Would you rather win… Or run a fast time?

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Don’t Google your own name. Just don’t. I’ve been wanting to add a section to my blog with my PRs for awhile, but it takes time to find results scattered all over the place from the past 10-15 years. I have a few memorized, but I had to dig up old college media guides and, yes, Google my own name to find some races. I also found some really bad race results I had forgotten about. Like, a 30 min 5k from when we missed the start of the race, and a 3:52 marathon I ran “for fun” (and hungover) where I ended up walking the last 6 miles.

After perusing these results and finding the races I was searching for, I had a few thoughts:

1. My 800 time is going down. My PR is from college, believe it or not, on a 3200 meter relay team when I had to fill in for someone at the last minute. My coach put me on the anchor leg and told me not to let anyone pass me. I remember running the first 400 way too fast (I hadn’t run an 800 since high school) and then hearing footsteps behind me. I somehow held on and finished, then found my coach to get my split. I know I ran a faster 800 in a workout, but that doesn’t exactly count. I don’t know if relay splits even count. Meh.

2. I need to run more 10ks. I think the 10k could be a perfect distance for me if I train properly for it. I still haven’t found my 10k PR time because it is going to take some more research. I know I ran it in 1999 at the trials for the Empire State Games. I had also ran it the year before when I was still in high school. Those were my only attempts at that distance on the track. I don’t know why I abandoned the 10k after that, but I think this was my biggest revelation today. 

3. Personal records are still my biggest motivator. Of course everyone wants to win, but I’d rather get my ass handed to me in a race and run a fast time versus finishing first and running a slow time. There’s something special about finally seeing a new number next to your name that you previously thought was impossible.

Would you rather win (overall, or age group, etc.) or run a fast time?

13 thoughts on “Would you rather win… Or run a fast time?

  1. It definitely depends on the race. There are a few races I can think of (one in Seattle specifically) where I am proud of winning bc I put myself out there and ran gutsy, but my time was okay…not hugely fast. Like you though, 99% of the time I am more concerned with my finishing time. I train and race to PR. If I PR but come in 5th place, I’m still very happy.

  2. For me, running is very personal…so I would much rather run a very fast time or a PR than place in my age group. It’s not about what other people are doing in a race that matter to me – in my races, I’m the only runner 😉

    • I try to tell myself that too, but my competitiveness gets the best of me! The few races I ran when I was pregnant were very tough because I wasn’t used to blocking out everyone else and just running. You are right, though, it’s best to run your own race.

  3. I think there might be some age disparity on the answer. In my 30’s I was still chasing PR’s. The chance doesn’t really happen these days unless its some odd distance that I’ve never run like 4.25miles. For this last year I ran a 50k, not recommended on minimal training. So nowadays I’d be happy with a win most of the time 😉

    • I’ve been searching out similar off-distance races too! You should come down here and race the 14k! 50k sounds like fun, though. I’m also one who doesn’t always train like they should and then forget that I’m not 25 years old anymore 🙂

  4. I would rather run a fast time unless there is a prize involved.

    I actually was thinking about you yesterday while we were driving back and your racing. (creepyness at it’s finest) but I was thinking that you had run a lot more college races and even though you had seriously fast times to my knowledge you hadn’t done many road races. I honestly think you are very capable of a sub 3 hour marathon at Boston and very capable of OT in the next few years.

    • I love racing on the track, but I like doing road races for the social aspect (to run with a friend, or meet up with people and make it an event). As far as Boston goes, we will just have to see how training goes in the next two months. I’m a little concerned about the hills since we don’t have any here in Virginia.

      Thank you for thinking about me on your road trip… I’m not creeped out 🙂

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