Hey, it almost rhymes!
Tonight I'm laying out my Varsity Sports singlet (we made matchy-poo singlets again and I broke down and bought one: I feel like I need to support the group that I run with!) and shorts and trying to make a last-minute decision about which shoe to wear tomorrow.
I'm also taking a minute to consider my pacing and splits for tomorrow's 10k.
Two weeks ago I ran a really pathetic 5k (for which I won ANOTHER coupon for a Road ID; I can now keep one on every pair of shoes!). I followed that by an equally pathetic 10k last week, which for some reason I am quite satisfied with. I guess when you only run a 10k once every five years you become easy to please (the last time I ran the Crescent City Classic I was thrilled to finish under 48 minutes - like, boasting proud).
Something odd happened in both of these races. My pacing was bizarre.
Race #1, a 5k, had pretty similar miles 1 and 3 and a really slow mile 2 (cramps). I am not skilled at the 5k, but I'd expect to gradually slow over the course.
Race #2, a 10k, had exactly even splits for 6 miles. 6:40 on the Garmin dot, nery a 6:37 or 6:42 amongst 'em. This reminded me of my last half-marathon, which was also pretty evenly paced, at least by halves: the first half I ran with friends and the second half I left them and sped up, but each 6ish mile segment had relatively same splits for each mile.
What does this tell me about the races?
Well, race #1 is an aberration. I don't run 5ks all out, get tired, then get a second wind suddenly. I either crash and burn or never put out enough effort. So I'm scratching that race from my McMillan calculator.
Race #2? I think the even splits indicate lack of effort. I didn't run the race hard enough. I understand that a smart marathon should be negative split or slightly positive split, depending on your viewpoint. But it should generally be almost even (I, of course, firmly positive split most races, because I am a bad pacer).
However, in a shorter distance, I'd like to see myself either:
a. Positive split because I was completely out of juice for the last mile: left it all on the course miles 1 - 5!
b. Negative split because I really, really put the pedal down at the end of the race and used up all my energy.
Basically I think that if you can even split a race, you should have run a negative split: you didn't give enough at the end. And that's true of last race. I ran very solidly and evenly and let my mind wander to the ethanol content of fuel and adjusted my ipod and played with my hair. No all-out sprint at the end. Bad.
My chance for redemption is tomorrow, and I will try hard to run a better (and faster!) race!