There was a stretch of time a couple of years ago where I PR’d every time I raced. I was chipping away at older times in just about every distance, including varying triathlon distances. I was doing more focused speed work (running and on the bike) and putting in slightly more mileage. I also started to gain some confidence and set bigger goals. I don’t think I was doing anything special. I just think consistently breaking PR’s tends to happen as people start to get faster and a little more serious about training (especially if they don’t race frequently).
And that all came to a very abrupt halt when I experienced the disaster that was the Eugene Marathon. I poured my heart into that training cycle and was pretty devastated in the outcome.
After the race someone (I think Jocelyn?) said to me, “I know you are disappointed, but when was the last time you didn’t PR?” I stopped and thought for a second and I truly couldn’t remember the last time I had raced and not PR’d.
And that was a pretty big wake-up call.
I was thrilled beyond belief when I got marathon redemption 5 weeks later in Bayshore, but that was the last time I PR’d in ANYTHING. In the last 14 months, I have had two good 5k races (in an untimed race and a short course), but no legitimate, official PR’s.
It’s not that every race has been a disappointment. In New York, on a training cycle that was interrupted by injury, I ran a smart race that I was very proud of. And two weeks ago, I rode my fastest bike split ever in a triathlon.
Those things are great but…I just really want to PR.
I realize that there comes a point in racing that it just doesn’t happen as frequently as it did before, but then what? I am not sure if I have hit a plateau that I will eventually come out of or if I have just kind of hit the threshold of my ability? Or maybe I just have had combination of infrequent racing and bad luck?
I do believe that I have a faster marathon time in me and I have had some great training gains over the last year, but it’s disappointing that a year has gone by and I am still shooting for the same goals.
I am not really sure what the point here is, but I have spent some time thinking about this lately and thought it could be an interesting discussion. For now, I think my solution is to just put my head down and keep training hard. I get a chance to try to break 2:20 in the Olympic distance triathlon in 3.5 weeks and then another crack at the marathon in October. In the meantime, I am curious to know everyone’s thoughts on this topic? Has anyone else experienced this? Any words of wisdom?