[TNWSS! Haha. Aaaaaah, yeah.]
Anyway. Staring at my Christmas Tree has caused me to navel-gaze a bit about my 2010 running performances. I’ve been reading old race reports (cringe), looking up NYRR stats, and stalking my own Athlinks page.
One thing has become clear: I have no business racing marathons. It’s not a good use of my time.
I have suspected this for a while, and now I have some data to confirm it. I am meaningfully better at shorter races than longer ones. Calculating my age-graded performance percentage data with this calculator for my best performance at each distance from the last year shows a pretty clear trend:
1500M – 5:30 (adj to 5:54 mile) – 71.5%
5K – 20:48 – 71.2%
4M – 28:17 – 68.3%
5M – 35:30 – 67.9%
10K – 47:55 – 63.3%
Half Marathon – 1:43: 12 – 63.8%
Marathon – 3:49:23 - 59.1%
(What are AG percentages? NYRR has a good explanation here, but basically it is dividing your time by the world-class time for your age and gender.)
For all of you visual learners out there, my AG stats look like this:
First reaction: Ugh. I poured four months in to training for that damn marathon, only to run my “worst” performance of the year.
Second reaction: Whoa. I can slap down a “regional class” performance (70% or better) at a silly weeknight track meet without any specific training for that distance. Baller.
Third reaction: I’m sure there’s more to the story here. Data can be misleading. This smacks of the McMillan Effect, in which it seems that almost everyone’s “expected marathon finish” is understated when calculated on the basis of a shorter race performance. (The common explanation being that it’s an expected time for “comparably trained” runners, and most people under-train for their marathons, which is certainly true in my case, but still.) Or maybe everyone’s stats would look like this if they went through the same exercise. I don’t know.
But although data can be misleading, it doesn’t lie outright. So I think there’s something here. And it’s something I’ve suspected for a while. All summer I was easily hanging with my speedy teammates at track workouts – and crushing things like 400s! – only to have them finish minutes ahead of me at road races. I think I’ve got a little more natural speed (and a little less endurance) than I’ve given myself credit for.
So…what does that mean for future plans? I’m not sure. I’ve got my two half marathons in the spring, and then I’m thinking I might turn my attention to a summer track series or two. Miles and 800s – sounds like fun! Frankly, I am pretty bummed that I’m missing the Armory indoor season in NYC. I had really looked forward to that, until the whole move-to-Raleigh thing happened.
And…maybe no (serious) marathoning in 2011. Maybe. We’ll see.
Today’s EAT: It’s been a while since we had a big-ass salad around here, eh?
Inspired by those pasta salads that people bring to picnics. And also, ingredients in my fridge. Baby spinach and mixed greens with:
- grated cheddar
- whole wheat pasta shells
- diced fresh bell pepper
- homemade Italian dressing
Today’s DRINK: Who’s gonna resist a big bottle of beer with a drunk Santa plastered across the front?
I love red beer – in spite of a ridiculous afternoon in 2005 which centered around $1 pints of Killians on tap at the local bar. Reds are always enjoyable to me: generally pleasantly bitter, but not as puckery as an IPA, and delightfully earthy.
This Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve Ale was lighter than I thought it would be, but still delicious! Very drinkable, with the expected light hoppy flavor and of course a subtle seasonal pine-like flavor. So many Christmas-themed beers are either kind of a cop-out (beer with nutmeg sprinkled in it?) or really dark/heavy (which I like, but I know many people don’t). I think this Rogue brew would be a good seasonal choice for someone who normally prefers light beer.
Today’s RUN: Mehhhhh. I had planned to do a long-ish run today, but I only made it through five miserable, sluggish miles. Not sure what the problem was. Oh, maybe it was because I was snacking on pizza and chocolate truffles all afternoon and had a bloated tummy full of greasy, sugary, salty food when I headed out the door.
Friday is the new long run day this week.
Today’s QUESTION: What is your favorite distance to run – and which distance are you best at? Tell me about your favorite or best race in 2010!