Monday, January 28, 2008

See Willie Blown Away

Wiiiiiiinnnnndddddyyy today! Ran 6 easy miles today with a friend from work. He is training for his first marathon and we have decided to run on Monday's together after work. I thought this would be great, I could help him along in his training and get some company on my easy runs. Well somewhere about mile 4 he let it slip that he ran a 12K leg of a marathon relay last year and averaged 6:30/mile! OK, so I can't be much help to him since he can run circles around me and I have gained nothing but someone ELSE to try and keep up with. So much for easy runs on Monday's!

Being an engineer I couldn't help but try to calculate an equivalent pace for running 8:20/mile into a 30 mph headwind (how big a geek am I, right). After much mental effort I decided that if I just turn around and run with the wind for awhile at the same effort I could probably get an accurate estimate of the answer from my Garmin 205 (God bless GPS). The problem with that is trying to maintain equal effort with a tailwind. It is very hard to hold yourself back when you are being pushed along by tornadic winds. I have never been that great a judging effort anyway. I know there are some runners and running programs that base training on perceived effort instead of a precise goal pace per mile but I would really suck at those! I am one of those runners that can run an easy 7:30 pace one day or run a hard 9:00 pace on another. Maybe that is my body speaking to me but sometimes it's hard to find an explanation for the difference in pace.

Since I really enjoy laughing at myself I will post for the world an example of how my mind works, or, in this case, doesn't work. I ran a 5K race this weekend here in my wonderful adopted hometown. I am NOT a 5K'er. Way to short for someone as slow as me, but it was for a good cause and I had friends that were running it so I thought I would use it for some speed work. My best 5K was 20:18 which I ran last fall on a relatively flat course here in the wonderfully-pancake-like terrain of Oklahoma. Although I don't do 5K's normally, this time was close enough to 20 minutes that I now have a goal of breaking 20 minutes. It's not something I am actively training for but I want to do it someday. Anyway, I started this race on Saturday and felt pretty good. My trusty Garmin was indicating a 6:33 pace at the 1/2 mile point so my 20 minute goal idea popped into my head. OK as I write this next part, I want you to remember that I am an engineer and I perform hundreds of complex calculations everyday at work. So I am about a mile into this race and I am trying to figure out what pace I need to run to break 20 minutes for a 5K. After much mis-guided thought, I determine that I only need to run 6:40 per mile to finish right at 20 minutes. So I figure I'm ahead of pace! yea for me! I can slow up some, this is easy. I go through mile 1 at 6:33, mile 2 at 13:01 (OK I still didn't get it yet figure I can coast to the finish right?). For the last mile I didn't check my watch and concentrated on running hard since the last mile had some rolling hills. (This is the really funny part) I checked my split at mile 3 which told me a ran a 6:49 and I was ecstatic! I'm gonna make it. What I failed to look at was my total time (which are the biggest number on my watch, but hey, I was happy) which at mile 3 must have been 19:50 giving me 10 seconds to run the last .1 miles! Since the finish was at the top of a hill and around a corner from the 3 mile mark I was able to live in my happy-fantasy world until I rounded the corner. At that point, I was dashed against the rocks of reality when I saw, in large red number, something like 20:40 on the race clock! I was totally bummed! How could I be so dumb. Then I remember who I was dealing with and chalked it up to another fine day in the life of Willie.

Thanks for listening

4 comments:

PKPWV said...

Were you mentally exhausted at the end of the 5K? wow! I'm impressed that you could do that many calculations....I just want to finish and head to the beer garden! ha ha. You'd smoke me in a 5K-you're slow? I'm way slower but that's what makes running so wonderful for everyone!!! I'm in a 5K this weekend-I usually run the 10k but because of my injury I'm battling back from I think I'm only goign to run the 5K-and since it's a super bowl sunday race-the 5Kers get to the beer garden first!!!

slow southbay girl of planet ynnep running!

Willie said...

OK so I use a calculator most of the time! Sounds impressive though doesn't it!?! I like the way you think.... shorter distance.. more beer... hummm, might have to look into that. What's your injury?

PKPWV said...

my injury-hmm...well for the past 7 years I've been running with major pain in my left foot-basically the ligaments and tendons they hold the metatarsals of my big toe and the one next to it are so weak and crappy that each time I was taking a step,running, jumping, living the big toe bone was rolling away from the rest of my foot-stretching the crappy ligaments and tendons more, each time-and it kept getting worse. I had 3 options-surgery-um NO! I could have wrapped my foot for the rest of my life (but it wouldn't have looked attractive in high heels !!!) or try prolotheraphy! I opted for prolotheraphy and am now a huge convert! It's changed my lefe! I go every 3 weeks and get injections of dextrose into my foot: arch, ankle, hurt area-any area that he feels is weak. WOW!!! What a difference! it's changed my life and given me back my running!!!

I have beer after any length race! :-) the one this weekend is one of my favorites that I've been running for years and with my dog now for just a few. it's great fun-runs along the ocean. Nice way to start a sunday morning!!!

I feel better that you use a calculator! Whew!

Willie said...

OOUCH! That sounds painful. Oh to run on the beach, that would be nice. We don't have many of those in the midwest. I'm jealous.