PRs are awesome. All runners love ’em. In a perfect world, we’d love to get a PR to go with our medals and finisher goodies. Sadly, it is unrealistic to expect one every race. Your body won’t always be in peak condition. Training won’t always yield significant improvement in race performance. The weather will get in your way at times.
I learned during my race last Sunday that you can still find satisfaction in your racing despite not getting a PR. My race is in its 5th year. I have run this race since the first one and my racing distance has been the 21k for the third year now. Let me just go ahead and inform you, dear reader, that I did not get a PR for this one. I did, however, see improvements that can help improve your own mindset when it comes to racing success.
- You slept soundly enough the night before the race. 6 hours is now your current pre-race sleep PR! When you wake up, you did not need to consume your morning coffee.
- The gun start is late! You are not as worried about the morning heat as you should be.
- The water problem just got worse this year. You already skipped three water stations but you ain’t worried.
- You spend more time lamenting the fact that you passed up the free chocolate than you do running.
- You finally get to the Gatorade station. It has the orange one. Your favorite! A moral battle ensues. Your conscience wins and you get only one cup of Gatorade. You’re a saint!
- At the last turning point, you think that the route seems shorter this year.
- You are sure you heard someone announced that you get watermelons during the race but you did not see any. This saddens you. You comfort yourself with a banana. You move on.
- You realize near the end of the race that you forgot to rub Vaseline on your, uh, fragile areas. No point worrying about that now.
- It’s the same route with the same weather but you ran it faster than last year. No, it’s neither a PR nor a race PR but you killed it out there and that’s a good enough story to tell your future grandkids.
- You’re tired. You’re hurt. You need someone to haul your butt back home. Who could it be? Wait! You have a girlfriend now! You promptly parade her around for all the lonely, tired, hurting finishers to see. This would make a great ending to that story that you will eventually keep telling your future grandkids.