Today was the last race of 2008. I was excited about this race, thinking I could end the year with a PR. I had a few of those in 2007, but this year has been a step back. The Unity 5K I did in April (21:01) was 37 seconds slower than last year’s time (20:24). I am very happy with the Brunswick 5K (20:51) I did in May. I will do both races next year, in my never-ending attempt to get a sub 20 minute 5K.
My most disappointing 2008 race was the Gardiner 5 mile race (June). The time was 36:40. Last year I had a break out race, getting 34:17 – a 54 second PR. July’s race (Lisbon Falls) was a tough 5K, and I got a respectable 21:08. I think I will skip it next year. In the same category (too many hills), was my August Race (which I did in July – it’s complicated, don’t ask.) I ran a 21:45 5K. That was the Guilford race that I actually WON! Ha! The September race, a 5K in Augusta was also 21:08.
I am happy with all those times, I suppose, but I want to do better. I ran the Brunswick 8K in 2006 and the time was 34:20. My goal was 34:19 or better!
I took a long, hard look at my training this year, comparing it to 2006:
– I have almost averaged four miles per week more, ~34 mpw compared to 30.
– My tempo (7:07) and stamina paces (7:22) have been a little quicker than a couple years ago (7:17 and 7:43), but I have run fewer hard(ish) miles.
– My endurance pace is quicker also, and have run more slow(ish) miles than in 2006.
– I am disappointed in my weight. It is a little over four pounds higher (163 pounds in 2006, 167 now.)
So, with all that information – do you think I ran it faster than 34:20????? Lets take a mile by mile look, comparing the 2006 race to 2008. Kind of like SportsCenter.
In 2006 I covered the first mile in 6:46. That was a little fast, as the average pace for the entire 8K was 6:52. Not too bad though. As I started today’s race, an odd thing happened. My heart rate monitor strap slid off my chest and settled around my stomach. What a pain. I run long runs with a “fanny pack,” so the feeling of the monitor strap around my midsection was not too distracting. I finished mile one this year in 6:57. I was happy with that time as it was pretty close to my goal. I would not have heart rate information to help this time.
Ok mile two: 2006 went by in 7:02. The total back then was 13:48 – a 6:54 overall pace. Funny how things work, but I was neck and neck with my 2006 self in 2008: Today, I went by the mile two mark in 6:51, also covering the first two miles in 13:48. However, this year I am using my Garmin reported miles. In 2006 I did not have the Garmin, and used the course marked miles. Unfortunately, the miles marked on the course did not match up with the Garmin – the marked miles were long. I actually was slower than 2006. I remember getting to the mile 2 marker in 14:04, and being bummed to be slower than a seven minute pace.
I wanted to be faster, so this year I remember speeding up. In the middle of mile two was the one and only water stop. I skipped it. I also skipped the water in 2006, however back then they put the water break in mile three not mile two. But how am I doing? In 2006 I covered mile three in a blistering 6:46. This year, mile three was 6:51. Oh oh, our hero 2008 version of me is five seconds behind the skinnier 2006 me. Actually, I was a little more than five seconds behind, because my Garmin marked miles 20 to 30 feet before the race mile markers.
Up to this point, this year I had been running a nicely paced run – 6:57, 6:51, and then another 6:51. As in 2006 the first three miles were easy – down hill. Mile four started an up hill climb. I slowed down quite a bit in 2006, doing mile four in 7:16. This year I am happy to say, I made up some ground. Mile four passed in 7:07. It makes for an exciting ending: 2008 Dean (27:46) is actually four seconds ahead of 2006 Dean (27:50)!
It looks good on paper, but alas, it ain’t so. The four mile marker was placed around 4.11 miles! At the beginning of the race, the race director stated the four mile marker was not right. I can’t remember if it was in the same place as 2006. Oh well, my Garmin had me go through the first four miles in 27:46. My goal was to finish in 34:19 or better, so I needed to finish the thing in 6:33. An 8K comes out to 4.97096954 miles, so I had less than a mile to go.
One odd thing – my garmin measured another 1.008 miles, which I covered in 6:53. It appears the course is a bit over 8K, closer to a five miler. In 2006 I covered from the four mile marker to the finish in 6:30. I am unhappy to say my 2006 self beat me (the 2008 version) by 20 seconds. Again, the 2006 time was 34:20. Today’s time was 34:40. Bummer. Here are the results: http://www.mainetrackclub.com/pt8k08.html
Thanks, if you read the whole nerdy report, and good job if you just jumped to the bottom to see my time, that probably was the smart thing to do.
Good running all – my next race will not be until 2009!