A couple of weeks ago I commented on Twitter (which published to Facebook) that I'd be gunning for a new 10k "personal best since returning" (PBSR) to running in the Shinfield 10k. My cousin "Liked" this and then followed up the next day asking how it went as this excerpt from Facebook shows:


My cousin has a fair point there, I shouldn't really be resetting my PBs, however my response did get me thinking... maybe I should dig out those old floppies and see if I can extract the data from the old application, Gotorun, to see what I could find.

Well, thankfully I DO still have an old laptop with a floppy drive. It wasn't long before I had all the data off the floppies and stored in image files for manipulation later. The next day I set to hacking my way through the database files to see if I could work out what database was used and then export the contents to CSV. It didn't take long and thanks to the Linux and open source community, I had my data exported from the proprietary database to CSV and imported into an OpenOffice spreadsheet. A little more tinkering and I'd extracted all my races into tabs by distance so I could easily see how I'd done all those years ago.

With this data at hand I made quite a few interesting observations:

  1. I seemed to have suffered a major data loss at some point as I know I'm missing entries and a lot of the early entries had the comment "Re-entry after data loss" for their "Notes".
  2. It was around about March 1998 that I started getting quite good at documenting my training and racing. Prior to that I didn't record much, though I suspect this may be due to not having discovered Gotorun at that stage or, as I mentioned above, I'd had some sort of data loss.
  3. I WALKED a half marathon with my girlfriend at the time and "Vowed never to walk a half marathon again." This made me smile. I still stick to this rule.
  4. I was quite a quick boy with the following PBs:
    • 5km: 18:35 on 26 Jan '99 - I seem to only have one 5k on record and it's one of my last runs in SA.
    • 8km: 29:09 (X-Country) on 2 May '98 and 30:49 (Road) on 17 Nov '98
    • 10km: 36:52 on 31 Dec '98 - Yes, I raced a nite race on new year's eve.
    • 15km: 59:29 on 10 Jan '99
    • 21.1km: 1:26:31 on 20 Apr '98
    • 32km: 2:36:56 on 23 Nov '97 - I know for a fact I ran this race in '98 too, but this entry seems to be missing.
    • 42.2km: 4:11:13 on 22 Feb '98 - My one and only marathon, used to qualify for the Two Ocean's Ultra marathon below. Terrible time due to inexperience and getting caught out by a 2-lap course.
    • 56km: 4:48:24 on 11 Apr '98

    Interestingly, I did record a quicker 10k time of 35:37 on 30 Jun '98 but commented "Short Course" in my logs so I'm discarding that quicker time. I also recorded a quicker 8k time of 20:24 which I also determined to be a very short course.

All but my marathon times are really good and certainly provide some big challenges for me if I'm going to get back to that level before I get too old.

For those that are curious, you can take a look at the spreadsheet via Google Docs here.