6.51, 6.51, 7.24, 7.52, 7.49, 8.22
There are some runners who are able to run “negative splits,” which means they run the second half of a race faster than the first.
There are other runners who can run “even splits,” which means they run around the same pace for the entire race.
And then there’s me. I run a pace others may refer to as a “splitting headache”. This is when you start off fast and you gradually lose steam.
If I choose to use this strategy for the marathon, by the time I finish, the people who were running with me at the start of the race would already be getting ready for bed for the evening. So many runners passed me during my last race that I stopped counting. It got too depressing. At one point, as I watched them all fly by me, I even had the sensation that I was running backwards!
For what it’s worth, there was a notable hill towards the end of the course. But STILL, my pacing needs work.
If you do the math, my average pace doesn’t look too bad, but in many ways, I’d rather have had 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, and 10 as my splits.
Learning how to pace takes patience. This is something I don’t have. That’s why I can already tell pacing will be my greatest challenge over the course of my marathon training.
On the plus side, one morning a week, a friend from my running group—who has been running for many, many decades (and who, by the way, HAS patience)—is coaching me on pacing. Well, she’s coaching me on everything else running-related, too. She’s training for the same marathon as I am, and yet takes time out of her own training schedule to work with me, and a few other runners. I’m very, very grateful to her.
The longer I’m involved with the running community, the more I’m realizing what a nice group of people runners are!