2012 was the golden era of my running. If you click on the little running tab up there ^ you will see that in 2012 I earned a PR (personal record) in every distance that I ran. Let me break it down for you:
- 5k – May 2012 – 24:21
- 10k – March 2012 – 53:57
- half marathon – February 2012 – 1:57:56
- full marathon – April 2012 – 4:24:45
That’s a PR in February, March, April, and May. In the case of some of those distances, the PRs were flying at me left and right. PRing was my schtick. I was good at it, and I liked it.
Alas, the Dash and Dine 5k in May 2012 was the last PR to grace my Garmin. That was almost two years ago, people! TWO! In all fairness, my racing saw a sharp decline following the golden era. I spent 8 months in the racing wasteland that was rural Germany. Even after moving back stateside, the number of races I’ve participated in is nowhere near 2012 proportions. My most recent races (the El Paso Marathon and Bataan) took months to train for. I pinned my PR hopes to the EP full. It didn’t work out to be a new record for me, but I’m not going to beat myself up over it; I fully intend to take another stab at a full marathon PR in due time.
Besides, it’s not all about age group placing and PRing. I’d be happy to never PR again if every time I laced up, I felt as good as I did last week. That amazing running perfection only happens once in a while, though. And PRing is fun. I remember walking around after the Austin half marathon (my fastest half to date) feeling victorious! I even talked to strangers. (Y’all know that means I must have been feeling out-of-this-world elation for that to happen.)
I feel like my best chance for a new PR would be in the 10k. I’ve only run four 10ks, and I don’t feel like I topped out in that distance yet. Even though I’d have to run faster than 8:40 for 6 miles, I think a little bit of regular speed work would push me over the edge. Granted, I have no idea how fast I could run a 10k these days, but I feel like I have a 10k PR still in me.
Unfortunately, it’s not a very popular of a race distance around here. The soonest upcoming 10k isn’t until June, which would give me time to train, but running in June sounds not fun. Plus, it’s two hours away. Four hours of driving for a 1 hour race? Not going to happen.
My second choice for a PR distance would the half marathon. At the EP full, I ran the first half in 2:07. That would be 10 minutes too slow to PR, but I was trying to pace myself (sort of). Had that been the entire race, I would have pushed myself more. I also happen to think that half marathons are a great distance. I’d love to aim for a sub 1:55.
However, I have no intention of doing that any time soon. We are quickly entering the time of year when the entire state of Texas turns into a frying pan. Even if there was a half around here, and I can’t find any coming up, it’d be miserable. That PR will have to wait.
Sigh. So I guess it’s you and me, 5k. I love 5ks. That’s probably why I’ve run so many of them. But 5ks are also scary. My PR was run at a 7:50 pace. Even for a mere 3 miles, that sounds really fast to me these days. I’m not sure I could even run 1 mile at that speed. The upside is that 5ks are a dime a dozen around here, so I’ve got options. Not to mention, the short length of the race makes heat less of a factor.
I’m not saying I’m going to go for it. Instead, I’m saying that I’m willing to consider it. I want to see if a 5k PR is even in the realm of possibility and if I’m up for the challenge. A few fast runs around the neighborhood might give me some insight on the possibility of a 5k PR. Who knows, I might scrap it all and just do yoga until fall rolls around.
What is your favorite racing distance? Got any good PR stories? Or advice for throwing up a big 5k PR?
PS Apologies to those of you who read the unfinished version of this post that I accidentally published last night! Zoinks! I guess now you get an inside look at the types of edits I make.