My targets were: 5km sub 20m; 10km sub 40m; half marathon sub 1h30m; marathon sub 3h30m. Hooray, on 12 January 2018 I got my 10km time - that was the last one that I hadn't hit, so it's now four out of four targets achieved. In fact, some of my times are now much better than I ever imagined - the question is whether I should set new targets, even though I'm getting older?
In April 2018, I answered that question when I ran Boston marathon. I finished in 3h 00m 39s. Why couldn't I have been 40 seconds faster, to sneak under the 3 hour mark? Well, I can't be so close and not try to get under that magical 3 hour time, so the new marathon target is sub 3 hour. Scary!
I won't win any prizes with these times but I think they're quite respectable. If I run well, I squeeze into the top 15% of finishers (both in my age group and overall), with a more average run getting me into the top 20%. I don't think that my decision to retire early will make much of a difference in my results, unless being happier and more relaxed makes me faster...well, let's hope it does.
But one of the best things about the events/races is that although you are racing the competition and your friends, more than anything you are racing against yourself and your own targets. It therefore doesn't matter whether you're at the front, middle or back of the pack, you always have something to aim for and, as long as you've given it your best shot, something to be pleased and proud about. After all, you're out their doing it, which is probably more than most.
I have personal best times for running where I have entered events. For cycling, I just go on rides with my friends and for swimming, as I'm only now trying to teach myself to swim properly, I'm just trying to survive at the moment!
My best running times are:
5km 19m 33s
10km 38m 47s (Dubai, January 2018)
Half Marathon 1h 27m 48s (Dubai, December 2017)
Marathon 3h 00m 39s (Boston, April 2018)
I've also completed a couple of 50km and one 72km trail running events, but these events are so different that comparing times seems to be somewhat irrelevant.