Barefoot, Kilted, and Shirtless for the Mississauga Half!
Not a great finishing time (1:57.46.2), but not a bad one either. I went out too quickly at the start (when will I learn?), and pushed the hill at the 10K mark a little too hard. Not surprisingly, I paid for both of those mistakes later, with my pace dropping significantly post-18K. Still, it was a good race and I was reasonably happy with my finish.
A big highlight was a dailymile meetup before the start. I chatted with another good friend while waiting in the start line, ran with another for a short distance in the first few kilometers, and chatted with two more at the finish. That made the race much more of a social event than my races usually are. For an Aspie like me, this sort of stuff is a big deal.
And the weather was pretty much race-perfect: 10C at race start and 19C at the finish, sunny, with a 10 km/h wind, and 42% humidity.
Dailymile meetups are fun. Interesting, too, as they involve re-connecting with folks I already know, meeting face-to-face with people I’d only connected with online, and meeting new friends. This one was a large group, involving runners who were doing the half and full marathon distances.
My official stats for the half were as follows:
Chip time: 1:57.46.2
Average pace: 5:30
Overall placing: 816/2363
Category placing (male 60-69): 14/48
Gender placing: 525/1058
Interestingly, those numbers suggest that I may finally have broken out of my “mid-pack runner status” in terms of overall and category placing (though not in gender placing). That makes me feel much better about my slow finishing time.
More numbers. The following kilometer-by-kilometer breakdown, generated by my Garmin Forerunner 210 and filtered through the SportTracks application, tell the story far better than any photo could. Look down the list, and then read on while I unpack the numbers a bit.
Kilometer 1: 5:24 min/km
Kilometer 2: 5:16 min/km
Kilometer 3: 5:18 min/km
Kilometer 4: 5:15 min/km
Kilometer 5: 5:19 min/km
Kilometer 6: 5:26 min/km
Kilometer 7: 5:26 min/km
Kilometer 8: 5:16 min/km
Kilometer 9: 5:18 min/km
Kilometer 10: 5:21 min/km
Kilometer 11: 5:46 min/km
Kilometer 12: 5:33 min/km
Kilometer 13: 5:35 min/km
Kilometer 14: 5:30 min/km
Kilometer 15: 5:35 min/km
Kilometer 16: 5:28 min/km
Kilometer 17: 5:29 min/km
Kilometer 18: 5:34 min/km
Kilometer 19: 5:36 min/km
Kilometer 20: 5:43 min/km
Kilometer 21: 5:31 min/km
My target finish time for this half was 1:53. I’d planned carefully for that. In theory, it was all very simple. I could pull off that finishing time (and therefore a new PB) if I kept an average pace of 5:21 min/km. Simple, right?
Concept was good, execution was rubbish.
Studies of runners at half and full marathon distances suggest that a pace only 2 seconds quicker than the runner’s targeted training pace means diminished performance later in the race. As you can see from the above numbers, I blew things completely. For kilometers 2 through 5, I was doing as much as 6 seconds faster than my target pace. And I did it again for kilometers 8 and 9. In fact, the only kilometer for which I held my target pace was kilometer 10. I slowed down a lot going up the hill at kilometer 11, and then dragged myself along for the second half of the race distance.
That was just lame. There’s no other word for it.
Strong old animal