Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What is a "respectable" time?

Look, as any time of athlete will attest, we are driven by the clock. Of course we always want to be on the podium, but at the end of the day we're always looking to see if we set a new PR. Your podium finish is based on who else showed up to race that day but the clock has no such care. The time shows that its only about how better...or did in comparison to the last time you raced the event or distance.

To be honest, I'd love to be one of those people that "race for fun"....but I am not. Case in point, the upcoming race season that will have to be re-thought because of 3 weeks of injury recovery and partly having no desire to train due to my own laziness, that will result in my not being ready to run competitively. And by that, I mean competitively for ME.

Sadly I have to caveat everything I say lest people who know me or read this blog think I hold them to the same standard as I do myself. That couldn't be farther from the truth. I am my own worst critic and as such I only criticize myself. I have no idea what other have to deal with/overcome in their lives/training/racing so it would be ridiculous of me to pass ANY type of judgement on their performance. I also have the unrealistic thought that anytime I line up for a race, that I have the potential to place or at least run a "respectable" time.

Which leads me back into this rabbit hole only exacerbated from starting behind my expected training plan...what IS a "respectable" time? Add to that question the self imposed, preconceived notion that there's an expectation of what I should race at any particular distance. In my mind: a 5k-should be sub 20 minutes (preferably right around 19 minutes flat), a 10k-should be around 41 minutes, a 10 miler-in the 65-70 minute range, a 13.1-in 90-95 minutes and a Marathon-should be sub 3:30. might ask...where did those times come from? Truth is...I have NO clue! Have I run those times thus far? In a few events, yes. Hell, I've even posted those times recently (as bad as I hate to say it, closing in on 40) instead of when I was younger (my whole issue with age thing is a totally different post all together). In other events...I haven't even posted those times yet!

Now I would argue that I truly believe those times are within my reach. If I can run a 5:45-6:20 minute mile for shorter distances and close to a flat 7 minute mile for longer events already...this should be doable and not unrealistic, right....right? Well, I guess I better get back to serious training and dropping a few more pounds. I am entering a new age group...ugh.

Do you guys have the same struggle with what YOU think is a "good" time?

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