Low Hanging Fruit

In Personal Bests on January 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm

As the year starts I pondered some goal oriented running. I feel the need for speed to coin a phrase. In order to see where I want to go I must know where I have been first. I have never been great at record keeping. I’ve never put too much focus on personal bests but as the years start to sap the speed from my legs I felt the need to establish my past records.

20120102-090458.jpgWhat I found was a bunch of low hanging fruit. Yes another colloquial expression but I can’t help myself these gems were just hanging there ripe for the picking. To find your personal bests you can do what I did and go to and search on your name. I found almost my entire race history for about the last 14 years. Of course if you race a lot you will have to sift through all the races but luckily for me there wasn’t a whole lot.

My 5K time is 20:03 which may have a statute of limitations asterisk on it. To me records are best when you break an established barrier, usually in denominations of 5 minutes. For a 5K, you have to be world class to break 15 minutes and really unless you are a real numbers nut all the minutes in between 15 and 20 are fuzzy. Does anybody know if 18:01 is a whole lot better than 19:01? It’s the milestones like sub 20 that sound truly impressive. For what ever reason my PR is 20:03 just 4 seconds away from saying I’m sub 20.

My 10K time is almost sub 45. A milestone, yes but not as cool as saying I’m sub 40. Sub 40 is wicked fast and only with some kickass dedication could I even come close. I am almost positive I’ve run lower than 45 minutes in a 10K but I have no record of it. Ripe for the picking!

My Half Marathon PR is also still in that 10 second window of being respectable. Are you noticing a trend? Its like seeing a finish line checking my watch and suddenly the line moves 5 seconds away.

My marathon PR is special to me. My previous PR was 3:31.39 prior to that it was 3:42.25 and prior to that 3:53.25. My first two marathons were a year apart so lopping off 11 minutes in one try was great. Doing it again 5 years later with no attempts in between was just as great. To my credit I have only run four marathons spanning 10 years and every time I did I set a new PR. It makes me apprehensive about trying it again.

Ultras? Ultra marathons shouldn’t count for personal records because every course is different. In fact, we celebrate the differences. This one has 15,000 ft of elevation gain. This one has 11,000 feet of gain and loss but is all single track. You can’t compare distances when the courses are vas

tly different so you end up having course PR’s. Which is why I listed it here. That being said they do have speed records for ultra courses and it is usually the flattest courses with the least amount of technical trails. (Side note: I would love to run a 50K and eventually a 100 mile ultra. Once again low hanging fruit because it would be my first attempt at the distance.)


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