Tuesday, June 18, 2013

PRs, PBs adictions and the chemicals we ingest - a multi part post

C and D - 5k on Saturday
               - 8(ish) miles on Sunday

One Way to Warm Up is to Walk There With a Nervous Racer:
At the Arboreum 
C and I got in a 5k (it's been a while) this weekend in the heart of DC. As we stepped out of her apartment, I turned on my Garmin, which I charged two nights before only to have it flash the "low battery warning". It must have turned on during the flight to DC! I quickly turned it off, and decided to focus on the mile and a
half walk to the race - a great semi warm-up at C's "must make it on time" walking pace. We got there with plenty of time to find plenty of porto-potties.

Finding the start line was not a problem - the vast majority of runners donned their Purple-Strides cotton race t-shirts, and a giant arch of balloons marking the start line. After the speeches, we were off. My Garmin had enough charge for about a quarter mile - which was just enough to yell at C for trying to push the pace to sub 7s. She didn't believe me, but slowed down none the less.


Then the Garmin shut off.

I've had my Garmin since January, and I have no idea how I became so addicted in 5 months. But, as the watch vibrated and turned off a quarter mile in, I could only laugh. It was strangely like having the lights suddenly shut off as your walking around a room you know really well. You know where the furniture is, but you're still lost for a second.

I settled in to a comfortable pace behind a woman who looked like she was in her forties, and hoped I was still pacing C in for a sub 23 PR. My stomach was complaining about the airport Chinese from the night before, so I didn't push the pace and just held on.

At about half way, the women I had been running behind (for the most part) made a move, loosing me, but a couple moved up to run with me. The girl was really suffering, but her boyfriend was being supportive, and getting her to push for her PR. I had a slight tinge of guilt as I realized I had lost my girlfriend a quarter mile into the race.

As I crossed the finish line, a second in front of the couple, I thanked them for pacing me in. It turns out the girl was going for a sub 24 minute race... we had just finished in 22:12 (A PR... well sort of.. for me). As I turned around, just 25 second behind me was C! She had not only gotten her sub 23, but took over a minute off of her PR!

The best part about the race, was that the results were up before I even showered. That was when I found out that 40 something in front of me (who dug in at the end) was actually 65...

What is a PB?

Normally I talk about PRs, cause I'm American, but for the rest of the world it's PB (personal best). And that was a big topic on last week's Marathon talk (see the show notes.)_

After finishing the race (like most races) I put up a picture of C and my bibs (or, if possible of us) on facebook. It really is the best way to show everyone exactly why you're better than them as they wake up and read your post... JK... sort of...

I made a comment about us both PRing. The second comment in response was from my high school cross
country co-captain, stating "I doubt that". My guess is, he's referring to whatever my PR was in high school (I have no idea, aside from a mediocre showing at  tough course Manchester XC Invitational - 19:34). That brings up the question, and problem, of claiming a PR/PB.

A reminder that we still have plenty of trails to explore
Marathon talk broke down the PB into an infinite number of ways. PB of the week was probably my favorite. Breaking it up based on Post Injury PB, or Post Extended Break (over 6 years in my case) probably makes a bit more sense. I think there is some importance to recognizing your accomplishments, and not getting down on yourself for being slower than your 18 year old self, or what you could do before a major surgery.

So, to stay motivated (and because I just don't have my high school times) I will refer to PRs by Boston Age/Gender groups. As I get older (or if I switch genders...) I'll be sure reset my PRs. Sure, its arbitrary, but it cleanly cuts off my highschool (pre-18) times from my current times, and gives me four more years to improve my current times.

And, it goes without saying, I'll quietly delete this post if I find I'm clearly breaking my high-school records, switch camps, and say there's no other PR but a real PR.

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