Monday, March 23, 2015

Guaranteed PRs

People trying to sell you something always have the answer.

Regardless of your race, creed, size, beliefs, somehow they think (or more likely they don't think but think they can convince you to think) that their one-size-fits-all program/book/pill will fix what ails you. Few things irk me as much as this, especially in the running world. Running is simple. As such, it is hard to come up with something new to sell to people in the sport. But companies will try. From Power Balance bracelets to Vibram shoes to Chi Running, all claim to be able to make you run better, faster, longer or anything else with an "-er" after it.  Most of the time they fail or are, at best, placebos.   Having said that I, however, know a secret. That secret is something I will share with you on how you can run a new personal best every single time. How?

Run a distance you have never run before.

OK, that was a lot of build-up for a silly statement but it is indeed true. It is also something I am going to be doing fairly often this year. In fact, it starts this weekend. 

First I will be taking on the Cooper River Bridge Run, a 10k in Charleston South Carolina, as part of research for a new book I am working on.  I have visited Charleston a few times and it is a lovely city.  Taking part in one of its iconic races will make me quite happy.

After running that race, running 6.2 miles back to the start, showering and catching a flight to Buffalo, I will drive to Hamilton, Ontario for the oldest road race in North America:  the Around the Bay 30k.  One year older than the Boston Marathon, the Around the Bay has been on my to-do list for years.  This year I finally get to cross it off. While this will definitely make one, if not both of the races a little less than ideal when it comes to my finishing time, at least I will get to see what they both have to offer. I can't tell you pleased I am that they are run on separate days, even if they are on the same weekend.

Then just two weeks later, after running the Crescent City Classic 10k on my first ever trip to New Orleans, I will tackle the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile race.  All the distances I have run in all the the place around Earth and I have never done a 30k or a 10 miler. The Cherry Blossom omission is most egregious given that I lived outside of D.C. for four years. But I am ready to remedy that error.  With Crescent City, I have done a few 10ks but have never once stepped foot into the state of Louisiana. This will finally be my foray into the Cajun world and all 50 states will have finally been run in.  That's pretty neat for a boy from a small town in Pennsylvania who until he went to college had barely been more than an hour away from home.  It is amazing where running takes you.

 Plus, no matter how good or bad the times are, I will have myself a nice shiny pair of new personal bests.


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