I was talking with Ginny today about running, and about the focus that a lot of runners have on racing and achieving personal bests.
Eventually the conversation turned to running for fun – having a good time. The Running Room training programs always end with a goal race. That’s great in terms of motivation, but after a while, the focus on racing can often take away from the fun of running.
This year I’ve been really thinking about just enjoying each run and not worrying too much about times and personal bests. I’ve chosen one goal race – the BMO Vancouver Marathon – and that’s it for races for me in the first half of the year.
That means no Around the Bay 30k, and no Chilly Half Marathon for me. Instead it’s just some fun Sunday training runs with friends and a bunch of enjoyable runs during the week. That’s my approach in 2012.
We also came to the conclusion that focussing on having a good time running was a great way to end up with a good time on the results sheet. My best runs time-wise are often on the days where I’m just enjoying running a lot. The same goes for racing. When I’m having a blast out there on the course, it usually means I’ll come across the line with a nice result.
Personal bests are great. Personal awesomes are even better (my running buddy Nicole coined that term and I love it). Despite the fact that it was my slowest time by a few minutes, I still point to Vancouver in 2011 as my “best marathon” of the three I’ve run. A personal awesome every way you slice it.
You can’t run a PB every race…it’s just not realistic to think you’ll improve every time you race. But you can run a personal awesome if you remember that racing and running is fun and put having a great time at the top of your list of goals.