What’s your Pb?

So myself and Hayley got talking after we overheard a number of discussions about PB’s (personal bests) at recent parkrun’s.

We also discussed how we (that’s a collective we) can very easily beat ourselves up if we didn’t quite get the time we hoped for that morning. We can worry too much about a fast time, sometimes ignoring just having a good time. However, it makes for great discussion at the post run coffee doesn’t it?

There are a number of factors that could affect your time of course such as wind, weather, mud, being tired, not training enough and even training to much. The list goes on. 

But are we putting too much pressure on ourselves to PB? Maybe. Are we confusing a time PB with a personal achievement? 

Let me explain.

Last weekend, my household got the sick bug. The nasty, barely leaving bed or the porcelain god type of sick bug. Enough detail for you there right? Before I knew said sick bug was taking everyone down one by one, I was amped for parkrun. I was going to buggy the middle child and see all the pals at the start line. The sun was shining. There was no wind. It was going to be epic buggy PB day for me.

The first sickness caught alight in a flurry of activity upstairs. I wasn’t going anywhere, the famalam needed me. At 9.02, middle child asked if we were running with our pal Theia. Gutted, we weren’t this morning. I was frustrated that I couldn’t take him as have been working hard on getting him into the buggy. But then the eldest also wanted to get out. So, making sure wife and baby were tucked up snug, I loaded our van with buggy’s and bikes and headed to the undercliff for a jog and a ride. 

The sun was shining, the sea was flat calm, the dogs were pooping, the cyclists flying by at crazy speed, the seagulls squawking .... you get my point. We were outside, on our beautiful coastline, enjoying the amazingness of everything around us. Believe it or not, I got a little sunburnt too... whoops. Anyway.... My personal achievement that Saturday was literally just making it out of the house in one piece. And we did it. And I felt amazing for it. 


This isn’t to say setting yourself time PB’s is a bad thing. Far from it! It’s great to have a goal to work towards. I set them for myself all the time as it helps encourage me to train harder and focus on certain aspects of my running or swimming to better my technique and perform better. All we are talking about here is that it’s not all about the time and that it’s ok for everyone to have different goals. 

Not every day has to be perfect for it to be worth it. 

We asked all of you why you run and received some fantastic responses. It was clear, we all run for our own personal achievements; getting outside, for mental health, for physical health, for social health... they are all different, but also the same; for fun!

We had some ideas about what we could write together. How we could collect all these amazing stories and share in a succinct way. But then Hayley was further inspired by her run that same Saturday morning.

Running “with” Craig at Hove Prom parkrun, it all suddenly clicked together and summed up all of the stories shared:

He starts at the front

While I start near the back 

We’re pals all the same

Celebrating the fact

That we run together

With a different pace

He’s going for a personal best

While I’m not here to race 

Two people, different yet same

Who chose to seize the day

He drove, while I rode 

To do parkrun on Saturday 

Both of us with little children

Who we want to inspire

So we don our wonderfabulous 

Runpals attire

Two people, same run 

Breathing, moving in the sun

Looking around, I can see

All shapes and sizes, just like me

Though everyone is different

It’s each to their own

In it together, heading for home

The glorious finish, Hello my friend

Until next week, when we meet again 

I did a little digging

To find out why we run

Turns out the majority

Run because it’s fun 

As Pals we’ve been though lots

In our individual lives

But here together, field and track

We run, walk, jog and thrive

Some days we feel rotten

Defeated and fed up

The Pals are there to pick you up

And give you a big hug

Bad runs happen to us all

And not every run is amazing

But don’t give up, go with the flow

Even if you are aching!

Quick, slow, with buggy, with dog

We all showed up together

Hills, flats, steps, grass and road

Woohoo RunPals forever!

Matt CoyneComment