Friday, 29 April 2016

I did it! (Or did I...?)

Ahhhh, public holidays...  An oasis of family time in a sea of workdays and to-do lists, right?  And, if you plan it right, the perfect excuse for a run!

On Wednesday, or Freedom Day down here in S.A., we headed to the nearby farming town of Jacobsdal for their annual Family Day.  Our agenda was simple: Fun, quality time with the kids, a proper dose of proper farm sosaties, and a 10 km trail run for either Will or myself.  In the end Will rock-paper-scissor'ed his way into babysitting duties, so I got a chance to run - wahoo! 


Pre-race with the kidlets.


   
Our mission was successful on all levels: K and J Bear played their way to a very welcome very early bedtime for us all, Will went for gold with the sosaties, and I had the run of the year.  It was perfect.  


Our little Picasso.  [The fizzy drink is the childminder's - not Miss K's.  Just for the record.]

J the jumping bean!

Will going for gold...

My run was out of this world: Gravel roads, Camel Thorn trees and running friends...  Pure perfection!  Oh, and then there was the small little detail of my finish time...  47:59!!  Yup, a sub-50 minute 10 km after 5.5 years of trying.  But, before you get too excited (you are excited, right?), there's a catch: The route measured short.  Womp, womp.  Had I known it at that moment, I would have continued running right past the finish line until my Garmin clocked 10 km, but I only saw my time after stopping and grabbing something to drink.  Major womp.  Which leaves me with a bit of a moral dilemma...  

So far I've done three (supposedly) 10 km races this year, but the thing is that none of them measured exactly 10 km.  The first two races both measured long, but I still took their finish times as official 10 km times and waited for an "official" race time below 50 minutes as proof of a sub-50 minute 10 km.  And now I have that, but, as the route measured short (by almost 700 m), it still doesn't feel right.



So my question is this: What times are used as PBs?  Official race times, even when the course measures long/short according to your own measuring device?  Or is the correct thing to do to take your time at the exact spot where your own, personal measuring device clocks 10?  Or do you keep running a gazillion races until you finally complete one that measures 10 km on the dot (I'm obviously not talking about .02 this way or that - I'm talking about a few hundred metres, which makes a significant difference when chasing a PB of a few seconds)?  (Just a note: The three races listed above took place in three different towns/cities and two different provinces, so it's not necessarily a question of only local races measuring 'incorrectly' and simply trying one in another town.)  My gut feel is to go with the time on your own timing device at the point where it clocks 10, which means that I've already achieved my long-standing goal of a sub-50 minute 10 km in February this year without even realising it... (see table).  Wahoo?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this - please chime in and make my day?  Or not?  But, whatever the consensus, a bonus day of family time with a run among the Camel Thorn trees thrown in remains a pretty sweet thing, don't you think?

Happy weekend!



14 comments:

  1. Oh that's a tough one! My 5k PR dilemma is very similar. Although in the end I figured out that if it had been a 5k my pace was still PR pace and I decided it counted sort of.

    Way to rock paper scissor and get to run!

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    1. I think I'm taking the same approach to my race in February in Upington... Technically I hit the 10 km mark at PR pace and with 50 seconds to spare before 50 minutes, so I'm claiming that one... I think? Maybe...? Dunno.

      Poor Will - he's a rock star!

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  2. Eina! Well, if we apply the Reigel formula (http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/general/rws-race-time-predictor/1681.html) it reckons you would have come out at 10k in 51:45.
    What did Pete Riegel know anyway?

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    1. Eina indeed! 51:45 is still a good trail run time for me, but not close to the sub-50 I've been working towards...

      I wonder what Reigel would have said about my race in Upington in Feb, though...?

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  3. But wait, that's not all. Since we tend to put on a finishing spurt at the end the idea of Mr Riegels pace dropping off to the power of 1.06 goes out the window...

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    1. I was wondering about the finishing spurt... Because had I seen my time at that moment, I would have put in a spurt and a half...!

      Realistically, though, and looking at my splits for OR Tambo, I would probably not have run 699 m in two minutes at the end of a race.

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  4. Thanks for sharing your Freedom Day Post with #ShowcaseTuesday linky looks like a fun relaxed day

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    1. It was indeed :) . Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. In Britain most road races are run under UK Athletics Rules - which means they have to be accurately measured before a licence is issued.
    In races my Garmin always measured differently, and always different to someone else's watch, so not very reliable. I always used the official race time for counting towards PB's.

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    1. Yikes, clocking a sub-50 10 km is turning out to be quite a technical endeavour...! Looks like I'll have to take my quest to a bigger profile, (accurately measured) big city race to make it official.

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  6. Oh, and all our Parkruns are accurately measured too.....

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    1. Ours too, which means I could run our local parkrun course twice to get an accurate 10 k time, right...?! Yay, thanks, Gordon!

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  7. Very inspiring read, I really need to get running again! Thanks for sharing! Happy to have found you via the Showcase Tuesday Link-Up :)

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Tuesday!

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