Don’t mind me. Just doing my usual obsessive/compulsive thing before the race. I looked up the results (the best that I could track down) from five different years of the City of Trees Marathon – the one I’m doing in 6 weeks. This is the same race I did last year, so I know the course (mostly -that is, last year they diverted us to a revamped course since it rained and not enough volunteers showed up, anyways…)

Here’s some stats for me to chew on:

2009 – 135 racers
Ave pace of females: 4:34
12 were in my current age group — 3 of them BQ’d (3:45 or better) – 25%!!! 

2008 – 157 racers
Ave pace of females: 4:39
14 in my age group. 3 BQ’d (3:45 or better)  About 20%

2007 – 160 racers
Ave pace of females: 4:46
8 in my age group. 1 BQ’d – hmmmm – hot that year? – 12% BQ rate

2005 – 300 racers
Ave pace of females: 4:46
28 in age group. 3 BQ’d – 9% BQ rate?

2002 – 329 racers
Ave pace of females: 4:30
20 in age group. 7 BQ’d – about 33% rate!!! HOLY SMOKES! 

Do you see the basic trend? If the weather is reasonable (even raining the whole time like last year) – the BQ rate for this race is much higher than most races. The average is something like 10% of all marathoners BQ every year.

I think I should at least go out there with it in my head that I need to keep my overall pace at 8:37 or lower the entire race. Wayne just said, “I’ll tell you one thing. If you go out too conservative, you’ll definitely NOT qualify. If you want to find out if you’ve got it yet – you’ll have to get it in your head that that pace is the one to keep from the first step.” I think he’s right. I needed to hear that. I need to be told to go for it. I need to be convinced it’s at least worth the gamble and the worst that will happen is I try and don’t make it. At least I’ll know in my heart I really did TRY!

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