Sunday, August 12, 2012

An unexpected day for a PR!

My Columbus Marathon training plan (from the wonderful Bart Yasso), called for a 5K race during today's run. Well, my race budget is pretty non-existent right now (Ragnar Relay is coming quickly!) and I didn't have any friends running a race (which would make it more fun). So, I did what any self-respecting runner does, I went to my running friends and asked for suggestions. My Best Running Friend (BRF), Jamie, suggested going to Glacier Ridge and she would ride her bike to mark the finish line for us. Awesome! Problem solved. Kind of. The next problem; who was I going to race to make sure that I didn't just phone it in? Unfortunately, Jamie is still coming back from injury, so I knew I wouldn't be racing her. Luckily, other running friends voiced some interest so we had a "race" planned.

My training plan called for 6 miles Friday (the day before the race) and Thursday as a rest day. Well, my body was NOT having anything to do with running on Wednesday as I had already run 27 miles in the previous three days. So, running 6 miles Thursday, 6 miles Friday, I really had low expectations for my 5K today. Also, I haven't done any speedwork since before the Cleveland Marathon (almost THREE months ago!) It was too hot. I was recovering. There is really no excuse. If I want to get faster, I need to put in the work; simple as that.

Every finish line should have
a smile! 
The weather cooperated with lower than normal temperatures, THANK YOU!, and I was feeling good this morning. Greg was coming to race me, so I was looking forward to running as hard as I could chasing him (he's FAST!). Unfortunately, his "dog" turned off his alarm (does he even have a dog?) and he didn't make it until we were done with the race. After our warm-up miles and Jamie marking the start and finish for us, we got started.

My goal was to beat my 5K PR (personal record) of 26:54, which I had set in October 2010. I've been enjoying the long distance runs so much that I've sort of stopped with the shorter distances races. That's about to change, at least a little. Maybe. But please, don't hold me to it!

During the "race", there were a few times that I almost slowed down, because really, it wasn't a real race. But then I thought of everyone I would have to tell that I gave up and my pride kept me going. Several times I was reminded of why I prefer long distance running to short races....they HURT! And the head games, wow! I forgot that my brain tries to get me to stop even in shorter distances. But, I kept watching my average pace on my Garmin and managed to keep it below my goal pace and told my brain to shut up! (Side note...I need to learn how to use the virtual partner feature on my Garmin. Any tips?)

Mile 1 was faster that it should have been (see, it really was a race!), mile 2 was pretty good and mile 3 got me almost to the finish. By about the 2 mile beep, I was DETERMINED to keep my pace up and get my PR.

If a tree falls in a forrest and no one is around to hear it..... that thought kept going around and around my mind as I was running as fast as I could. Why? you ask... well, if it's not a real race, "officially timed, officially measured", does it really count for a PR. When I crossed the finish...and went a little farther until my watch said 3.1, I decided that it did. I worked just as hard during my race today as I do during a "real" race. So I posed the question on my DailyMile report today and received a resounding YES! I ran it, I beat my previous time, therefor it's a personal record of that distance is the conclusion we've come to.

Oh, yeah, that's a PR! 

So, my race that wasn't really a race, resulted in a PR!

3.1 miles
Time: 26:06
Avg Pace: 8:25/mile

What are your thoughts on counting PRs or PBs from training instead of a "real race"? What do you do?


  1. great job!!! that's so exciting hitting a new PR! keep up the awesome work!!

  2. WOOT! I knew you could do it! :)

  3. Great job!! That sounds like a great way to get a race in! What awesome friends you have!

  4. Great job! The MIT coaches say that any time you run/walk a distance for the first time, it's a PR. And any time you beat your previous time on a distance, it's a PR. Doesn't matter if it's a race, training run or just around your block. That sounds official to me. :)

  5. I think focusing on race day can be discouraging. What happens if it is an off day? I have been trying to appreciate my practice runs more and see the progress I make daily instead of only judging my progress by one certain race on one certain day. Way to go!


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