A blog by runners. For runners.

We're not gonna take it

Thank to regular reader and co-worker Drew for the title suggestion for today – “We're not gonna take it”. It came about as I was discussing my disappointment late yesterday afternoon when I discovered that San Francisco doesn't actually have a 10 minute mile running pace group! The 10 minute mile pace group is a run 8 walk 1 approach which I think is really strange. I understand that a lot of people do run-walk marathons and that this strategy still results in a 10 minute mile but surely a marathon should focus it's pacing groups on people attempting to run the whole event. If I want to join a pacing group that runs the whole distance I have to crank up my pace to 9:09 minute miles.
I was planning on a 10 min mile to make sure I didn't underestimate my ability. The only hilly run I did in my training had a similar climb of about 250 ft over the first 3 miles and the rolling hills to match for the remaining 10. Needless to say this was is in England instead of Chicago ;-) On this run I made a 10 minute mile average so theory would suggest I can run San Fran at this pace plus 10 mins or 4.5 hours. After that my long runs have broken down as follows

  • 10 miles @ 8 mins per mile
  • 15 miles @ 8:12 mins per mile
  • 16 miles @ 9:56 mins per mile in upper 80s heat
  • 12 miles @ 7:49 mins per mile
  • 18 miles @ 8:26 mins per mile in 90 degree heat
  • 14 miles @ 8:42 mins per mile in crazy humidity
  • 20 miles @ 10:35 mins per mile in 95 degree heat

So the big question for me is that given the temperature for Sunday is set to be about 60 degrees which is 30 degrees cooler than my 18 mile run at 8:42 per mile, and that I run faster in cooler weather – should I push myself to the 9:09 minute mile group for the marathon?
Today was a 5 mile run with pretty muggy conditions – I arrived home with my cotton shirt soaked from sweat. I try to save my technical t-shirts for the longer runs so 5 mile shouldn't have been this hot! I was concentrating on my pace trying to shoot for 9 min miles but my splits were 8:42, 8:39, 9:13, 8:18 and 8:02 for an average of 8:35 so not that far off target.
For the marathon I have listed out each mile, the estimated time of arrival for each mile and the severity of the mile (e.g. uphill hard, downhill gentle). As one of my mind games to help me through I have dedicated each mile to one of my friends and my goal is to spend a good part of each mile thinking about the good times we have had and all the fun things we have done together. My friend Jeff instantly claimed lucky number 7 which is when I make the turn at the golden gate bridge.
For anyone who wants to cheer me on in the San Francisco marathon this Sunday, albeit remotely, my wave leaves the start line at 5.40 AM if I run the 9:09 group for a four hour finish in San Francisco which is
8:55 AM Chicago / 9:55 AM Atlanta or Boston / 2:55 PM England. You can track my progress at http://www.liveraceresults.com/sfmarathon/. Just enter my bib number “1198” to track me down.