and I'm really enjoying the newfound speed. Granted with all the races cancelled this spring I haven't had much time to test my speed since coming back from my injury last summer, but I hope to break some PR's this fall when the races return!ReplyDelete
Good luck with those PR's! I don't anticipate I'll be hitting too many more PR's...though I'm still chasing that sub-2 half LOLDelete
PR chasing can be tough especially if you are racing a lot. I feel like I have plateaued and some PR's are out of reach but we'll see. Love your PR's, you are crushing it!!ReplyDelete
I think I do too much racing (of all distances) to really focus on just particular distance. And, I'm happy with that LOLDelete
At 62 I won't be setting any PRs. I had some pretty good times in my 40s when I was training hard so I know I won't suddenly improve now no matter how hard I train. Which is okay. I'm perfectly happy to rest on my (PR) glory. I think it's great that you've been setting some PRs in your virtual races!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Debbie ;-) These recent PR's really came as surprises, so I honestly don't anticipate I'll be crushing any more of them LOLDelete
I agree with the notion of running for the fun of it turning you into a faster runner. I've found that to be true for myself as well. Although, when I do follow a training schedule with specific pace-work, that works as well, too. :)ReplyDelete
I have always been more of a "for fun" runner. I don't like the technical aspect of specific pace work...too stressful for me. I'm just grateful I found a sport I can do.Delete
My PR days may be done after my injury, but I guess you never know. I've never been speedy fast, but the fact that I've been able to run at all (considering how much of a not-runner I always was), is pretty special to me. It's good to have goals and something for which to striive.ReplyDelete
I hear you on the "non-runner" thing. I am not a naturally gifted athlete, by a long shot. I'm glad I found running, especially the distance aspect.Delete
For a few years I focused on finishing a half marathon in each state. I wasn't paying attention to PRs. I think it's been within the past 4-5 years that I've been paying more attention to my PRs. At first it was the half marathon and now I want to PR in all of the distances! Here's to hoping to achieve that next year! Thank you for linking up with us!ReplyDelete
Good luck! That's an exciting goal ;-)Delete
PRs are fun. I'm still in the "early years" place in my running, yet I don't chase them the way I did the first year. I think I realized a certain time didn't mean I was a better runner. Would I lke to eventually break 30m in the 5k? Yes. Do I think it's going to happen? Not any time soon. It's part of why I chose to focus on the strength training/PT, I want to be a stronger runner. That is well within my control in a way "faster" isn't.ReplyDelete