Two years ago this weekend, I ran my fastest marathon. I trained hard, fueled well, caught a day with near perfect conditions in Washington, and ran my PR of 3:11:38.
When I finished that day, I had nothing left. I stumbled around the finish area trying to get my senses about me and refuel. I was finally able to hobble out of the secure area where (thankfully) my dad was able to find me and hang with me as I continued to try to recover my wits. After sitting in the sun for about 20 minutes and getting some more recovery food and drink in my body, I was finally able to get up and move…straight to the beer tent!
I have said before that I believe that marathon injured me in ways that have affected me in the last couple of years. While I wanted to try to break under 3:10:00, I was never able to put together a training cycle without fatigue and malaise, mostly in my upper legs. After last fall’s debacle and near DNF at the Wineglass Marathon, it began occur to me that I may never run faster than I did in 2013.
If that is the case, I am actually fine with it. It has been a two-year ordeal trying to figure out exactly what is wrong with me and how to fix it, but a lot of the frustration I had been having went away earlier this month with a much better than expected result in the Twin Cities Marathon – a BQ by 9:50. The result was less important than it being the strongest, most consistent race I’ve run.
So the real question is, then — how much time has to pass by before a PR is no longer a PR? In 10 years from now – assuming I never run a faster marathon – it would be absurd to still be saying 3:11:38 is my PR. What is the etiquette? Do I qualify it? “Well, I ran a 3:11, but that was in 2013.” This is uncharted territory so for now, I’ve just been saying that and that I recently ran a 3:15.
That will likely have to do because I don’t know that I’ll be running any marathons again anytime soon. I have all but guaranteed myself a slot in Boston in April 2017 – and that may very well be my next one. I could use a break, but I also want to travel with my lovely bride next fall and let her know that it does not have to revolve around a marathon!