going the distance

December 10, 2010

is shorter better?
i was going to move on with my resolution assessments, but then shelby wrote this fascinating post on comparing one’s performance in various distances, so i thought i’d focus on running for a change.

2010 hasn’t really been a banner year for running long distances. i did just one half (no PR), and not a single full marathon (my last was thunder road, nearly a year ago!). but it’s actually been pretty good to me when i consider the short!

i set my 5K PR in march at durham’s great human race 5K, even winning a 2nd place age group award (uhh, as you can gather, it wasn’t a huge event!). i had my sights set on breaking 23 minutes for years, and was thrilled with my (chip) 22:52.

ignore the fact that i look like a pygmy standing next to willowy meg in my HUGE reach-out-and-read shirt – the cause i had raised $ for!
i also (randomly) raced my first mile on the duke track: it was josh’s idea. i was pleasantly surprised with my 6:43 time for 1600m as i had never clocked a sub-7 mile before . . . ever.

the official timepiece
however, when (much faster than me) shelby wrote her post about excelling in shorter distances, i immediately thought, “oh, how interesting! i am the opposite.” after all, i feel more proud of my performance at last year’s marathon than i do of my rando-mile.

i set out to graph my age-graded performances using the calculator shelby used . . .


and was surprised to find that i was wrong.

similar to shelby, my ‘best’ distances are clustered at the short end of the spectrum. so either the calculator is flawed, or i am not as great at assessing my own strengths/weaknesses as i thought i was.

reasons not to go long
✭ a finish looking like THIS can’t be good for you:


✭ those last 6 miles . . .


except despite these reminders, i find myself crawling back for more. and in fact, the age-graded data just makes me hungrier for improvement! i have been wistfully reading about other people’s marathon plans, and for a millisecond i even considered jumping off the deep and registering for this:


but then there’s this
i mentioned in this post that our quest to start a family isn’t going as smoothly as i once expected. while the specialist i have been seeing has not suggested that i cut down my running, various family members (including josh) have wondered if running long could be contributing to the problem.

from an endocrine perspective, i find this hard to believe — without going into detail, i have evidence that my problem is more ovarian than hypothalamic. furthermore, i do not have superlow body fat (and like many females, my running does not seem to have any impact on that anyway).

however, the process is getting to be a bit frustrating, and so yesterday i sent the specialist an email asking for specific recommendations regarding running (i fear i’m becoming one of those patients . . .). i’ll let you all know what those recommendations are, but i have a feeling they are not going to be to sign up to race 26.2 miles.

and i will be okay with that! because if this lady can slow it to a walk and the women below can smile for the camera, really, what business do i have complaining about it!?!

glowing kara goucher + paula radcliffe [source]
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12.9.10

workout: 4 miles @ 9:13/mi, 0.5% incline

cooking: did not happen. it was one of those come-home-and-crash kind of evenings.