Thursday, April 23, 2015

Boston pacing amusement

There's a guy who is best described as my ex-running-husband.  After years together, he left me for significantly faster women.  We "separated" temporarily when I was training for the Bataan Memorial Death March marathon in 2012, since I was doing all my training while wearing a 40 pound weight vest.  And I clearly remember my first "unweighted" run after that marathon, meeting my former running husband at the lake for an easy run together.  Thinking we'd pick up right where we left off about 5 months ago, and go back to running together happily ever after.  On that day at the lake, it was just the two of us running.  I felt like I was flying without that weight vest.  He was appalled (in the friendliest way) at how slow I had gotten.  We ran together on and off that year, but by 2013, we were both improving a lot, but he was doing so on a whole other level and we pretty much could never run together, unless he was just running easy and pacing me in a race or something, which he still does with some regularity.  Once he was out cheering for me at an after work race, a 10k, and he saw me at mile 5 and jumped in the race with me to encourage me -- in his dress shirt, khakis, and dress shoes!  A true friend indeed! 

It's fun to see him at races now, and see his times, and be able to say "I knew him when."  We're still friends of course, we sometimes go out for breakfast with a group after doing our separate runs.  He still invites me to run with his new fast group, but I know I can't hang.

Anyway, too much background there. 

So he ran Boston this past week.  He was planning on just running easy, targeting an exact re-Q for his age, probably close to 45-60 seconds per mile slower than what he would be racing for a full marathon.

Well, the weather in Boston started off good (cold, not too windy) and he knew it was forecast to get rainier and windier, so he instead decided to run a bit harder, but still not racing.  That meant instead going about 30 seconds slower per mile than race pace. 

He ended up with his BQ minus about 8.  Nice job, very impressive, and again, fun to say "I ran with him when." 

We're connected on Garmin Connect, so we see all of each other's runs. 

I had some free time and I looked at his Boston data.  He had a 6:53 overall average pace (totally inconceivable to me, that would actually be a 5k PR pace for me!). 

I could see the biggest pace changes immediately in the data.

It was clear he'd stopped for a little bit after about 30 minutes (shoe retie).  And it was clear that he sprinted for the last few minutes on Boylston -- his heart rate and pace were on fire!  He said he was basically racing one other guy at that point and it was an awesome push.  Paces well under 5:30.  Insane. 

But as I was going through his data, it was steady and pretty unremarkable except for the shoe retie and the couple minutes of sprinting at the very end.  Over the first 3 hours, he had instant paces fluctuating between 7:30 and about 6:20.  Usually clustered between 6:45 and 7:00. 

But then I saw a little spike.  The ONLY little spike in his first 3 hours of running.  The only sub-6:10 pace I saw in the first 3 hours.


Wellesley!  Haha.  Putting on a show for the ladies!  I love it.  He joked that it was better than the alternative -- having his pace slow down drastically, which probably would have meant explaining some kisses to his (real life) wife!  Haha.  Such a fun race!  Just seeing that and laughing about it with him makes me think I really need to run it again one day. 


  1. Oh gosh, too funny! Crazy how much data we have on every little thing now that you could pinpoint something like that.

  2. Funny. I totally understand what you mean when you describe him as your "ex running husband". Most runners don't get that. At All.

  3. Oops, I meant "most Non Runners" don't get that.