I did end up running the time prediction race this morning. And wow, I sucked hardcore at predicting this year.
How this race works is that they have a clock at the start line that counts down from 75:00 (the time limit). When your predicted time comes up, that is when you start. Everyone should catch each other at the finish line. Watches, iPods, phones, etc are all banned and there is no display clock at the finish line. The winner is the runner that comes the closest to 0:00; anyone that finishes before the clock reaches 0:00 is disqualified.
Outside, I’ve been running around 10:30-10:50/mile, but I also tend to stop every once in awhile to stretch. So I figured starting at 55:00 would be sufficient time for me to run 5 miles and take a few short breaks. It was on the chilly side this morning, with a pretty strong wind coming from the south.
I don’t have a ton to say about the running part, since it was just a run. I thought I was just running a relaxed pace, and I stopped after a few of the hills since I was getting kind of crampy. I started getting passed by some of the faster runners with maybe a mile to go, and I just figured that they were running too fast. That is the most frustrating aspect of the time prediction race – when people pass you, are they going too fast or are you too slow? If you catch up to someone, are you running too fast?
The last half mile, we were bunching up a lot. I ended up finishing right after a big pack, with no clue of how close we were. After the awards, I got to see the results list. I ended up finishing 37, which was 2:3x too slow. Wow. The previous two times I ran this I was in the top 20, and less than a minute off. But here’s something interesting: only 2 people DQ’d this year. The first year I ran it, there were 41 official finishers and 38 DQ’d. The second time, there were 33 official finishers and 27 DQ’d. So I probably should have run a little faster, especially at the end, but I think I kind of assumed a lot of people were just going too fast. I am confused about being 2:3x off – that means my breaks were a lot longer than I thought they were (always a possibility) or I ran much slower than I thought I was. Without having time data, I’ll never know. I’m going to assume it’s option 1, though, since I don’t think that I’ve reached the 11:00/mile point yet.