Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Monday, 19 April 2010

Can you even trust me?

Imagine if I suddenly assumed the role of an unreliable narrator. Alex from A Clockwork Orange immediately comes to mind. Like the entire time you were reading my blog, you thought to yourself, is she even sane or telling the truth? In reality, I think many people started reading my blog for that very reason: because no (sane) woman runs 16 miles a day while pregnant and refuses to gain more than 15 pounds? Do they!?

But then some women were like, hey, I can relate! And now some of you have gotten to know me. And some of you have even met me. And I'm not even weird. In fact, I'd like to think I'm reliable (I was honestly going to say as reliable as Holden Caulfield, but then I realized he is usually considered an unreliable narrator. Hmmm.)

Where on earth am I going with this?

I want to report my training, my running and my life accurately. So my dilemma is this: what do I report as my real PR from the half marathon on Sunday? The Garmin time or the official race time? Can we come to a consensus as a running community what people should use as their PR on their blogs? Is there already a consensus? CAN one use a Garmin time? Or is it just ANNOYING to do that?

Let me give you a bit more info about the race on Sunday: It was officially "danish certified" (DAF): measured by hand to be 21.1 (maybe even 21.0975, not sure about that)km. BUT even Peer who measured it also got 21.5 km on his Garmin after the race. As he described, everyone took long ways around at times and wide turns at curves, etc.

So what counts? Or does it not matter? Olga is thinking I should just shut up right now.

I have to say I'm leaning towards reporting the actual race time.

I also want to officially apologize to Sparta, who organized this race! You guys did everything right!


olga said...

Yes. And put down official time from the race results. And truly, what's there to report, when you will be the one who truly cares?
Really, it ain't a science paper to make sure everything is top notch accuracy, and if it is, then you just found yourself one more hussle in life, when it is supposed to be used for your personal relaxation, even as you strive to get better.
But then again, you know what you've got, and it's not like it'll change.
Whatever makes you happy.
Just go out and run.

May-Britt Hansen said...

You put down the official result from the race and then you kick ass next time - just to shut me and Olga up ;-)

sea legs girl said...

Okay. I really don't want you guys to shut up. But I suppose either way I'd better put down the official race time :).

Danni said...

I don't think it much matters but to the extent that I have an opinion I think the official race time is what matters in terms of "official" PRs. You can have unofficial PRs based on training runs or whatever else.

cherelli said...

Hmm, yep, sorry but I agree, official race time is what counts. It's true you can go wide on turns due to people etc; be interesting to measure the "inside turns" to confirm how much of an extra mile you can accidentally add to an offical distance....mind you, it's your blog. Give both times, keep the critics happy, and pick which time you want most :)

Diana said...

Oh, your reference to Holden Caulfield, that little twerp, made me shudder. Not reliable and not likable.

You know if you were in the humanities and not the sciences, you could pull out some post-modern theory and make the argument that there is no Truth, and we only have the fragments of each individuals' perceptions of events. You could say that your version of the events, and thereby your Garmin time, is just as accurate as the "official" race time. I don't really think that's the slant you're going for, though. :)

If it really matters to you what your blog readers think, I would report the official race time. It was a certified course, so that's what you would have to rely on.

SteveQ said...

The official time is the time to report. In my records, I have a bunch of notations, such as "short course," "unofficial," etc., requiring me to list more than one record for each distance.

Marathon records now have to be on certified courses with less than 1% net loss of altitude and no tail wind. But, if you set that record at the Half-Voyageur, I think it MORE than counts!

PiccolaPineCone said...

I agree with Cherelly, it's your blog... do what you want!
For me personally though, if the course is accurately measured (along its shortest distance) I would report the official race time because the art of running the shortest distance along a race course i.e. choosing the correct tangents is an implicit part of the sport of distance running.
I could go on but if you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.

sea legs girl said...

As of today, whether or not the discrepency between recorded and measured distance can be caused by taking wide turns is a subject of hot debate. Some seem to think .4 km can't be explained by anything other than getting way off course.

Thanks for all the great comments.