Out of curiosity, I came up with a list of PRs (personal records, or personal bests) from my pre-Ahcilles surgery days (1994-2001), and from 2006 to the present (post gimpy years), and age graded the results (factoring in my age at the time of the run). As I suspected, the results were skewed towards speed in my early 20's, are are now starting to skew towards endurance. For example, even though my best mile today would be close to 25 seconds slower than my best from 2000, my best 5k today is only 35 seconds (or only 11 seconds per mile) slower. My track/interval workouts are also significantly slower now, but I can run farther than I could back then. Even though I was faster before 2001, I won only 3 of the 8 older races listed, compared to 6 of 7 for the more recent ones. I think I was third in the 800, 5th in the 1500, 2nd (by a half second) in the mile, won the steeplechase & the 2 miler, 2nd in the 5k & 8k, won the 10k, and was 3rd? in the half. I generally regard the 4:18 mile and the 32 minute 10k as the best two races I've ever run. The 1500 was well on it's way as I was on pace to hit or break 4 minutes with 300 to go, but right about when I started my "kick", the wheels fell off and it was all I could do to lose only a few seconds.
800 1:59.0 (85.6 ag) 1997 //n/a
1500 4:03.4 (85.0) 1998 //n/a
mile 4:18.8 (86.1) 2000// n/a
steeplechase 9:45 (?) 1998 //n/a
2 miles 9:33 (82.8) 2001 //10:17 (77.0) 3/06
5k 15:51 (81.7) 1999 //16:26 (78.7) 3/08
8k 25:59 (81.7) 2001 //27:18 (77.9) 2/08
10k 32:34 (82.5) 2001 //34:49* (77.3 w/hills) 4/08-34:21 on a slightly short, very hilly course 10/08
half 1:15:45 (78.5) 2001 //1:20:40* (73.4 trail) 10/08
30k n/a //1:53:55 (76.0 w/some trail) 2/08
marathon n/a //2:42:10 (77.2 w/some hills) 3/08
To get an age-graded score of 80 or better (lower National Class) at age 31, I'd have to run under 2:37 for the marathon, 1:48 & change for a 30k, just over 1:14 for the half, 33:43 for the 10k, 26:37 for the 8k, or 16:12 for the 5k. Although the most potential to drop a large chunk of time would be in the marathon, I've been closer in the 5k, 8k, & 10k. Considering the fastest 10k I've run was on a fairly hilly course, taking 66 seconds off that time is definitely possible, although it would take the right race on the right day, for sure. The 5k time is only 17 seconds away, but man, I just don't think I can coax any more speed out of the ol' legs. We'll have to wait and see...