Suddenly Speedy

I’ve logged 3500+ miles in just over 1000 outings on MapMyRun since 2012. After every mile, a female voice announces the number of miles this time out, the average time per mile, and the time for the last mile. The free version saves these details, a map of the route, and tons of other information for every run.

Mileage is my primary interest. Three miles is the minimum, but I usually go four or more. Tracking lets me make up the route as I go.

My goal is to average less than 15 minutes/mile. For the past few years, my average has ranged from12:30 to 14:30 minutes/mile. Most of the higher averages came earlier this year.

I try to run at least four times a week. Appointments, rain and a nasty intestinal bug made that impossible through May, June and into July. In some weeks, I didn’t run at all.

Once I got back into the routine, my average time/mile got better. A lot better. My “new” average is 10:45 to 12:00 minutes/mile. My best mile was 9:05–perhaps my fastest mile EVER.

I can’t believe it. Seriously. I don’t believe it. No way in hell has a 65 year-old man suddenly knocked better than two minutes off his average. Something ain’t right.

My theory is a glitch related to a setting change on MapMyRun. I recently enabled the delayed start feature for a 5-minute warmup. The delay gives me time to walk up a steep hill before the clock starts.

That might explain the improved time for the first mile, but what about the rest? That 9:05 was for the second mile. Unless I walk the last mile (not unusual in the heat), the rest run between 10:30 and 11:30 minutes/mile.

NOTE: I leave the house shortly after the sun comes up. Some mornings are cooler than others. Either way, it heats up fast this time of year.

The fastest run–the one with the 9-minute mile–was most likely a fluke. The rest seem to be accurate. I’m running more and walking less, but will walk the last mile if it’s really hot. The time for those walked miles runs around the same as before: 14 minutes/mile.

Maybe I’m one of the fastest old men around. If the app isn’t messed up, I could take home a ribbon at a 5K race for winning in my age group. Or maybe I’ll just skip the reality check and keep believing. As always, thanks for stopping by.