Hooray! Yesterday at the "Turkey Burn-Off" 10 miler --- thanks to the kind help of Coin Club Comrade KS who ran the initial five with me --- I was able to achieve a heretofore elusive goal: negative splits. I actually covered the second half of the distance significantly faster than the first, and in good comfort. Instead of the usual boring (maybe to some, but not to me) tabular presentation of mile-by-mile paces and cumulative time data, here's a quick graph:


"Pace" on the vertical axis is in minutes/mile and is depicted by the red diamonds. The blue line is a least-squares fit to those ten points and shows an overall average acceleration of ~7.5 seconds/mile/mile. (Extrapolating that I should reach the speed of light after ~87 miles ... hmmmm!)

The Montgomery County Road Runners Club, as usual, put on a superb event. Amazingly enough there was even plenty of good food left for slowpokes like me who reached the finish line almost 2 hours after the race began. Some aides memoire re the experience:

My official results (slower than my watch times by ~15 seconds, since KS and I began that far back in the pack; note that most people chose one or the other event, not both):

5 miler: 148th place, behind 83 men and 64 women, 14th of 15 males in the 50-54 year bracket --- finishing in 53:14.

10 miler: 141st place, behind 89 men and 51 women, 12th out of 13 males in my age group --- total time 1:41:49.

An excellent ramble through the woods ...

(see also EdwardsFolly (13 Apr 2003), Marathon in the Parks 2003 (11 Nov 2003), MarathonGraphs (17 Nov 2003), ... )

Just out of curiosity; how would your second 5 miles have placed in the 5 miler linup? - RadRob

According to the official results table at http://www.mcrrc.com/racing/race03/03tbo10-5M.htm it looks as though 48:35 would have been in 120th place, behind 72 men and 47 women, 11th of 15 in my sex/age group --- ^z

TopicRunning - TopicPersonalHistory - TopicHumor - 2003-11-30

I bear some responsibility for the erratic pace over the first five miles and some credit for the better pace during the last five.
The first half erratic pace is very similar to my pace during the Turkey Chase, where I burned (if you call a 9:30/mi pace smoking) off the first two miles, struggled during the middle and picked it up during the end (of my 5 miles). Not being as experienced of a runner as ^Z is the cause of that, but maybe I'll learn as I run more.
At the risk of sounding negative, the acceleration during the second five miles may be more the result of running slowly with me than speeding up over the second five miles. In other words, I may have held ^Z back from an otherwise quicker pace over the first miles had he been running alone (but at the loss of my companionship - can friendship be measured in time?), in which case the best fit line would have been flat, or at least flatter.

All my past experience indicates that if I go too fast at the start then I suffer much more later on (and the resulting net time is far worse) ... so no, you didn't hold me back! ... and it was a great learning experiment, eh? Now if we can tune it a bit more during future races ... ^z

I second Mark Zimmerman, Thanks to all the organizers and volunteers at the Turkey Burnoff. Mark, congrats to you for finishing the 10 miles. You may feel slow, but I often feel like the only one in the club who runs a 12+ mile pace. So ten miles in "almost 2 hrs" is fast to me, because it takes my almost 2 1/2 hrs to do 10 miles! Even the 10 min/mile pace of the BOPers is fast to me. That's partly why I didn't do the entire 10 miles and did 5 instead. It's hard always feeling like you're holding everyone up from going home and getting back in bed :) But even if I'm last at the club races, I'm still running and I'm proud of that! Doing my first 1/2 marathon this Jan too - and I just started running this April when I joined MCRRC's Beginning Women Runners program. So see you at the races! :)

BRAVO!!! Just getting out and running in the first place is admirable in itself!

(correlates: IncomParable, SituationalStrategy, 2008-07-12 - Candy Cane Trail Run, ...)