Monday, November 12, 2012

Operator Error

This year's HR distribution
Well, I didn't run my goal of 1:36.  In fact, I didn't improve on my time from last year.  I ran a 1:42.  Last year's goal.  That's two races in a row that I haven't improved upon.

The thing that most threw me off was that I knew from last year that my watch measured the course a little bit short, but yesterday every mile marker I got to seemed to be further down the road by as much as 10%.  So my watch said I was running a 7:20 pace, but I got to that first marker around 7:40.  It messed with my head.  Were the markers off?  How were they going to catch up?  My grand total distance on my watch was 13.9.  Did they change the course?

Last year's HR distribution
It wasn't until I uploaded my data that I found the problem:  I had neglected to turn the GPS on.  My watch also has a footpod to collect cadence data, so all of my distances and paces were being estimated based on the footpod, not on the actual GPS.  According to my watch, I ran 13.9 miles at a 7:20 pace.  I wonder, had I had the GPS on, if I would have adjusted my pace down to run the 13.1 at that pace?

I somewhat doubt it.  I ran at the top end of my HR zones throughout.  Basically, I ran harder (see graphs), but not any faster.  In general, I feel fitter than I did last year.  A summer of PRs supports this feeling.  And this leads me to think that perhaps I am over-trained/under-rested.  I did race Devil's Chase 2 weeks ago. And, though I did both Devil's Chase and Chilly last year, I was coming off of a less consistent training base from the summer.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed.  I want to PR every time, but sometimes, it's just not in the cards.  I will to use this experience as the impetus to review my racing and resting schedules, but I also don't want to read too much into one race.  The plan has been very successful for me in the last year, a little fine tuning is not a bad thing.


Jordan Vance November 12, 2012 at 4:09 PM  

Hey L,

My coach once told me my results would be uneven until I started training better. So that might explain last years successes (less cumulative fatigue as a result of less consistent training).

Furthermore, just because you're fitter and better trained doesn't necessarily mean you will always PR. Just the way things work some times. Your training may be better, your fitness may be better... sometimes a better race just isn't in the cards.

It's good that you're able to take positives away from this and learn from it. You'll be a better racer because of that.


Shannon November 19, 2012 at 10:02 AM  

it's tough not to read too much into one race, but i think you've got the important takeaways! Still a very very solid race :)

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