This page is now divided into two sections:
- My overall race times from 1997-Present Day
- An analysis/summary of my race times from 1997-2010 (This was originally written/published on February 26, 2012 when the blog was launched)
Overall Race Times 1997-Present Day
Race Times Analysis/Summary-1997-2010
I suspect no one is really interested in reading 20 years of my race times. And even if people were interested, I only have race times documented since 1997—that’s six years of races for which I have no idea what I exactly ran or what my times were. I all I really know is that during those times I ran 5Ks, 10Ks, and 15Ks.
So I pulled together a summary chart of my 5K, 10K, 15K, 25K, half-marathon, and marathon times since 1997. I’ve selected my first, best, worst, and most recent times. Sometimes these are all different times and sometimes these are the same, i.e., my first time was also my best time. The postings for the 25K, half marathon, and marathon times are in fact the actual first, best, and worst times and are labeled as such. Because I have no records of races from 1991-1996, the first, best, and worst times for the 5K, 10K, and 15K races are only the ones that I know about. I know none of those are my first races and I suspect some of the undocumented times could have been both better and worse.
So what’s the point of all of this? Is there anything to be gleaned? I think so. I think there are two main things to take away:
1) Generally speaking, younger people can run faster. I say generally, because youth has its advantages; however, training, effort, willingness, and desire also play a big part. I am a better runner now than I used to be 20 years ago, which doesn’t necessarily mean I am faster. I think if I could take the training, effort, and willingness of my 40s and apply it to my 20s and 30s, my race times would have been much, much faster. So while youth isn’t everything, there is a HUGE reality to the fact that youth has the advantage of capacity, NOT capability.
2) Regardless of age, hard work, training, and race experience pays off. If you look at my most recent times for the 5K, 10K, and 25K races, they are not my best times, but they are better, by significant times, than my worst times in each of those distances. AND, in each of the cases I’m about 8 years older. Now, in each of those races, my most recent time pace is about a minute longer than my best time pace; and I am pretty much significantly younger for those best pace times. In the case of the 5K, by 12 years; 10K-8 years; and 25K-14 years. So while my best times I believe support my theory above in item #1, I think my most recent times prove my second theory—regardless of age, hard work, training, and race experience pays off and can and will make you a better runner. And let me wrap by saying a few things about race experience. To me, race experience is two-fold: 1) You’ve logged the miles on the road during the race; but I almost think the second item is more important 2) You know what it’s like to run a race. Going out and running a fast 10K time is different then running a fast 10K time in a race. It is pretty difficult to simulate race conditions during a training run. And that knowledge and memory of training for, eating for, sleeping for, and then getting up early and running that race is really important. And that only comes with time, which can only come with age.