Friday, September 12, 2008

Guess My Marathon Finishing Time

"Get your weight guessed right here! Only a buck! Actual live weight guessing! Take a chance and win some crap!"
--Navin R. Johnson, The Jerk

I don't know if I've mentioned it lately, but I am running a marathon in just a few weeks.

Oh, I did?

Well, anyway...

One of my new favorite things to obsess over is how fast I am really going to be able to run this race. For my first marathon, I trained to finish, which I did, in 4:57. This time, I want to set a PR, and to put as much time between last year's finish and this year's as possible. But how fast can I run it? The trouble is, any educated predictions are all over the place.

Yasso 800s: The theory is, if you run 8-10 800s a few weeks before your marathon, the time in minutes and seconds will be your marathon finishing time. I ran 800 meter repeats last night, and as an added challenge, had to run them on the street since there was a soccer game rudely interrupting my planned track workout. Even with some sloping hills, my average time was less than 4:00. I really don't think that's going to happen.

So, what about past race performances?

5K: My most recent 5K was a PR of 25:13. I ran it under near ideal conditions. The course was almost completely flat and the weather was gorgeous. This predicts a finishing time of 4:05:50.

10K: Longer distance, tougher conditions. It was July 4, so it was pretty hot and humid. And the course was very hilly and challenging. I finished in 54:59, which predicts a marathon finish of 4:18:02.

Trisko: Even longer distance, even tougher conditions. The course itself wasn't too bad. There was a big, steep hill at mile 2, a steep downhill at around mile 5, and one of those long, gradual, soul-sucking uphills at mile 12. The real challenge was the weather. Pelting rain, strong winds, and catlicking snow in May made that 13.1 miles really challenging. McMillan prediction? 4:23:38.

I don't know, Internet. My goal right now is 4:30, and that seems daunting. What's your prediction? The course is mostly flat, and I am hopeful for nice fall running weather.

In other news, the fine folks at Runners' Lounge featured me for Take The Mike Friday! I am really flattered to have been asked, and this massive wave of publicity makes me think again of the wisdom of Navin R. Johnson.

Navin: The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here!
Harry: Boy, I wish I could get that excited about nothing.
Navin: Nothing? Are you kidding? Page 73 - Johnson, Navin R.! I'm somebody now! Millions of people look at this book everyday! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity - your name in print - that makes people. I'm in print! Things are going to start happening to me now.


Kent said...

I am going to go out on a ledge with your countless freaking 20 milers in training that you are estimating low. I think you could do 4:15. That half marathon's weather (and lack of other runners) was at least :15 time penalty. When I plug those numbers into McMillan, it spits back out 4:13. That goes along with July 4 race result as well -- I know there is some calculator to determine effect per 10 degrees over 50 or 60 degrees F.

BTW - great article at the 'Lounge.

Kent said...

Here was that adjustment calculation that Jeff Galloway put out for adjusting Race Pace for Heat:

Estimated temperature at finish - Slower than goal pace -

* 8 min mile becomes...
* 55-60 degrees - 1% - 8:05
* 60-65 degrees - 3% - 8:15
* 65-70 degrees - 5% - 8:25
* 70-75 degrees - 7% - 8:35
* 75-80 degrees - 12% - 8:58
* 80-85 degrees - 20% - 9:35
* Above 85 degrees - Forget it... run for fun

Hopefully two weeks from now will be as perfect as last weekend was.

*aron* said...

loved the article on runners lounge!!!

good luck with your upcoming marathon! i started reading just in time :) tapering made me a little crazy too!

i wonder how accurate those calculators really are?? so many other factors go into race day.

tfh said...

Nice interview on Runners Lounge! It sounds like even using the most pessimistic predictor you're going to leave your old PR in the dust. I suspect you're being overly cautious with your goal and am happy to see all the major calculators agree!

J said...

Just wanted to say that your interview on Runners lounge was really great to read!

Spartan7 said...

Congrats on getting the mike on Runners Lounge. Your Blog is really cool.

I believe in what everyone here in saying. You'll do great and I would reckon to believe that you've become a better runner than you think you are. Given race conditions, you'll do great!

Happy Running and good luck!

Nat said...

I guess pretty darn close to 4 on the nose. Or if you decide to watch the world going by -- 4h12h46...

Because that looks like an ideal marathon finishing time.

Lisa said...

I think you could easily do 4:30. If the stars align and you get the perfect day (weather, your health etc.) you could get 4:15 or better.

I will be watching you closely. You and I have VERY similar times (my first marathon was 4:54 and my 10K PR is 55:07). I can't wait to see how you do.

I am going to head over and read the Runner's Lounge article. Congrats!!

Ovens2Betsy said...

I'm going to say 4:22:39 (but am hoping you'll knock it outta the park!)

RooBabs said...

My prediction is fabulous weather, and a stellar run of 4:16. Now I'm heading over to the Lounge to check out your stardom (I didn't have even one second to read blogs yesterday at work, can you believe that crap?)

Nitmos said...

4:20 ish based on nothing but your predictor times posted. Good luck!

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Yeah for you on the Lounge!!

I'm going to say 4:19:55 :D You can do it!!