Life Happens…

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…and it doesn’t always care about that PR you’ve been dreaming about, working for.

Soccer practice, swim lessons, band practice, the flu, proposal deadlines, bronchitis, the flu again, your in-laws come to town, your child needs help with chemistry…all of this is way more important than getting your swim, bike, run in. Fortunately you realize this and take the time to help out, get rest, do the right thing.

As the weeks and months creep toward your goal race, you realize, with much dismay, that big PR is just not in the cards. So how do you come to grips with that?

Now I am not talking about an injury that has set you back or a lack of fitness such that you are setting yourself up for injury by doing the race. That is another blog. I am talking about solid enough fitness to do the race, just not quite as fast as you’d hoped.

First, drop the expectations.

Once you’ve done that you are instantly more relaxed and ready to have fun. When you are relaxed and having fun you run better and you will probably do a lot better than you expect.

Be realistic about what you can do. Were you shooting for a huge PR? Are you on track for a lesser PR? Or maybe you are close to matching your current one. Then make those adjustments to your training plan for the final weeks leading up to the race and don’t forget to make the mental adjustment too!

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Is there a group of friends doing the same race? Is there someone else trying for a PR time that is easy for you? How about pacing them, or just running with the group, having fun, taking in the sights and sounds of race day.

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On your own? Take in those sights and sounds yourself. Engage the crowds, smile, enjoy yourself. We often get so caught up in paces and PRs we don’t get to enjoy the festive atmosphere that surrounds these events.

The main thing is to relax, cut yourself some slack. I know I have had the most enjoyable races, and often posted very decent times, at the events where the only expectation I had was to have fun! We are not professional athletes, we do this for fun, remember? There is still time for that PR the next time out.