Marathon Musings

Greetings from Minnesota. The weather here has been up and it’s been down. Tuesday we were close to 100 degrees, yesterday brought 70s, and this morning it was 55.

Do you ever have those blog posts you think about and ponder before you actually write them?

Well, that was this post.

Do you ever have those posts that are nearly finished and then you save them to re-read and post just a little bit later? Except when you come back the whole post is gone because you must not have actually hit “save draft.”

Well, that was also this post.

I’m not sure if this version will be quite the same as the first, but I still wanted to share my marathon musings with you. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now that it’s been over 2 weeks post-marathon, I’ve had some time to reflect and (over) analyze the experience.

If you like racing stats and times, this post is for you.

Being a numbers person myself, of course I wanted to track my marathon splits. I don’t have a Garmin, but I do have a lap timer on my watch that’s probably almost as accurate. I recorded all splits in my full marathon recap. They’re near the end of the post if you want to read through them.

For a first marathon, I was pretty pleased they were all less than 1 minute apart, with many within about 20 seconds. (Slowest was mile 4@ 10:44, fastest was mile 11@ 9:48).

I had hoped to run a negative split the second half, but that didn’t quite happen.

Still, I’m not disappointed with a 2:14:21 first half and 2:15:36 second half, especially because I did hit my goal of sub-4:30. ๐Ÿ™‚

There’s something even more significant for me about these half splits though.

Back in the fall of 2009, I ran my first half marathon. It was tough to finish those final miles, and I couldn’t even fathom running double that far.

I ran that first half in 2:17.

It’s almost extraordinary to realize that in a year and a half my body has learned to run a marathon at a faster pace than I used to run a half.

Another pace stat I found interesting was the first 10K of the marathon, which I ran in 64:26 (10:21 pace).

That seems rather slow, but it makes sense as mile 4 was my slowest of the marathon.

My overall marathon was 10:18 pace, so make what you will of the fact that I managed to run the first 10K at slower than overall pace.

A small part of me imagines I could have shaved a minute or two off my time if I’d just run faster in those first miles.

The realist in me knows I was smart to hold back. I probably would have just lost that time and more in the final miles.

Besides, if the conservative first 10K kept me from crashing at the end I’ll definitely pick that option any day!

Now that I’ve said a lot about what I did do in the race, let’s take a quick look at how I “should” have done.

Ever heard of McMillan Running?

On his website above, McMillan has a pace calculator for predicting finish times. You put in a time from a recent race, and it predicts how you should perform at other distances, given you train at the appropriate level for those distances.

My 5K PR predicts a 4:10 marathon, which was never really in my realm of possibilities. The time I spend training is far more conducive to a successful 5K than marathon, so it makes sense to me I didn’t quite live up to McMillan on that one.

But, there is a silver lining. Both my 10K and Half-marathon PRs predict a 4:38 marathon, and we all know I beat that one by a solid 8 minutes. ๐Ÿ˜€

To be fair, I haven’t raced either distance since last year, and I’m clearly in better shape now.

Even though my speed work has been lax, I did hope to work on lowering my 10K time in June.

Problem is, I’ve had this nasty virus almost a week that just won’t go away. I’ve been in and out of the doctor, and mostly out of my running shoes.

I may attempt this 10K thing in a few weeks anyway, if I can come to terms with the possibility of not running a stellar time.

And that’s the end of tonight’s extended running tales. I should really write about the hay we finished chopping and covering yesterday, but it deserves its own post.

Be back soon with stories about hay!


Tell me I’m not the only one who analyzes past big races? ๐Ÿ™‚

About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
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6 Responses to Marathon Musings

  1. Jena says:

    I definitely analyze every mile of my half-marathons. I try to think back to that mile and remember how I felt and if I could push a little bit further. I remember the point in my last half when I realized that I could have pushed harder the first several miles and had an even better time. It’s a really thin line – push hard, or lay back and push hard at the end? Ugh. The decision is definitely a tough one! I think you did the right thing for your marathon! Congrats again on meeting your goal and running a sub 4:30! You Rock!!

    I hope you start to feel better toon!

  2. A huge congrats on the marathon. You must still be flying high two weeks later.

    And yes, many people analyze past races, including me. I can’t believe how many times I’ve checked to see if a training run was faster than one of my half-marathon times. Or how my pace for outdoors runs this spring compared to my treadmill runs from last summer. I’m always comparing, analyzing, and predicting.

    Happy running this summer in MN.

  3. bearrunner says:

    Lol stories about hay…. you’re not the only analysis


  4. poeticruse says:

    I love reading these musings, because they’re exactly what I daydream about when I think about runs (right down to the unrealistic Macmillan times!).

    It’s great that your fitness has improved so much, and that means you could get a better 10k and half PR if you try! Even with the virus and the ‘rest days’, you probably haven’t lost much fitness, so as soon as you’re back on your feet you should get out there and run some speed work and clock some miles. Just think about how easy the 6 mile training runs are going to be after running 26.2!

    And if that 10k is good, but isn’t the pace you think you can do, it just gives you a target to shoot for, and another shirt to be proud of.

  5. runblondie26 says:

    You know the only way to stop over analyzing your marathon results is to run another race ๐Ÿ™‚ (I do that with the McMillan calculator all the time too)

  6. jeri says:

    The same thought occurred to me when I was analyzing my first marathon as well. I did my first in 4:12 and my first half was a 2:07. Almost exactly the same pace, but DOUBLED in distance. I think that’s mondo awesome for both of us. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love being a numbers geek. ๐Ÿ™‚

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