A PR and A Crossroad

HCRP and I joined another couple we’re friends with running a 5K Race this morning.
As 5K races go this one was relatively small (I’m guessing under 200).  Of course earlier in the week I’d heard someone say there were FIVE 5Ks in our area today.
Which I still find puzzling for a city that consistently ranks among “America’s Fattest/Least Fit Cities”.  I digress . . .

Given the small number of runners there was this little imp in the back of my brain elbowing me and whispering “You might actually medal in your age group!”
I didn’t.
I came in fourth (I think – no Official Results yet) in Women 45 – 49.
And I’m good with that.
No, I don’t know the answer to “Fourth out of how many Julianne?” I placed way ahead of the me who was happily, complacently, and sedentarily on my couch two years ago and in my book that falls under “W” for WIN!

What I did do is PR* this race!
My previous 5K PR was 34:35 in November 2011.
Today the clock read 33:50 when I planted my foot across the Finish Line.
So in eleven months I’ve taken 45 seconds off my 5K time.
Not bad for someone who really hasn’t been working on speed or to reduce race time.

Which brings me to The Crossroads.  Not that Crossroads, although I live within a couple hours’ drive of that Crossroads, that’s not the one I’m talking about.
No, I have reached a Training Crossroads.

Here’s the deal:
I can run a 5K in a respectable amount of time.  I have run several 5Ks and fully intend to run several more.
I have run a 10K in a somewhat less respectable time.  But still, I’ve run one and I know what to do better for the next one (in three weeks actually).
I have trained for and completed a Half Marathon in what I consider a respectable time.  And in a time that HCRP and my Runner Friends said was a respectable time for a first Half.

The Crossroads I stand at is this:
I can continue to train as I’ve been training, focusing on consistency and endurance, and be content with my consistent 35 minute-ish finishes.
OR
I can begin using my short (3 – 4 mile) runs to do speed training to reduce those 5K and 10K finish times; continue using the mid and long runs to work on endurance and consistency in Halfs; and start looking towards the really long runs** that will be required next year when I begin training for the 2013 St. Jude Full Marathon.

*le sigh*
And so it begins.
Goal Setting.
Running Goals.
Training Goals.
Dear Sweet Asics, what fresh h*ll of life lessons is this going to bring?!

Lexicon for my non-running reader(s): (Hey!  There could be more than one!)
*PR = Personal Record
Sometimes called a ‘PB’ or Personal Best.
This is a runner’s personal competition with the runner in their own shoes.
Often more important than finishing “First” or “Last”. It’s all about Better!

**”really long runs” being defined as 15 – 20 miles or possibly further.
Yes, I really am just that crazy.

6 thoughts on “A PR and A Crossroad

  1. I will support you in which ever decision you make. Respectable times are respectable times, and if you want to speed up a little I’ll do what I can to help you reduce your times.
    And our next goal is to ensure we’re trained for the upcoming 10k, and then for the next half marathon in December. We’ll get there darling!

  2. You can do both but you have to be careful. I suggest, if you want to do speed work, don’t start with more than 2 miles, total, with a very slow one mile warmup and cool-down, and plenty of rest between sets. Consider doing speed work one week and hill repeats the next. No more than once a week. Or even every other week to start. And if you want to start adding mileage at the same time, just add it more slowly; instead of doing long runs of 8-10-12-8, for instance, do 8-9-10 and then drop back to 8. Drop back 20% every third week, which of course you should always do, speed work or not. Also try to find a track to do the speed work on, it will help save your legs. Hope I don’t sound like a nag!!
    And GREAT JOB on the run!

  3. Yes, what Terrilee said…I’m having to stifle my “wanna run FASTER” urges right now cause “the knee I’m not speaking to” is speaking to ME. I’ve always been about “slow-twitch”, so right now my future holds lots of nice, easy runs. Great to have HCRP’s encouragement! Good running to you….

Thanks for your encouragement!

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