Time to Re-Set My Personal Records

This year I turn double-nickel and over the past couple of weeks, knowing this has caused me to think a lot about the Glory Days – you know those days when we used to run fast, but bear no resemblance to our current running abilities.

Glory Days

The Personal Records (PRs) that I set during those glory days will never be broken – age and injury have taken their toll on my body. Running that fast again simply ain’t happening. As much as I would like to believe that I could regain that competitive level again, the reality is I am older and slower and those PRs are very safe.

Re-Set Them

So what is a guy to do for a little extra motivation that going for a PR can be.

How about re-setting all PRs and starting 2012 with a clean slate – starting my running career from scratch.

Can I Do That?

Can I, can we do that?  I don’t know why not.

They are my records and it is my running career we are talking about, so by damn it is my choice.

Records for my times

But aren’t there records of all those races we have run somewhere on the Internet? Someone has to have the times we have run somewhere and will come out at some inconvenient time and burst our bubbles by saying “Nananana, that wasn’t your real PR, your real PR was…

Now if you are/were nationally or regionally ranked that might be true, but for most of us, especially us old farts, who ran a lot and mostly local races back in the dark ages, before race results were put in computers we are fairly safe.  Besides I can always caveat it with “It’s a new PR since I reset everything for 2012 and beyond.

New PRs

Therefore, when I race a distance this year for the first time, it will be a new PR and hopefully I will have a few opportunities to challenge that new PR I set initially over the course of the year.

The distances I plan to race or run for time this year are:

  • 1.0 mile
  • 2.0 mile
  • 5K
  • 5.0 mile
  • 10K
  • 15K
  • 10 mile
  • 13.1

You notice that I didn’t put any goal times up, I want this to be a clean slate as far as expectations (except that I stated that I want to try for a sub 20:00 minute 5K – whether that is very realistic we will find out).  I do not plan to run any further than a half marathon this year – if I even go that far. I am saving longer distances for 2013, but only if I can stay uninjured for 2012.

The reality is that 

As of today all of my PRs that I set during the first 40 years of my running career are in the history books of my life and I don’t have any Personal Records for now. I have a clean slate and a new set of goals to run for.

How about you – when did you set your PRs? Were they many years ago or within the past 5 years? If they are more than 10 years old do you really think that you will ever lower them again? Is there any harm in re-setting your PR?

Keep smiling and good things will happen! 🙂

Originally written by Harold Shaw published at “A Veteran Runnah” © 2011 – All Rights Reserved. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Harold Shaw and A Veteran Runnah” with appropriate and specific directions or links to the original content.


11 comments on “Time to Re-Set My Personal Records

  1. Great way to start 2012I sadly haven't set any goals or anything other than merely surviving the first month of this year…after that I'll get things more goal oriented 🙂

  2. I have been following your journey through Facebook and it seems you have hit a bit a tough patch, but keep plugging away and you will be through it and on the other side is much better – trust me been there done that, but it is always toughest when you are in the middle of those times.Good luck – Harold

  3. Hello Harold, this is a great perspective. This is the type of thought process I will use in this New Year regarding PRs and goals. Thank you for sharing, and as my friend always tells me, "Smile when you run, it makes the run go by faster." ~Monica

  4. Monica – Thank you for commenting. I have heard of others doing this and got to thinking that it was time to give myself a little something more to work for. I like your saying, but I always forget to smile because I am focusing on a lot of other things, posture, arm swing, heel strike, dogs, ice, snow – well you get the picture. But I will try to smile more during my runs.I hope you have many PRs this year.H.

  5. I reset my PR's, too. I actually am not totally sure what they were from my early 20's (I then went into cycling for 7 years then got fat and lazy for 6 or 7 years) but I know I am not as fast as I was- but I ran further this past year than ever! I know I hit 1 mile in under 5 a couple times and routinely had around 16:30 to 17:30 on 5k's before and after the bike part of duathlons. I wish I knew that was fast, I would have done some stand alone 5k's. I figure I'll reset them every 5 year age group bump when I hit 45. I hadn't thought about it before and I'm glad you mentioned resetting them!

  6. This sounds like an amazing idea, and a great way to bring back the interest in running! When everything you do is the best you've ever done, how can you not want to get better and push the envelope more? Congratulations on your reset, and good luck with all of your many PR's to come! Happy 2012!

  7. Hi Harold~Great thinking. Similar to what I shared with my bootcamp instructor/trainer at class last Thursday. Since 2011 was my first year of running, everything was a PR for me and although I don't want to write that year off, I want a fresh perspective for running through 2012. I somehow always managed to worry about how I appeared to other runners (ie. Am I too slow? Do I have improper form, posture, etc.?) and those ghosts managed to dominate the latter part of my running in 2011, to the point of nearly driving me to quit out of ridiculous beliefs that "I am NOT a runner."Then my medical issues struck at the end of November, I had emergency surgery and got handed a "you would have been dead in a week" wake up call and that's when I began to think…and then, as I struggled to complete 3 straight days of workouts last week, the treadmill just seemed to say to me that it was time to let go. I suddenly and truly stopped worrying about what the other runners in my life (at my gym) think of my performance. I got a new lease on life and decided that this was the year I was running the marathon, not because I wanted a sub 5:00 or even 4:00 run, but because I am ALIVE! And if that isn't good enough for people, then too bad for them. I have always crossed the finish line with a smile and intend to make sure I smile more during my regular runs!Julia

  8. Erik – That is my thought too, a 5 year re-set, wow you are a lot faster than I am. Maybe we can race right now – you're injured I'm not I might have a chance ;-). Glad I gave you an idea hope that you have many great runs and PRs in 2012.Kate – Thank you for commenting and yes I had my first PR today :-), it felt great!!! I do believe that it will motivate me to do some things. Hope you have a great 2012 too.RLL – When you re-set them it gives a new sense of purpose to your running :-). thank you for commenting Julia – I am reading Born to Run right now and am about 1/2 way through the book, you should read it, the first half will piss you off, the second half I don't know yet, but it is striking a cord with me. I remember your medical issues and understand much of what you are saying. Another reason that I am re-setting my PRs isn't that I want to say I run fast or anything. It is because I am starting over and wanted to let go of the past. I run for different reasons than I did before, I run because I know how much I missed it when I couldn't, I run because I love to run and realized that these old PRs were standards that I would try to recreate again – so they had to be retired and were. Now I can just run for the fun of running without the pressure to surpass certain times. The 20:00 minute goal came before I had this realization and I really don't care if make this goal or not. Running to me is more important than an artificial number or time. I am glad that you are alive and that we can motivate and talk to each other about running and laugh along the way. I think that more of us need to smile and laugh during our runs and remember the joy that we had while running when we ran just because we could. Thank you. :-)Harold

  9. I think this is a great idea!!! I'm still at the point in my life and running career where I can/hope to set PRs, but know that the point will come when that will be impossible. Starting from scratch will help you so much mentally!!Looking forward to all of your PRs this year =)

  10. Pingback: My Very Tentative Race Schedule for 2012 « A Veteran Runnah

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