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On expectations
shoe
beeker121
There's something unusual, but awesome, in my history of running half-marathons.  I've set a new personal record (PR) every time.  Every race I've been a little bit faster than the one before.  Early on I made huge jumps as I lost some weight, got more confident, and generally learned how to do this racing thing.  Recently my improvements are in the 1-2 minute range, but still.  A new PR, every time.

I am not going to be able to sustain this forever.  Honestly, it's part of what has made running fun for me thus far, but sooner or later it's going to be too warm or I'll have a bad day or something, and I'll finish slower than I did the time before.  It might be a relief.  This track record of seven PRs, one for every half, is daunting.  It adds extra pressure.

This spring I figured there was no way I would PR.  My training had been decent but not amazing, I was running a show so low on sleep, and my cross training had been nonexistent.  But on the day - everything worked, mostly.  So here I am, looking at a race tomorrow.  My training has been consistent, though still lacking in speed work.  I've managed to add a mini-yoga thing twice a week which is better than nothing, my sleep is better than usual, and I'm carb-loading like a champ.  I should be finished before it gets too warm, so it seems like I should plan on another PR.

Instead, I find myself thinking - I probably won't PR this time and that's fine.  But then, I still think I can be faster than I am.  I eventually want to break 10 minute miles for this distance, and then maybe even break 2hrs.  So why not tomorrow?  Why not just plan for it, push for it?    I could just leave my watch at home and run for the sheer joy of moving, but I don't know if I can do that on a race day.  At least, not yet.  Am I afraid of disappointment?  Maybe, but I don't know who other than me would be disappointed if I finished a little slower this time.  This spring it was a wonderful surprise when I achieved a new PR but why does making that my goal feel somehow dangerous?  I don't know.


I will start tomorrow with the same primary goal I always have - to finish.  To break my PR I need to beat 2:15:17. 

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That's so awesome that you keep breaking your personal record! I completely understand that you feel that you're setting yourself up for disappointment, though. I hope you break your PR again tomorrow, and even if you don't, you should still be proud of 7 PRs in a row!

No PR today, but there were a lot of hills which are a convenient reason. It was a lovely race though and a lot of fun.

That's incredible though! :D When it comes to running and swimming (and cycling, though I do that less) I've learnt not to time myself or I do get disappointed if I'm slower, so what I do is make sure I always either add to the distance or keep it the same - never, ever do less than the time before.

That's not a bad idea, though after a half-marathon that aren't many other races out there than full marathons and I'm not ready for that jump yet.

In any case I didn't PR yesterday, and the world didn't end. It was still a nice run and a fun day and I need to remember that part.

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