Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Real World Realities of Marathon Race Pace

Last night a small group of us went out for a 10K at marathon race pace. It was a little shocking.  And that was even with me fudging the numbers a little.  We did a hair over 10K in 50:52.  I had been shooting for 48:00 flat, which requires a pace of 7:43.  I should know better than to do math in my head while running! Our actual average pace was 8:11, which would have resulted in a marathon time of 3:34:24.  Close, but not close enough!  Actually, it would have been fabulous for everyone in our group but me!

To qualify for the Boston Marathon I have to run a marathon pace of 8:00 per mile. Realistically of course, with breaks for water and other interruptions, a safer pace is around 7:45 per mile.  Hence the 48:00 minute 10K's at race pace.  A 3:20 is an even more daunting task.  That requires a pace of 7:38, which means that in the real world I should be aiming for a marathon race pace of 7:25-7:30....  Or faster!

It may seem a little obsessive to agonize over seconds, but in the end that is what every marathon boils down to, minutes and seconds per mile.

Once again of course, 16 weeks can work a lot of magic, but last night was a real reminder of how challenging it is to run a personal best.

The first night of the Clinic, the Clinic leaders usually have a brief discussion about running etiquette.  Never mind treating your Pace Group Leaders like the Gods they are!

Crikey, for once I wish they would tell people not to douse themselves in cologne or perfume.  Few things are more disagreeable than going out for a hard run for the better part of an hour and having your proboscis assaulted along the way.   The current clinic has a couple of men who wear so much of something that they run in a cloud.  You either have to run ahead of them, or simply drop back to keep from literally gagging.  

At the other end of the scale are the runners who've apparently never heard of deodorant, or even worse, wear the same workout gear for multiple runs.   THAT in and of itself is enough to make fly larvae regurgitate a meal of decaying meat, or as my Daddy used to say, smell bad enough to make a maggot puke...

On a positive note, the scale read 205 this morning!


Blogger Shaunene said...

It is great to see you are moving back to your obsessive self - having changed my mindset this year from miss casual to more competitive I completely relate - you have to commit to the plan single mindedly and you have already done it before - welcome back...


11:04:00 AM  

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