May 12, 2008

On average, I can't compare

As I mentioned before, I tend to pore over stats on my marathon to see how I did and where I slowed down. I haven't quite got to the Excel spreadsheet madness yet (Matt), but it isn't far off. I was looking at my splits and here is how I paced myself:


0 - 6.2: 9:48 minute miles
6.3 - 13.1: 9:27 minute miles
13.2 - 20: 9:40 minute miles
20.1 - 26.2: 10:43 minute miles

Overall, pretty good pacing for me. The last 6 miles were obviously a drop off, but still a big improvement over past performances.

Then I looked at how I fared in my age group. Though I cut 20 minutes off my time, I did noticeably worse at Eugene than I did in San Diego. I am guessing that most of this is due to many more first timers and charity runners at the Rock n Roll Marathon. Not that I will ever compete with other runners in my age group, or that I even try. I am only competing with myself out there. Still, it is interesting to see where I fall.

I looked up statistics on Marathon finishes in 2007, and it turns out that I have made my way to to the middle of the pack. According to Running USA Wire, the median male marathoner in 2007 was 40.3 years old (me) and their median time was 4:20:04 (me). According to, the average male marathoner in 2007 was 40.5 (me) and their average time was 4:29:52 (I'm above average!).

As I mentioned previously, my current goals for marathon and half marathon times are to run at twice the world record. This would mean 4:08:52 for a marathon, and 1:57:50 for the half. My intermediate goal for the marathon was to beat 10:00 minute miles, and I did that at Eugene (9:54 miles). I can't imagine qualifying for Boston (3:20 for my age), but cutting another 10 or so minutes off my marathon time is an achievable goal in the near future.

Then this morning I read that a new world record for race walking was set. Russian Denis Nizhegorodov race-walked 50 kilometers (31 miles) in 3:34:14. This equates to a 3:00:40 marathon. This 37 year old could qualify for the Boston Marathon by 15 minutes - walking. I remember catching up to a woman race walker at Eugene around mile 14.

Glad I don't compare myself to others.

1 comment:

SeanH said...

I stopped training a few weeks ago, and find your notes on running every bit as inspiring, my friend.