Thursday, May 13, 2010

Setting all kinds of PRs

In the last two months I have run a 50K and a marathon; both of them PRs, although I haven't really raced at those distances before. It's been hard to gauge what kind of shape I am in, based on these races.

Then last weekend came a PR on a course I have run since I was just a kid.

I grew up near Bagsværd Lake and have run around it, I imagine, about a thousand times. My first race was a race around the lake. The race, the Bristol Race, ceased existing maybe ten years ago. It was sponsored by a local sporting good store called Bristol Sports. Nowadays, there are just a few big sporting good chains in Denmark. But I digress.

Growing up, the Bristol Race was the race of the year. I thought the people running up front were so fast they could surely run in the Olympics. I was a little kid, happy to run in the middle of the pack.

Then came high school. In Denmark, high school usually marks the nadir of athleticism for most people and this was the case for me as well. The exact opposite is true in America, which is a topic I have pondered often and which deserves its own post. I played on a club soccer team with some kids from school, but it was hardly competitive. I drank and partied as kids did - and forgot all about running.

Then came the move to America, marriage to my first wife, and later the kids. I must have been in my early twenties when I ran the Bristol Race again. This time, I had run competitivey in college in the US and had, I think, just joined a track club. Nah, track came later in med school, but I was certainly training and racing hard. It was fun coming back to this little dinky race. I didn't win it, but I took second or third, impressing people who, like me, had grown up running this race every year.

Now that the official race is gone, we still run on that course. My dad, my brother, and sometimes my uncle and cousins, run tempo runs around the lake. The distance is much debated but is probably a little less than 4.5 miles. But the distance doesn't really matter; the time does. Last year, I ran two loops in 47:56, a PR, probably in the best shape of all of last year. Last weekend, I ran 47:40. Now that's a PR!

The Copenhagen Marathon is in 10 days and we are staring to taper a little. I have a sore ankle that I am trying to nurse back to health as well. Goal is 2:40 to 2:45. We shall see.