Sunday, September 26, 2010

Do PRs even matter?

On Sunday, September 26, I participated in the Hills, Heels and Him HALF marathon with two friends - Robin and Nicole. This was Nicole's 1st half marathon. It was Robin's 2nd...and while her IT Band spawned its ugly head and started giving her problems last week she was a trooper and decided to run anyway. It was a perfect running day...overcast, cool and the course was mostly flat. This was my 3rd half marathon this year and I had a goal of getting in under 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Once you've run your first race, you have a PR, or a "Personal Record" refers to your best time in a race of a specific distance. So, if you run a 5K race in 33:45, that's your PR for the 5K distance. If you run faster than 32:38 in a subsequent 5K race, then you have a new PR for that distance. You have PRs for different race distances, from 5ks to marathons. Many runners (even beginners) love to talk about their PRs because it helps them stay motivated to keep training and racing. It's also fun to keep track of your PRs so you can refer back to them and record a new one when you achieve it. And of course, I do this!

So when I crossed the finish line and looked at my watch it said 2:28:05! I was overjoyed but only for a moment because that isn't the "official time". In races you wear a "chip" that times you from start to finish. My official time was 2:32:03. So I didn't make my goal, but I definitely have a new PR!

I'm not a "leave everything on the course runner" and I can beat myself all day long over that but I got into running for two reason... (1) to get back into shape and (2) to celebrate Allie's 15th remission last year. So does the PR even matter? Honestly, yes and no.
  • Yes, because I am for the most part I need to see improvement and I want to be a stronger runner as time goes by. Who doesn't want to improve? Everyone does. We all need goals to help us stay focused and motivated.
  • No, because running is my hobby...its my therapy. It isn't my profession and it doesn't define me. I run because I can and it makes me happy. I run because I can help others while being a part of Team in Training.

So all in all...I'm happy! I'm happy with my new PR and I'm happy that I got to share in Nicole's first half marathon and that Robin crossed the finish line with a big smile despite an annoying IT Band.

It was a good race day!

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