Monday, May 25, 2009

Two Mile Bates Track Race in Annapolis, MD May 16, 2009

I have a love-hate relationship with my Garmin watch. Or maybe this was an inaccurate track. I would love to hear from other runners who wear their Garmin running on the Bates track and what they get as far as distance.

Anyway, took my Running 201 group to this track race as a practice session. We are working towards running a 5k faster then their last (which for most was their first). I thought this environment would be a nice way to talk them through warming up, dynamic stretching, etc.. And the track would allow me to run my race, yet still keep an eye on them as we go around and around.

It was humid. Really humid and pretty warm. I believe this was the first humid day we had in our area and certainly the first these ladies would be running in so far this spring. We went through the warmup, stretching, strides and lined up. There was going to be a "fast" heat run after the "slow" heat ( which I am pretty sure no one appreciated being called slow). I wasn't sure where I fell. The starter said the cut off was right around 7 min pace. Well, that's right about where I thought I would be. So, I decided to go in the slow heat.

As we rounded the first curve, 200 meters into the race, I realized I should have started in the next heat. There was no one with me and I felt bad, so I pulled up after the first lap. Call me a rabbit for the first heat.

It actually ended up being a good thing b/c it allowed me to actually "coach" the runners on every lap! Loved this. They all did amazingly well despite the humidity. Only lost one runner, mid way through, who looking quit pale told me she wasn't feeling so good. I told her to stop, which she did and promptly made it to the restroom to puke. Gotta love running.
A second runner, bless her heart, ran one lap short of the 8 total. We were responsible for keeping track of our own laps and she just lost track. She did finish that 7th lap with a heck of a kick!

Then came the "fast" heat. Off again I ran and this time being out in front was not an issue. There is a little 10 year old girl in our community that rocks these races. I do fear how she'll fair training and racing like she is at this tender age. But, that's a discussion for another day.

Off I run, trying to maintain a doable pace. Officially 4 weeks post Boston, there is no real fatigue in my legs, but certainly a lack of speed work to expect any blazing times. I miss running fast. I finish the race in 14:11 running mile splits that are pretty darn even. Here's where my Garmin, or the track, messed up.

Officially I ran 8 laps or 3200 meters. 1 mile is actual equal to 1609 meters, so technically 2 miles is 3219 meters, 19 meters longer then what we ran. This info only complicates what the Garmin gave me. My Garmin Forerunner 305 tells me I ran 2.13 miles. The track tells me I ran less the 2 miles, whereas the Garmin tells me I ran over 2 miles. And that .13 makes a huge difference in average pace. 7:05 vs. 6:40 min/ mile.

I really don't know where to lay my faith. Training paces will obviously vary greatly based on either race result.

All in all not a bad race, either way. I placed first in my AG and had two of my runners also place. I came in 3rd female OA. I would like to know the darn truth though. But as my husband says, a few years ago, running without all this added technology, the answer would have been known right as I crossed the line.

I want to mention my daughter Addie, who also ran the 2 mile and did so well that she placed 2 nd in her age group of 19 and under. And my son, Thomas, who is participating in the kid's running series, ran the 400 meters like a champ! He was joined by many of the children that belonged to my group of ladies. We all went home smiling with a sense of self accomplishment!


Running and living said...

Congrats on the AG award!
My Garmin always has me run longer races, bc I zig zag lot. If you switched lanes, etc, you could have acquired the extra .13. I agree that messes up the time, so I would just be proud of running 6:40, bc that is what you did! Ana-Maria

Anonymous said...

I find that generally Garmin GPS watches overestimate tracks; I'd believe the track. Especially that one, as I've run track races on it, and it seemed very plausible. -- Perry