So, if you read between the lines, you might have guessed that I wasn't thrilled with my race this weekend. I wasn't unhappy either. It was okay, but I didn't finish it feeling like I'd broken down any barriers or achieved anything new.
I think there's a couple things going on. First of all, prior to the race I had a time goal in mind. I also had a limit. I didn't really talk about either in my blog. The day before, I was concerned that it was going to be icy, and if that was the case, I was prepared to throw any expectations of finishing time out the window.
As it turned out, ice was not a factor, so I gave some thought to finishing time.
I really, really wanted to beat my time on this course from last year: 1:00:12. Last year I was hoping to beat 1:02, and therefore should have been thrilled with the time I got. BUT I never really got over the fact that I'd gotten so close to beating the one hour mark, then hadn't done it. I figured that should be quite attainable this year. I had run 56:33 in a different race in October. Even though this one was slightly more challenging, going sub-60 should be well within reach.
Here's the thing. In addition to deciding on a very attainable goal, I made a limit for myself. I figured I probably was not capable of setting a new PR. I'd run that 56:33 when I was a month away from a half marathon, at a time when I was already doing long runs over the distance of the half marathon. My running volume was way higher then it is now, and I'd been doing more faster running.
Those were my reasons, but the point is, I told myself that there was a limit to what I could do, and I could not hit a PR.
So, I ran a solid, relatively comfortable race.
I finished with a fair bit in the tank.
I honestly think I could have pushed myself more and gone faster.
I don't know that I would have set a PR. Maybe I would have. Maybe not.
I really think setting that limit played a major role in my race as a whole.
On the other hand, I wonder if part of this is just a bit of disappointment that I did a race without setting a PR. After thinking about it, I realized this is the first time I've raced without PRing. Every other race I've done was either a first time at that distance (automatic PR) or I've done better then previously.
I have to accept that I won't always set a personal best in a race.
But... I still think I didn't do my best on that day.
Live and learn.