Run PR’s or Don’t Run At All

Another race weekend has gone and my string of PR’s is intact.   On Sunday, I ran the North Short Half Marathon.   Four weeks past my marathon I did not not know what to expect.   There was no doubt about finishing the distance easily based on the marathon training.   I just had no clue how hard to run it.

Click the elevation chart for a better view

 My friend Ed and I signed up late for this race.   I waited because I wasn’t sure I’d be ready for a hard half so soon after Green Bay.   By the time we pulled the trigger, we were beyond the cutoff for the preferred corrals.  Running from the open corral always worries me that I’ll run too slow on Mile 1 and put a potentially great day out of sight.   I love this race because of the tree lined streets, it’s hillier than you expect and the run through old Fort Sheridan.  The weather was no excuse this day.   Bright sun, temps in the high 50’s and no abnormal humidity.

We got to the corral and waited for the start.   A 5k race went off 15 minutes before ours using the same start/finish line and the finish lane was separated from the start corrals by gates.   Can you guess what happened next?   People were late getting to the corrals and were blocking the the 5k course.   The announcer started yelling for people to get off the course because the 5k leaders were on the home stretch.   Tragedy averted.

Finally we were off.   Mile 1 – 7:37   What the hell was I worried about?  I didn’t need the preferred corral
Mile 2 – 7:21  Downhill portion so no need to worry
Mile 3 – 7:36, Mile 4 – 7:28, Mile 5 – 7:36, Mile 6 – 7:37, 10k split 46:55

Mile 7 – 7:27
Mile 8 – 7:47 Slow due to the Park Avenue Hill.  A short but viciously steep hill.  Gu after the hill.  

Mile 9 – 7:33  We pass an annoying group of bicycles all decked out in racing gear.  Yelling at the top of their lungs “BIKES UP!, BIKES UP!”.  Dude,  we see you on the wider than usual Walker St.  The road is divided here to allow cars to go in the opposite direction.  You are nowhere near us and most of the runners are laughing at his hysterical panic.     We also pass an AC/DC cover band.  None of them are good singers.  But it amused me that at least it was different than the standard “running song” offering.

Mile 10 – 7:24, Mile 11 – 7:28, Mile 12 – 7:37, Mile 13 – 7:28, Last .1m 0 :36.   FINAL TIME  1:38:43 (Pace 7:33) 26th in AG, 304th out of 2,518.

A PR by a mere 9 seconds.  I can’t help but think I could have run harder.   The weather was perfect and I did find a fourth gear heading for the chute.   Most races I run hard leaves me with nothing at the finish.   But I really had no idea so I’m not going to beat myself up about my best half time ever.

The part that really excites me is that I’ve done four races this year (10m, 5k, Full and half) and each time was a PR.  So, I’ve decided not to run anymore unless I can break my own record. Run a PR or don’t run at all is my new motto.  Just kidding!  The streak is on the line as I have a local 5k this Saturday.   21:14 is the time to beat and I’m hoping for a first ever AG win.


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