Runners Saying it Like it Is: “PR’s are fun”

After running the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon in New Orleans Shalane Flanagan Tweeted something all runners can relate to, “Running PR’s are fun!” Succinct. To. The. Point.
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Flanagan followed it up in THIS Competitor recap with, “I think anytime you can run a personal best, that’s something special. You can’t take those for granted.” So true. The thing with PR’s is they become quite rare. Elusive like that unicorn that poops out gold bricks. πŸ˜‰

They are especially rare as you improve and get faster. Sure, you start running and the improvement curve is such that you could lop minutes off of successive 5k’s like it’s nothing. That incentive to keep stepping up your game becomes more enticing, you cross the line fresh off of your last PR and think, “Okay, bring on the NEXT!”

From there the PR’s probably still come, but they are in shorter intervals, no longer full minutes. They become more hard fought, you must start reaching into new levels of mental toughness. You get more calloused as a runner both physically and mentally.
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It then gets to the point where those PR’s stick for awhile. Weeks, months, years maybe. Funny how much HARDER you must FIGHT and PUSH for single seconds. Tenths of a second. Hundredths even. Regardless of level, elite or mortals of the world, everyone is fighting for those dang seconds.

Time hangs in the balance, the irony is that as you watch the clock tick down as you barrel for the home stretch on the cusp of what could be a new PR, the seconds FEEL excruciatingly long but they seem to TICK OFF much too quickly. Will you make it to the line in time?

Then there are the days when you know you are a much better runner than the ‘old’ you. It’s been awhile since you dusted off that PR and it’s high time you smash the crap out of it. THOSE races are da## exciting. Running for the finish line you don’t even have to plead or bargain with the clock. You just know.

Those days are what make all that hard stuff worth it. Though the rewards can be tauntingly bittersweet as they don’t come often enough for the distance runner. But it’s okay, you can’t feel too bad for us, because if you STICK IT OUT and then greet that next PR the feeling makes it totally worth it.

Because like Flanagan summed up in a mere four words is quite true and need no further elaboration, “Running PR’s is fun!”

1) Finish the sentence: Running PR’s is…

2) Try to quantify the level of exertion one second of a PR takes to a long-standing PR compared to the minutes you can lop off when you first start.
Hmmm, because I’m the famous mathematician that I am I will say it’s five times the cubed rate of seven factorial.

3) Is there a distance you haven’t raced yet and looking forward to setting a newbie PR streak?
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18 thoughts on “Runners Saying it Like it Is: “PR’s are fun”

  1. Running PR is totally within my grasp at the moment…thanks for ruining it with tales from the future πŸ˜›

    PRs are awesome, and surely if they get rarer, they therefore get more rewarding?

    For now, I’ll just stick to lopping minutes off those 5kms… speaking of which, I’ve never truly ‘raced’ a 5km. So, one day. Or a half marathon. SO much good stuff to come!

    • i know, that’s why i was even MORE stoked on ur last 5k PR cuz that wasn’t even a race atmosphere. u’ve got some minutes to be lopping for sure!! πŸ™‚ can i start the party planning…errr, post race gluttony planning?? πŸ˜‰

  2. …icing on the cake.

    I love that feeling, I do – but especially given all the recent “giving thanks” and “grateful after injury recovery talk” going on here lately – I have to say that a PR isn’t what I value the most out of a race. For me, being healthy enough to run a good, hard race (especially if I feel like I gave it all I had on that particular day) is what I’m after. If that results in a PR…icing on the cake.

    Are we quantifying for a 5K, or a marathon? That one second is a lot more in the latter… =)

  3. Running PR’s is secondary to the feeling of just crossing the finish line!
    Although I do love seeing the times get smaller, I am really just happy when I take that last step over the line and can hold my head up high and say that I ran my own race and completed the course.
    Those last minutes of a PR time are equal to the difficulty of jogging on the bottom of the ocean wearing concrete boots multiplied by the factor of a heart heavy with hope.
    My latest distance goal? Oh, I’m crazy and the boy is too, because we are going to sign up for Tough Mudder! Help me Cait, what have I done! πŸ™‚

    • say wat?!?! u AND the boy are gonna double duty destroy that tough mudder!! oh my gosh, i dunno if i’m more excited that u’re doing it, to hear all about, or to just see the pictures from it all! πŸ™‚

  4. I like running PRs, but after you’ve been running for awhile, it’s hard to just keep doing them. So… I “reset” my PRs each year to make it more fun. Obviously my body isn’t the same as it was in 2010, 2011, 2012, and I don’t want to diminish the excitement of past PRs. I mean back in 2010 a sub-30 5K was an accomplishment for me and even though I warm up at that pace now, it was still a huge thing :).

    My latest goal: Sub-20 5K. I’m not that close but working my way down.

  5. Running a PR… well.. It is INSPIRING.
    As far as a PR streak… It is funny, I just got of the phone with my mom. We have always loved fun bets with each other. She just challenged me to a new goal for my 5k. If I reach it.. I get a new pair of racing flats!!

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