I’ve been thinking about what a PR means to me for the last few days, since I set a personal record for the half marathon at the New York City Half Marathon last Sunday. It isn’t about being faster than other runners. It’s not even about being faster than I’ve been before, as the term suggests. It’s about achieving more than I thought was possible, not just in this race but with running in general, and beginning to believe I really have it in me to run a marathon.
Before Sunday, my fastest half marathon was my first try at the same race. My first half marathon ever, actually, in March 2014. Since then, I’ve run plenty of other halfs. Walt Disney World in 2015 and 2016, New York the second time, Disneyland in 2015, my hometown Pamby Half Marathon a month after that. Each time, I was proud of what I achieved. But I wasn’t aiming for a particular time at any of them. Just like I wasn’t this time around.
What I really wanted this time was to know that I’m capable of more than a half, that I’m able to start putting one foot in front of the other on the road to the New York City Marathon in November. I finished the 9+1 qualifying races last November with a shorter distance PR in a 4-mile race. Ever since then, I’ve been thinking about the best training plan, when to start, how far I want my longest run to be, what kind of fuel is going to work best – all the while wondering deep down if I really have what it takes. When I crossed the finish line at the half, I honestly felt for the first time like I’m capable of doing it.
I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. In fact, I think it’ll be one of the most difficult things I ever do. I fully expect to be an emotional wreck as I cross that finish line, maybe laughing, maybe crying, maybe even crawling. But it isn’t just my main running goal for 2016. It’s a goal I’ve had for a long time, and one that I think of as for a lifetime. Marathoner by age 25.
Around mile 9 during the half marathon, my legs started to feel tired. I knew I had it in me to keep going, but I could just as easily have slowed down, taken more walk breaks, and finished five minutes later than I did. What propelled me forward were the thoughts and words circling in my head. For the first time in forever (yes, I’m quoting Frozen, no apologies) I really do feel like many of my biggest hopes and dreams could really come to life. What I want is possible, if only I can reach out and take it. That morning, I reached out and took that PR. The knowledge that everything else on the horizon is also within my grasp is what that PR means to me.
What does a PR mean to you?
Best race you’ve ever run?
What’s your biggest running goal?
© 2016 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.