Getting Older…

I don’t seem interested in racing any more. Not the way I used to be. But every two years I do a 10K, so I forced myself to do Orchard to Ocean again.

I had looked at the age-graded tables and at 55 (almost 56) a 40 minute 10K is 80%. Now I’ve always thought that a 10K that took more than 40 minutes meant I wasn’t trying, and such a result just wasn’t respectable. Now I would be hard put to reach that limit. And might not.

No one I had talked to seemed to be running the race, and `that bothered me too. Perhaps I wouldn’t have anyone to run against, perhaps I wouldn’t even know anyone in the race.

But I went.

There were people I knew, Kim, Maggie, Stuart. And then a brace of Tims. But the Tims are too fast for me, and the others too slow.

I warmed up, jogging the 5K course and did some strides. I felt sluggish and stiff. But I always do…

Lief was there! We used to run together. But I never saw him after the start. He didn’t help me this day.

The course had an right-angled bend in it right at the start. Not what you want. But there were some massive road-blocks closing off the normal route. No idea why. Anyway I positioned myself so that the turn was less than it might have been. The Tims seemed to have come to the same conclusion and were beside me.

On the other side was Sue who tapped me on the shoulder and said “If I start beside you then I’ll be able to run as fast as you.” Poor Sue. I was not feeling fast.

A siren wailed and we were off. The turn wasn’t bad. I passed one of the Tims, that should have told me I was going too fast, but I didn’t pay attention. Down the road, across the tracks, and into the State Park. I’m running behind Scott, where’d he come from. That seems like a good place. After about 1/4 mile I glance down and see I’m running at a 6 minute pace. Once I could do that. Not now. I slow a bit.

A number of people pass me. Including two women.

At the one mile mark I see 6:17, which means I’m probably going at the right pace now, somewhere around 6:20~6:25.

As I run, someone yells “Go Shiggy!”. Shiggy is not ahead of me. No one would mistake me for Shiggy. So I presume he’s right behind me. Well, I won’t win my age-group this year.

Shiggy passes me. Oh, well, I knew he would.

There does seem to be a clump right here of people going about my pace there are 3 just in front (and who knows how many close behind). As we run up the hill to the bluffs I pass one guy. Now just Scott and Shiggy close ahead. I pass Shiggy. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.

But it doesn’t last and he passes me back in half a mile.

My watch didn’t register the 2 mile mark when I tried to click it. Well, this bit is probably slow, it’s an uphill mile.

The three mile mark says 13:37. So 6:49? I know these two miles are uphill, but that seems really slow. The four mile mark says 6:04. So the three mile was probably in the wrong place. But now I’m confused about my pace.

Now it’s all downhill to the finish. I pass another guy. Shiggy is far out in front, Scott is out of sight. No one to race with any more.

At the 5 mile mark I glance at my watch and I see that the minutes are right for coming in around 40 (somehow my eyes can’t capture the whole time when I’m tired). At the 6 mile mark I’m running within seconds of a 4min/km pace.

I turn the final corner.

I look up to the clock. 39:47.

Can I make it?

Run, run, as hard as I can.



I enter the shoot and the clock reads 39:59. I’ve almost certainly failed to break 40.

40:01. The end of an era.

My best 10Ks by year
Year Time AG %
2007 37:02 80.9%
2009 38:08 79.8%
2011 38:28 80.5%
2013 38:56 80.8%
2015 40:01 79.9%

2 Responses to “Getting Older…”

  1. Adger Williams Says:

    Out of curiosity, what’s the sample size for your “best 10K” for each year?

    • georgeruns Says:

      It varies from year to year. This year and two years ago I just ran 1 10K. In some of the earlier year it probably got up to about 4 or so — but I didn’t race all of them, some were just done as tempo runs and so aren’t comparable.

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