I've had these discussions with runners and non-runners alike. I hate talking about personal records. Those are too personal and individual. If you ran a 17 minute 5K as an 18-year old, and I ran a 19 minute time as a 45 year old, which is "better"? What if your PR was in cool fall weather and mine was in the heat of summer? Tracks vs roads or trails? Too many variables. Many of which we have no control over.
There is one topic that intrigues me--maximum weekly mileage. What's the most miles you've run in one week? You have control over that! You can slowly up the miles until you hit your melting point. Or just decide "this will be my running week" and go for a new PR in weekly mileage! No need to wait for race day...you can try for a maximum mileage week any time you feel ready. Young or old, you can accumulate a lot of miles in one week. And it's a personal accomplishment that doesn't depend on other runners. You simply try to exceed your past high mileage week.
So, what's your biggest mileage week?
Have you broken 50 miles?
I'm proud to state that my biggest mileage week totaled 303 miles. That's more than most elite runners have ever achieved. Pretty cool. And I did it in the middle of summer in hot and humid Illinois weather. Kudos to me! Still, I could have done more that week. I basically gave up after breaking 300 and just tacked on those extra 3 miles. I could have pushed harder and exceeded 325. Maybe 350 would have been possible. I doubt I could ever break 400 miles in 7 days...but I often think about it. If I really tried it again, I'd shoot for 333. Seems symmetrical.
How about you? When's the last time you really pushed a full week of running? If I can break 300 miles in one week, you can surely match or beat me. Go for it!