Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

“There are three types of lies — lies, damn lies, and statistics.”
? Benjamin Disraeli

I am wiping the depressing slate of last week. I am dismissing the sadness of the anniversary of my father’s passing. I am wiping clean the sadness of my maternal grandfather’s death (Thursday last, funeral is today). I am not forgetting, willfully ignoring, or repressing.

I am, at this moment in time, moving on.

***cue awkward segue***

Ahem. Two things you should know about me. I assume that these things are true for all people, but just in case they’re not, I’ll just say this up front.

  1. I keep detailed spreadsheet workout logs. I have an excel calendar that tracks my miles run, walked, swam, and biked, as well as the amount of time I’ve deliberately spent on exercise. In addition, I have another spreadsheet that tracks each activity by month per year and looks at increases or decreases in time/workout; miles/workout; workouts/month, pace, speed, etc. (So far, perfectly normal, right?)
  2. I write my blog posts in my head while driving.

Starting in April, I will be taking part in a marathon training clinic. There are long runs every Saturday and starting in June, Thursday night workouts that I assume will be speed workouts.

I have access to a coach who made me a training plan based on my current activity level, past race times, and goals.

Apparently my past race times are too far in the past to have any bearing on where I’m at now, so the coach emailed me on Friday and said that for a good plan, I need to have a current 8K or 10K run at race pace under my belt.

I stressed. I freaked. I annoyed the architect with self-doubt. I mean, yeah, I totally ran 11 trail miles last Monday, but what with the underfueling and over-running (and elevation) ended up being nearly 15 minute miles. Not really what I want listed as race pace. And I haven’t run more than 5 miles (and definitely not at race pace) on pavement in…over a year? (Do you like how I put a question mark on that like I don’t know? ha ha ha. The last time I ran over 5 miles on pavement before last Saturday was the 10K I did on 1/5/13.)

I talked to my BAWG (bad-ass warrior goddess) group that I’m a part of. They assured me that I probably wouldn’t die (someone did say that even if I did, there was this new Resurrection show…) and so Saturday morning, I put on my chain mail leggings, zombie arm warmers (it was 34 degrees! brrr!) and got a 90s Jock Jams playlist up on Songza.

I headed out to the Springwater Corrider for my faux 10K.

It did not start well. There was construction on the path that caused me to reroute at the beginning, and it was hard. HARD! When mile 1 clicked over, though, I’d just done a 10:35 minute mile. I was okay with that. I just wanted to finish in under 1:10:00. That’s no where near a personal best, but it’s also (a) not a personal worst and (b) faster than that 10K last January.

Mile 2: 10:49Mile 3: 11:08

I ran for a bit past my mile 3 mark before turning around. I did the whole run in a kind of half-assed Galloway, and spent most of the run reassuring myself that I was still actually running.

Mile 4: 10:36
Mile 5: 10:45 (DEER!)
Mile 6: 11:03

Ummm…I guess I’m consistent?

Mile 6.21: 0:2:18 (10:57 pace – I didn’t have much left apparently)

Overall time/pace: 1:07:14 (10:49)

Now when I first saw that number, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, Yay! I beat my 1:10:00 goal!

On the other: Booo! My 10K PR is under an hour. I have so much ground to make up.

So, I went to enter my time in my training log AND in my spreadsheet. I noticed that this is the first run of the year that I had a pace under 11 minute miles.

And that there were no runs last year under 11.

And not a single one in 2012.

In fact, the last time I ran a comparable distance (5+) with an under 11 minute mile pace was April 2011, and for consistent times under 11, I really need to go back to early 2010 and 2009 – i.e. the times I was in the best shape of my life before my foot went all wonky (spring 2010) and I had surgery (October 2010), and then got pregnant (summer 2011), gave birth (April 2012), and didn’t recover for over a year (physically and mentally).

Seriously – in a not-official race, I posted my best time since I was in the best shape of my life. And I feel confident that 2 months from now, I can beat that time. I have run more this year than the last couple, but I’m still not as consistent as I could be. Once I start running with more consistency (10x/month minimum), I am going to be awesome.

AWESOME.

My coach has placed me in the 4:45 marathon pace group. If I do that, it will be a 22 minute marathon PR.

Pretty much I win. (By the end of this month, I will have surpassed my 2013 total miles run. It won’t be too far into April when I surpass 2012.)

This makes me not want to break up with running anymore. We had a rocky couple of years, but I think we’re finally working out our differences.

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