Like many of you, I'm sure, I constantly worry about my race pace. In fact, the current lack of it is frightening me off entering anything much at all.
Okay, some of you will know that I am on the long haul back from a nasty hamstring injury and that is certainly not helping things. An almost two-month lay-off including all the Christmas festivities was exactly what my body didn't need - and there is now much more of that body than I would really like. But the injury has not only stolen my fitness, it seems to have also stolen my running mojo.
Don't get me wrong, I'm still putting some miles in, but I would rather tailrun at Pendle parkrun and do a 90 minute treadmill test than get out on the roads and towpaths and back to the sort of times I believe I should be running.
Half of it, I'm convincing myself, is fear of aggravating the injury which is 99% healed. Some of it is not wanting to get too far from home and then realise I can't get back again, after all Team TAC chairman Paul Brown isn't on standby for every run, he just happens to know that he usually finds me at the back of the field on a Monday night run, and on the night I picked up my injury I was glad to see him and he helped me get all the way from the bypass to Holt House.
Since the injury, I have wasted about £150 in unused race entries and I am about to withdraw from the Leeds Half Marathon in the middle of next month. So back to the original question: PB or not PB?
I know I am not race fit for Leeds, in fact if I got round in less than about 2:20 it would be a miracle. But should it matter?
Are the road runners among us so obsessed with time that we cannot complete a half marathon and use it is a training run? Are we all too embarrassed to admit to a time noticeably slower than before?
My children delight in telling me that my age is now much nearer 60 than 50. They tell me I should expect my times to be slower. I offer them some relocation advice! So, how do I cure this race pace dilemma?
Can I go on Amazon and buy some mojo?
Do Up and Running sell new hamstrings?
Can I have Paul Brown on speed dial just in case?
All I know is that I am going to have to find some inspiration from somewhere or eight pairs of training shoes (or should that be nine?) and another couple of hundred quid's worth of entries to various 10K, 10 mile and half marathon races are all going to waste.