The day I worked for that PR

Holy crap.

I just PR’d my third half marathon by 8 minutes. 
This after PR’ing my last half marathon by 10 minutes.

But this PR? It feels quite different.

Today, I worked for that PR.
really worked for it.

Sure. I went into this race with the same goal I had for the last half marathon – to run happy, to run proud, to finish strong. No PR time lurking in the back of my mind.

…well, not *really* anyway.

I knew I wanted to run this half faster than the last, but I didn’t have a number in mind, I just wanted to run strong. I knew the weather conditions were going to cooperate and the course would be much flatter and less hellacious hill-wise. Which gave me a confidence boost – I could remove those two barriers from my mind and just run. Run strong, run hard, run proud.

I repeated those three things in my head throughout this race.  Almost like a chant. Just to keep my mind from running wild on me – which it threatened to do quite a few times for the first half of the race. I told Scott I was struggling around mile 5 or 6 and he looked at his watch and told me, “no, you’re not – you’ve just run your best miles yet.”

And then it hit me: I wasn’t struggling, I was working for those miles.

It was in that moment that a switch flipped — as soon as I realized what was happening, that my body was working for those miles – and ultimately for that PR – that I started to trust it more. To let my body do what my mind kept trying to tell me wasn’t possible.  

And what my body was trying to tell me was this:
That I could run faster. That I could run stronger. That I could run prouder.
…that I could run 13.1 miles in 2:05:32. 

And for that? I am so proud.
…proud that I let my body do the work.
…proud that I learned to shutter those self-doubt thoughts lurking, those “struggle” thoughts.
…proud that I finished what I started.
And ran a race to be proud of.  

The day that I worked for that PR. Today was that day. 
13.1 all done.

Editor’s note: pictures to come tomorrow thanks to my mom, official race day photographer. And special thanks to my sis and M for not just showing up to support us but to run a portion of the course “with” us (9.5 miles, they might as well have run the whole thing! Next time?…). ❤

69 thoughts on “The day I worked for that PR

    • Please DO use it in your next race – or your next run even. It totally works. I’m proof of that today. I never thought I’d EVER see a 2:05 finish from ME on a half marathon. I’m sitting here still stunned. Truly.

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  2. I am SO proud of you sis. I KNEW you had it in you, I KNEW you would do well, and I knew you would hit that time. I just had a feeling…around 2:05. And I am so proud. This is your element. And maybe it’s not mine, but I’m finally okay with that. And you inspired me to run today, I ran this knowing you were happy, fast, and going for it. And it made me think maybe I could too. Thank you sis. love you!

    • Well, I must have “felt” that from you, or channeled it somehow. I had NO idea I had 2:05 in me. Not a frickin’ clue. I am still really, really stunned by that finish. But I’m also so, so, so proud. Of both of us. For about a million reasons. Love you!

    • I didn’t even realize I was doing it at first – and then once I realized a) I was doing it and b)it was working, that I continued doing it. I also started chanting “run the mile you’re in” when I started to get caught up in how many miles I still had left to run. Made suuuuch a difference!

      My husband was my rock in this race, he pushed me, he cheered me on, he got me to trust my body to just GO those last three miles. Love him! ❤

  3. Girl, you already know how incredibly proud I am of you. I absolutely knew you had this in you. Um….told ya so LOL. But seriously, you did awesome. And I love that you realized that there is a difference between struggling and working hard. I can honestly say yesterday was a huge struggle so there is most definitely a difference. Hugs my friend!!!!

    • Yes, you have every right to tell me you told me so!! I totally didn’t think I had it in me but clearly *you* believed in me, as did my husband. I’m still sitting here (in pain, no less) stunned that I made that 2:05 happen yesterday!!

  4. Congrats, Jess!!! SO happy for you 🙂 Ride that high and enjoy the relaxation tonight – can’t wait to see what’s to come for you!

    • I’m *still* riding that high today (even if its a painful high today, sooo worth it!). We celebrated well last night – homemade french onion soup, salad and some well-deserved wine. Bliss. 🙂

    • Aw thank you so much!! I honestly didn’t even know that drive/push was in me but clearly it was lurking this whole time just waiting to pop out! Chose just the right moment to do so, I must say 🙂

  5. yay! So very proud of you for all of your hard work! And I know that exact feeling – it’s NOT struggling, it IS working really hard to accomplish an awesome physical and mental challenge. Congratulations! I hope you’re having a comfortable night at home with delicious food. 🙂

    • It’s quite a nuance isn’t it – working for it vs. struggling through it. Amazing what that feels like once you realize that you *are* working for it! The reward at the end is so, so, so worth it!!!

  6. I love that you trusted your body to do just what you trained yourself to do. It’s hard sometimes not to hold back, but you didn’t and you had an amazing race! Congratulations!

    • it took a LOT of trust to push it the way that I did. It almost felt like an out-of-body experience from mile 10 to the finish line. Was so hard to push down that desire to hold back versus letting go and just GOING for it. But once I did let go, it was such a surreal feeling.

  7. Congratulations on a fantastic run! You should feel very proud.

    Let me know how you feel over the next few runs, I will be curious to know how your body responds after a few days…

    Excellent work!

    • I honestly don’t plan to run much (if at all) until Saturday. I made myself a promise to give myself a good few days of no running after this race – my hips and knees are talking to me and I do NOT want to get injured after all of this hard work! I’ll report back after Saturday’s run. By then, these legs ought to be itching to run!!

  8. You definitely worked for that PR, but not just on race day. You put in the miles & training in the months leading up to this race too. Congratulations! Now enjoy that runner’s highfor a few days 🙂

    • You’re right – I shouldn’t short-change myself on that one, because I have worked hard and trained hard for this. So even though tomorrow was all about working for that PR, all the work leading into the race was what got me there. Truly. Thank you!

  9. So proud of you Jess! I love reading about your running extravaganzas! It inspires me so much! Running is something I have never been able to conquer 🙂 I can live vicariously through you! But ‘for real” I am so happy for you and I can’t wait to watch you when you run Boston 😉 lol

    • Aw thank you my dear, means so much to hear you say that! You can totally live through me running-wise. I’m happy to be your running muse 😉 You *are* my barre muse afterall, it’s only fair!!

      haha not sure about Boston…but 26.2 is in my future, just not sure when and where…yet 😉

  10. Congrats on getting your PR! I ran Green Stride yesterday too and totally LOVED the course. It was so gorgeous and peaceful! It was my first half marathon so I wasn’t pushing for a PR…getting through the last 3.2 miles seemed like FOREVER and that was ALL I could focus on! I’ll have an update on my blog later today :]

    P.S. Love the point about struggling vs. working for the miles. Something I will definitely keep in mind!

    :] Sharon

    • YES! I meant to check in with you to see how you race went, can’t wait to read your recap!! The course was beautiful, I loved every minute of it! Wish I could’ve taken pictures of it, especially around the lake. SO PRETTY!!

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  12. I’m so sorry I haven’t commented on this yet, but I promise I read it the second it showed up in my inbox. 🙂

    Congratulations, Jess! What an accomplishment! You could tell that there was an air about your excitement for this race that would really push you through. I know what it is!!!! CONFIDENCE. 🙂 You know what you’re capable of, and what a difference it makes, eh? (Wish I knew that feeling when it comes to running this sort of distance. ;))

    • Seriously friend! No apology needed! You’ve “hugged” me about a million times over on FB and twitter since then – you KNOW I heart you so much!!
      And you’re right…that “thing” you’re feeling *is* confidence — it’s something I’ve worked so hard to finally feel and now that I feel it, I am hanging on as tightly as I can. It’s not going anywhere if I can help it. Don’t let that confidence and acceptance go on your end either ok? Do we have a deal??

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  14. SO proud of you Jess! Personal records are the best because they are for YOU and not for anyone else. You really did work at that goal, and you deserve every bit of glory : )

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