When I first decided to make 2016 the year of short distances, setting new PRs wasn't really a factor a goal but it was on my mind as a way to keep myself on track. I wanted to get consistently faster in a way that would mean on a daily basis I could hold a faster pace than I'd been doing since marathons entered my life.
Generally, that meant I wanted to be back in the 9s, but hopefully racing in the low-9s or high-8s. That meant a 5k PR in May.
But as I look at my paces on my 4-mile runs and how much effort those paces are taking, I'm wondering if the goal I've been thinking about for the 10k is totally outlandish.
For reference, most of my 4-mile runs are in the low-10s or high-9s right now. My A goal for the 10k was 57:00, which is a 9:10 pace. Can I run 40+ seconds faster per mile for two extra miles? I don't even know if I could push that pace for four right now!
I do know that I'm not ready to give up, but I'm already feeling discouraged. I'll continue speed work and building mileage, and I still have about a month to go until race day, but because I'm beginning to doubt my capabilities, my motivation is diminishing, too.
My current 10k PR is 58:41*, which is a 9:27 pace. I'm honestly not sure I could match that right now, let alone beat it. But I do know that if I could hold a 9:39 pace for this race and break an hour, I'd be happy. After all, getting faster is a process with no real end in mind. One race and its outcome isn't going to define the progress I've made; it will be a checkpoint on the way to continued progress.
|This first year was the only year this race has been chilly (in the 60s/70s) and I was running the bridge 4x a week and running long every weekend in preparation for my first (real) half marathon.|
|This is from 2014...In 2015 I ran my slowest yet at 1:14, but it was part of a 13-mile long run, so it was slow on purpose.|
I'm not totally giving up on the idea of a PR for this race, but looking at the work I'll need to do in the next month to get there, I'm trying to figure out how realistic that dream is, and if it needs to be deferred...at least for now.
*When I wrote the original post about the 2012 race and my PR, I recorded my time as 58:41 so I must've gotten that from somewhere. But when I checked Athlinks just now, it says my time was 1:00:05, so maybe I can readjust my goals and still technically PR. Does this mean my PR has been a lie/figment of my imagination all this time?! Where did I get 58:41 from?! Was that the time originally recorded but I somehow missed an adjustment the race organizer made later on?! Have I never broken 60-minutes in a 10k?!
This post has officially raised more questions than it's answered.
Help me out guys - what's my PR?
Do I have a chance to break it, whether it's 60-minutes or 58:41?
I'm beginning to feel the PR is arbitrary because it's so old...so how do I set a realistic and challenging goal for this race?