Last week I got to have the wonderful experience of doing the Walt Disney World Wine and Dine Half Marathon with some good friends. It was a fun race, despite the driving rain. I actually did manage a PR (by 4 seconds!) and am feeling very good about my Half Marathon Speed! Next goal is to try for the “Fast Person” corral at the Cooper River Bridge Run by running sub-45 in the 10k Turkey Trot in a few weeks.
What does this have to do with the title of the post? Well, the 13.1 PR sure FELT a lot faster than it turned out to be. But of course my GPS watch also reported it as 13.3 miles. That extra 0.2 miles is about 1:35 worth of time! Big difference from a PR perspective, eh?
Now, I have NO idea whose data is more reliable. The course is certified and all that, but there are lots of websites claiming that the course was a bit long (I googled it!). Plus the WAY it misread was very unusual – the mile marks were exactly in sync thru mile 10 but then mile 11 (marked on the course) showed up at 11.2 on my watch. The whole error being in one mile seems odd, doesn’t it?
Another tricky data point is on Heart Rate Data. I use my favorite watch – Garmin 910XT – to measure HR data, but every now and again you will get erroneous data from this device (although I improved it a lot by changing the HR strap to the Polar one with the Garmin transmitter). But of course in the “heat of battle” you just have to go by your perception. The feeling of running “hard but not too hard” is one that comes with time and I think is a big part of what run training is all about.
Ultimately when you work out, you have to decide if the devices are in charge, or you are. And when the data doesn’t seem to jibe with what you feel, who you gonna believe?
(TOP SECRET TIP: I almost always believe the devices! But the “feel” thing is a great concept, isn’t it?) Have a Fit Dad Day!