First things first. I looked at some information on the linear progression of pace as race distance increases. I am by no means an elite athlete, and probably never will be, but I believe the linear progression will hold true with most people - but at their individual level. I had a huge 90 second pr at the 5k distance last weekend (6:47mpk or 10:55mpm). So, I used a formula to calculate what I thought my pace should be by adding 5% to my 5k pace to get a projected pace for 10k (7:08mpk or 11:29mpm), and another 5% for 20k (7:30mpk or 12:04mpm) which should have had me finishing 20k in 2:30:00.
Second… Judging. There was only one judge present, and I know if there had been 3 judges I would have been disqualified. When I took Dave’s clinic in Mesa, I only had a little time with Dave, and he helped me to improve my form to a point where I could probably do a judged 5k without too much trouble. Well, this was 20k. The judge told me today that during the first part of the race, I was looking pretty good. This is what I expected, to start out doing really well, then to kind of fall apart little by little towards the end of the race. Knowing this in advance and still doing the judged race was the hard part. I had no way of knowing that only one judge would be present on the course, but I still went. I had a great time, and really worked hard at keeping the knees straight.
Miles 1-6, I was feeling pretty good… Mile 7 was my slowest mile (12:48), then I decided that I wasn’t going to finish at my projected pace if I didn’t get my butt in gear. During miles 8-11, I walked progressively faster each mile with the exception of mile 11, and mile 12 was the fastest mile of the whole race. The last 4/10 was only a little slower than mile 12.
Anyway, my finish time was 2:32:04 (7:36mpk or 12:14mpm), only 2:04 off my projection which is 6 seconds slower per kilometer, and 10 seconds slower per mile.
I did my last 20k two years ago, the day after I had raced a 10k in Houston. I came away with a pretty sore right hamstring that interfered with my training for several months. That was probably one of the dumbest things I have ever done, and won’t do again. My finish time at that 20k was 2:47:26. So, today’s race, done smarter, was a 15:22 pr at this distance.
I realize that I still have lots of work to do to improve my form, and get my pace down to where I can really compete seriously at the local level; although I am still proud of this performance… I looked at the age grading calculator at http://www.philsport.com/narf/aagegrdc.htm, and a 47 year old female with a finish time of 2:32:04 for 20k is age graded at 61.77%