For some time, though, I'm thinking that maybe I should be more motivated by speed. By running fast. By shaving minutes off of my PRs in the marathon, half marathon, 10K and possibly even the 5K.
I can run one mile in 6:47. That's my mile PR.
My 5K PR is under 22 minutes. My 10K PR is under 50 minutes. My half marathon PR... well, it's 1:48 and change but that was an all downhill course. I've run three half marathons in 1:55:03, 1:56:20 and 1:56:58. That's a bit more accurate I think.
My marathon PR is 4:23:38.
The paces don't work out. If I'm able to run half marathons in under two hours, I should be able to run a full in close to four, if not under. Right?
Perhaps. I know someday I am going to go for a sub-four marathon. I am actually proving now that I can handle a rigorous training schedule as I've already run 112 miles in October, and it's not even Oct. 20 yet. On Wednesday, I ran eight miles in 1:11:58, three minutes faster than it took me to run the same distance on Tuesday. My legs are getting stronger and stronger, and my times are beginning to reflect that.
So should I be more obsessed, or at least more driven, by speed? By running a full in under four hours? By running a half in 1:45 or something like that?
Maybe I should. Maybe the evolution of runners includes the desire to run fast and to test yourself. I don't know, but I think it's a test every time I step out to run. I view runs the same way, whether they're four miles or 14 miles. I enjoy (or try to enjoy) every run. I definitely focus on every run (the most important run of my life is the next run I will go on). And after every run I feel like I truly accomplished something.
Is it time to feel like I truly accomplished runs only if I meet my time goals? Right now, honestly, my answer to that is a resounding no. I would hate to feel like I let myself down just because I ran my 10-miler in 1:32:33 instead of 1:29:48.
Am I not fulfilling my potential? Should I strive for the best, the best being sub-fours and BQs and PRs?
Honestly, that's not for me. I respect the hell out of runners who meet such goals and can run at a sub-7 or sub-6 clip. That blows my mind away, to think of runners who can keep those blistering paces up for 26.2 miles. And I truly do respect runners who work hard to meet time goals, whether it's a sub-4 or sub-3 or a BQ. I really do.
But that works for them. And while maybe it would work for me too, I'm just enjoying my runs. I'm not quite sure yet if I'm ready to let speed drive me.
I guess all I'm trying to do is to find that happy medium. Yeah, I like speed and I want to run fast but I like finishing runs and that sense of accomplishment more. Somewhere in between there's the right balance for me. I suppose I'm just trying to find that balance.