Sunday, August 13, 2006

You Know How to Whistle, Don't You?*

This morning I ran the Leesburg 20k with (OK, far far behind) my good friend and highly unpaid coach Bex.

My goal for this race was to run it at marathon pace. According to Mr. McMillan, if I can run a 10k at 1:07, I should be able to run a marathon in 5:14, which is a 12:01 pace. But we all know he's insane. So instead, last night, I ran all the numbers backwards, and found that for a 5:30 marathon (my goal), my pace should be 12:36 min miles. (It's fun playing with numbers! Try it!)

It was a gorgeous fall-like day out. I got to the site at 6 a.m., a wee bit early for a 7:30 start. But no lines at the portapotty.

The course was an out-and-back thru downtown Leesburg, Virginia, (a lovely historic D.C. bedroom community surrounded by farmland which is quickly being taken over by big bad and ugly developments) and then onto the W&OD trail, which was beautiful, and shady. It was 64 degrees F, and 64 percent humidity. It doesn't get much better than that, people.

Here's what the W&OD trail looks like:

It's positively bucolic. We ran past horse farms, and a few cows.

So, here I was, planning on running 12:10 min. miles for the first half and then maybe speeding up to 11:50 min. miles the second half. Hope springs eternal!

I started out running with a girl who was going my pace—slow—but who was huffing and puffing by mile two. I knew that today I wanted to run my own race, so I said goodbye, and ran off to see what I could do.

And here's what I did:
1: 11:46
2: 12:14
3: 12:04
4: 12:12
5: 11:52
6: 10:49 (whoa)
7: 11:27
8: 11:39
9: 10:11 (more whoa)
10: 10:34 (all right!)
11: 10:11 (ditto)
12: 10:09 (excellente!)
.4: 4:28 (um, .4?? Who knew?)

Total: 2:19:41 (11:14/mile)

(By the way, does everyone but me know that a 20k is 12.4 miles, not 12.2?? Wacky metric system.)

Maybe it was the fallish weather? Or the fact that the course was slightly uphill out and slightly downhill back (except for one big mother hill at mile 7)? (Or that I'm an exceptionally talented and fast runner?) I dunno. I just know at one point I noticed a 10:11 min. mile and said to myself, Self? You are running your 5k pace after running for eight miles. At the end, I knew I could have gone farther.

I made my grande finale to find Number One Daughter and her BF and Bex and a friend, P., all waiting. (Bex had an awesome run, but I'll let her tell you about it. Let's just say she had to hang around for a good long while to see me.)

In the interest of full disclosure, I came in 20/22 in my age group.


I don't care.

This race was a much-needed confidence booster. Now I know I can do this for 12.4 miles, but do I know how to do it for 26.2?

*Sure, you know. You just put your lips together and ... blow.


angie's pink fuzzy said...

sweet job!

plods said...

Woa!!!!! So fast! I told you so!!!!
Good job Jeanne!

WADDLER26.2 said...

Applaud!!!!! Great run. Your pace was exceptional. The 20/22 means nothing because it doen't count all those home in bed and others who would never attempt the distance. You should be pleased with the day.

21st Century Mom said...

Yay!!! That is awesome and I pick 'extremely talented and fast runner' as the explanation. Way to go and hooray for confidence. I love that stuff. I'd like to buy some in bulk.

Donald said...

Great run! The course looks beautiful. Don't trust those calculators, though - they'll drive you crazy.

neese said...

i love that you use words such as "bucolic" great post!

your splits are so awesome how you got faster the longer you were out... way to go!!!

David said...

Negative splits. You are familiar with what those are? Well since you are an exceptionally talented long distance runner, of course you know. So much for calculating.
I love the pictures of the trail. That was bucolic.

Jon (was) in Michigan said...

Jeanne, Jeanne the runnin' machine!

Sweet time there, Jeanne. Don't ya love it when you have a race plan in your head and the feet say "Forget that! We're burnin' up the road!".

Nice job!

nancytoby said...

Excellent running! I did that race a few years ago when it was like 2000 degrees outside. You know how to pick 'em better than me, obviously! Well done!

Firefly's Running said...

Awesome run!!

DebbieJRT said...

way to go!

Anita said...

Whoa Girl! You must be out of your mind excited...congratulations!

Anne said...

Ah, Leesburg. I do remember the rural setting and wondered what had happened to it. Sounds like an excellent effort on your part. The place -- and the distance -- must agree with you.

Haight said...

Nice work!!! Seemed like a great place to run.


5k = 3.1m
10k = 6.2m
yadda yadda...

a.maria said...

lol. i like haight's very subtle 5k=3.1 conversion.

anyway... WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you did awesome. i knew you had it in ya, and great job!


"i can't run. i don't know how i'm going to run. i'm not a runner"

pfffft. whu-evuh!

Running Jayhawk said...

Awesome job! Looks like we're right around the same pace. :)

How do you do it in a marathon? just keep putting one foot in front of the other and eventually you'll cross the finish line.

Laurie said...

Fantastic job! Awesome negative splits! You are a runner, don't doubt yourself. You will have a great marathon and finish in your goal time!

Bex said...

Aaaargh, you're going to me actually BLOG about the race?! :-)
Okay, I just might. Tomorrow.

Again, well done on today's race. I expect great things from you at the MCM. Yes, indeedy! Get used to it. You can do more than you think.

Bex said...

A few words were missing in my last comment. I meant to say, you're going to actually make me blog about the race?

Must. Go. To. Bed.

Bob said...

You are exceptionally talanted. Great great job!! Wow, nothing like shattering your goals!

Bolder said...

you negative splitted that one INTO da ground.

well done!

i'm sensing a PR at the distance.

maybe, you are just being modest.

Noames said...

Jeanne! WOW! You're getting so fast! Look at all those 10 min miles.

PS I'm planning to run a 10K in DC in October when I'm home. I know you probably can't run it, because of that little marathon you're planning, but any interest in coming and cheering? And having breakfast afterwards?

susie said...

Yeah!! That should be an amazing confidence booster for you. Do you remember when you set a goal for yourself--to learn to run, really run? Well, you are doing it. Congratulations!! You are going to have to pull me along in the half!

Iron Pol said...

I tend to look at how I placed absolutely last. That's because so many other things are much more important.

1 - You targeted something around 12 min miles. You shaved nearly an entire minute off that. That's huge. It also puts you well on track to surpass your marathon goals.

2 - Negative splits. That's also huge. It indicates great pacing.

3 - Unless you are aiming for 1st or 2nd, it's far more important to beat your own goals, which you did.

Awesome race. You should be proud of the accomplishment and the improvement.

Rae said...

AWESOME JOB!! You are so much faster than you give yourself credit for!! You are a rock star!

Sherri said...

yay jeanne! that's friggin' fabulous!

Monica C. said...


I am so impressed. I thought about you (well, after having read thru the archives, I feel like I know 'ya) ans I was *struggling* through my 5 mile long run this weekend ... so thank you for giving me more inspiration! I can see that building a base of mileage has paid off sooo much for you, and that's what I'm trying to do, too! Congrats!!

Mark I. said...

I can whistle using two fingers and it's MUCH louder. Can I do that? Can I?

Way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wanna-be 5k-er said...

You are a ROCK STAR!!! Faster in the second half of the race than the first!

I am so impressed! How cool!!!

Kim said...

WOOHOOO!!! Great job chica!! You finished SO strong! You are gonna whoop that marathon's ass!

Laurel said...

Looks like a beautiful course. Great times, good job!

Dave said...

Great job on the run! Negative splits and everything - awesome!

robtherunner said...

Congratulations on a great race Jeanne. I think you can do it for 26.2.

*jeanne* said...

Leesburg 20K!!! I ran that a few years ago. I think it may be the only 20k I've ever done. I LOVE that race. Conflicts this year (AND last, too) had me running up north of Baltimore. Maybe NEXT year, I'll be back at Leeburg. I miss that cow shirt.

And my SECRET plan - is to live and run long enough that I'll win a COWBELL some year before I exit this plane (of existence, you know).