On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Saturday, December 12, 2009

How to reckon PRs?

All runners are naturally obsessed with setting and breaking their own personal records. It just comes with the sport - we're competing with ourselves, so we want to beat ourselves. I will never win an Olympic medal in running. I will never even win a local race!

When I was younger and had just begun running, I was faster. Such is life, I guess. I hope to one day be that fast again, where anything slower than an hour for a 10k sucked and my goal of breaking 25 minutes in the 5k was not that far out of my grasp (25:40 PR, thank you very much).

Then I got sick. And old.

So, what do I do? Do I start my PRs all over again? Someday I want to be back where I was before, and I most certainly am not so old that it's out of my reach. But I'm not there yet, and in the meantime I'm taking any improvements I can as affirmation.

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