4 Reasons NOT to PR a race


….and My Story Runs On….

PR or PB are words you will here in the running community all the time.  PR is a Personal Record and PB is a Personal Best.  I remember getting wrapped up in this idea until the last few years.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about setting, achieving and surpassing goals… but sometimes, it’s just not necessary.  Here are some of my reasons for not PRing a race in no particular order:

  1. Because you have a different goal and learned a lesson from a previous race.  Sometimes your goal in a race is not about having a personal record. For example, I purposely ran the Cedar City Half Marathon slower this year than I did last year. Why? Because last year I was sore for an entire week due to the dowhill and altitude change.  My goal for this race this year was not to be as sore.  I’m happy to report that I enjoyed the race AND I was sore for a few days instead of a week.
  2. Because it’s just another training run.  Depending on your running level, races are a good way to get in a training run and get some swag at the same time.  When I’m training for a half or full marathon, I’ll seek out some races that might be the  length I need as opposed to doing a “regular” training run in the same place.  Even though I pay for a race and not a training run, I get to run with different runners, get a cool shirt and medal just for a training run.
  3. Because you are running with a friend.  Running is a great social sport.  I love running with my friends. I’ve “ran” into friends at races that I haven’t seen in awhile and I choose to run with them for company rather than worry about the race.  OR you might have a friend who is doing their first event and you want to be part of their experience.
  4. Because you just don’t need to add that kind of pressure (or resistance).  The thought of having to do better than last time, sometimes can mess with your head.  This causes mental tension which causes physical tension and just can overall ruin your race experience.  You have the power to make that choice.  It’s that simple.  I blogged about this on the ChiRunning website last year when I described my experience at the Women’s Half Marathon.   I purposely ran a race without my GPS.
  5. Because you just want to have fun!  There may be a time to race for you but ultimately, when running isn’t fun anymore, what’s the point?  Seriously, sometimes we just need to get out of our heads and enjoy life. One of the many things I’ve learned from ChiRunning and meditation is to enjoy the present moment.  So instead of worrying about your time, enjoy the scenery, talk to a new person running next to you, and thank the volunteers and people cheering along the road for being there.

Bottom line, it’s your running story and you can do whatever you want!

Please comment below if you have any other reasons not to PR a race. Help me inspire other people to enjoy running for the fun sport that it is!

From My Running Story to Yours….

(if you feel inspired to share your comments, do so below…I want to hear your story too!)

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