Wednesday, October 25, 2017

PR's


I am not a patient man. Particularly when it comes to running. I started running in 1998 and my first road race was the following spring when I bandited (sorry, not sorry) the Boston Marathon. So, yup. Zero to 26.2 in less than a year. If that’s not an impatient (stupid?) runner, then I’ve yet to meet one.

For a while, my impatience served me well. Pushing me every day.  I’d keep track of it with a handwritten PR sheet for all my local runs from 2 miles up to 16 miles. And I’d try to finish my next training run faster than my previous one - every single time out. It worked well and I got quick, quickly. But, after a while it began to wear me down and burn me out. I soon realized that if I wanted to keep doing this “running thing” long term, I’d need to add easy days to my hard days. This training regimen has worked for me with varying degrees of success.


Over the last 20 years, I’ve had my ups and downs with running. Most of my lifetime road race PR’s are from late 2008 to early 2009. And, since then, it’s been a real struggle trying to get back to that level of fitness. Pushing the envelope of patience, which (when combined with age) resulted in a series of set-backs, injuries and badly shaken confidence. So, recently I resolved to give up trying to be the 2009 me, and just focus on being the best 2017 me I can be.

Fortunately I’ve been to able to put together a streak of uninjured running lately. This has helped me build fitness (of course) but it’s also given me confidence to push my body a little bit more and go after some PR’s. Not 2009 lifetime PR’s, mind you, but local training run PR’s like I used to do back when I first began running. Except this time out, I track them by Excel spreadsheet rather than by hand. And also, I don’t try to run them every day, like I did 20 years ago, but rather once a week. A weekly “speed challenge”, if you will.

My current streak of local training run PR’s has just hit 8 weeks. On distances that range from 1 to 20 miles, terrain that ranges from road to trail, and difficulty that ranges from flat to mountainous. Again, my paces on these runs aren’t anywhere close to what I used to train at in 2008-2009, but bit by bit I’m improving. And, so far, it’s making me excited about running fast again and keeping me motivated to continue working at it. Patiently.

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