Monday, March 15, 2010

5 seconds

5 seconds,in a race, can seem like a long time.It can mean the difference in a Boston Qualifying time or the difference between a 3rd place group award and a 4th place group finisher. This past weekend, that 5 seconds, left me feeling a little down about the race.

This weekend was the 16th Annual Tom King Half Marathon. Finish line is inside of the Tennessee Titans Football stadium on the 50 yard line. The course is a flat out and back, starting outside the stadium and going down a nice greenway in Shelby Park in Nashville. It is put on by the Nashville Striders which is one of the groups largest fund raising races of the year. It also brings out any-and-everybody who is fast in the area. It's the perfect tune-up race for upcoming April/May spring marathons, OH and it's TOTALLY FLAT, so it is a very FAST course. Bring in overcast sky's and the temperature at 45 degrees, and this day was as good of a race day as you can find. The humidity was hanging in the air, but not bad because of the low temps.

It's funny what your training tells you, if you are listening. My training has been spot on for 8:00 minute miles (over the long haul.) My plan for this race was to keep it between 7:45 and 8:00 miles and shoot for 1:43 to 1:44.

First 10 miles were pretty consistent:
1 Mi - 7:32      
2 Mi - 7:42      
3 Mi - 7:50      
4 Mi - 7:57      
5 Mi - 8:00      
6 Mi - 7:52      
7 Mi - 7:52      
8 Mi - 8:06      
9 Mi - 8:02   
10 Mi - 8:10

Mile 11 was the walk thru-water break. Ouch, I walked a little longer than planned. I was telling my feet to go, but could not make them run. I didn't bonk, I just wanted a little break.

11 Mi - 8:32      
12 Mi - 8:05      
13 Mi - 7:52      
0.19 Mi -6:45 (1:45:04)

The last "tenth" of a mile is a fib on behalf of my Garmin - before running into the stadium, we had to go under the tunnel to get to the field, and the garmin paused for 25 seconds. I looked at the Garmin going into the field and it said 1:44 something, so I knew I had a chance at that 1:44 I was shooting for. Crossed the finish line and Garmin said 1:44:40. I was totally happy about that. I was smiling ear to ear when I went to the Buffet inside the stadium and sat down and looked at my time and splits, when it occured to me that there was that 25 second pause coming into the stadium. I check the official chip sheet, and sure enough, 1:45:04 - 5 seconds too slow for the 1:44. Crap'ola. Still a 5 minute Personal Record from last October's Middle Half Marathon. Happy about that and gives me something to shoot for in the fall.

Oh yeah, remember I said this race brings out the "faster" type.I finished 261 out of 1128 finishers - which is top 23%, but was only 41st out of 105 in my age group (39%).

CMM is 6 weeks out and I need to pick my miles back up.

First real "Trail Race" in 2 weeks in Chattanooga, so stay tuned for that.


  1. A 5 minute PR is HUGE! Congrats!!

    I've been considering that trail race... haven't completely decided yet, though.

  2. 5 minutes off of a half-marathon is great, despite your 5 second disappointment.

    (I always turn my garmin "auto-pause" feature off before a race, that way the clock keeps ticking even if I stop or lose satellite signal - not that it helps now, but something to consider for next round).

  3. ditto the others - 5 mins is a great improvement! 5 seconds is such a close cut off, but really you can't be disappointed in your performance :)


Thanks for commenting. :)