Monday, December 9, 2013

#Reverb13, Day 7: Victory Laps

Throughout the month of December, I’ll be participating in #reverb13: Reverb is a way to reflect on the past year and project into the next year with a prompt a day for 31 days.

Day 7 – Victory Laps:
What was your biggest accomplishment of 2013?

Definitely the marathon PR in Berlin.  I feel like I have to fight hard for every minute of a PR, so even though I didn't reach my goal time, a PR is a PR...

I also managed to get a PR in the half-marathon, and at the 10 mile and 10k distances. 

It's odd, because as I tend to look back on 2013 in terms of running, it seems like it was kind of a let-down year.  Mostly because I had a goal for the marathon and I didn't meet it.  Aside from the marathon, the distance that matters most to me is the 5k.  And I didn't PR there either.  I got within about 20 seconds of a PR, but alas, 20 seconds is 20 seconds. 

But when I list out the 2013 PRs: 
  • marathon,
  • half-marathon,
  • 10 mile,
  • 10k
how can I complain???  I definitely worry I don't have that many more years of PRs ahead of me.  Data indicates most adult runners tend to peak after 7-8 years of running.  I'm there.  And now I'm officially in my "upper" 30s, so that's not on my side either. 

Of course when you're just starting out, you compare yourself to yourself, you're constantly improving, and that's a great measure. But lifelong running isn't like that.

Fortunately, one of my very first running coaches instilled in me that running should never be viewed as a competition UNLESS you're looking at age group competition.  You should never compete against yourself because as you age, at some point, you won't beat your younger self and if you start competing against yourself, when the PRs end, you'll stop running.  And you're not even supposed to compete against your own recent times because of variations in courses, weather, etc.  He said the best thing you can do is compare yourself to others in your age group.  They're also getting older.  They're also running a course with 5 massive hills.  They're also dealing with temps of 95 degrees.  Whatever. 

So maybe I'm approaching my peak, and I will continue watching age group standings, and of course just focusing on feeling like I ran my own best on any given day, but right now, I guess I'll hope that 2014 still holds a few PRs for me. 

The marathon PR was definitely my biggest victory.  If I don't ever break that time, it will be okay.  It's something I can be proud of. 


  1. I'm glad you realized how much you have to be proud of. You're often too hard on yourself, and the fact that you PR'd 4 separate times, in 4 separate events is amazing. Maybe the marathon goal was too aggressive?

    I love the perspective you offered about how the comparisons (should) work. Not that I'm at the point to compare myself to anyone. I am still at the point of being thrilled with each step I run. LOL.

  2. are you ever going to tell us what your new marathon PR is? haha