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

Friday, 31 August 2012

No!!! Whoever heard of a short track?

Before I started delving into the possible explanations of my sudden amazing runner status, I just HAD to measure the track I ran my PR 5000 on. Well garmin said .23 miles for one lap. Shouldn't it be .2485 for 400 meters? I measured again - same. I am just exactly this anal: I went to another track. This one was being used the day I ran my 5000. It measured .24 per lap, just two small steps under .25. So we have a good track in town and a bad one.

Why would anyone create a high school track that is just a liiiittle too short? Or is the Garmin signal weak because it is surrounded by woods? I don't know. But this is aggravating. And I am a wife and mother of three kids (right now) and I really should just let this go! Haha. But I won't.

 In better news, the day after the 5000, I took 2:40 off of my Villa Gallina trail 10k/9.5k race time from two years ago. I ran it in 40:06. This is a very hilly course in Hesede woods. I got 1st woman and 4th overall out of 138 participants. It is amazing what the confidence of the 5000 the day before did for me! I came through 5k in 20:10 and then because it is a short course, it looked like I had a negative split. And it is short, though longer than 9.5k according to my garmin from 2 years ago.

 So when does one believe a garmin? When does one believe a track? Of course it's not as important as the fact that I know I'm improving. It's just too bad I'm injured now after another marathon on Tuesday and intervals yesterday (right gluteal strain).

And finally, to end on a really good note: step daughter Natti is running intervals now, too! And she loves it. Not only that, but she can almost beat me at a 25 meter sprint in the pool. I think she has real potential as a junior triathlete. I remember the old days of this blog when I said she was my best friend. Well, I often feel the old days are back.

 Currently reading: The Hours by Michael Cunningham. It is giving me nightmares!

 Good luck to Amy Sproston and Jill Homer at UTMB! Check out irunfar's live twitter feed  here.  Ok, I'm at the Glumsø train stop which means I am almost home :).


Russp17 said...

The tracks are most likely not short. GPS's draw straight lines between the shots taken. Straight lines are shorter than the curve you are actually running. This makes it most likely 400 meters. a GPS will always measure a circle or an oval slightly shorter than what it actually is.

sea legs girl said...

Hi Russp17

Thanks for the input. I guess I am confused then why one track measured short and one track measured correctly. Any ideas?

pernille said...

I'll try to comment again.
Last time I failed to prove that I'm not a robot.
I not sure that my self image will ever recover ;-).
GPS is not as accurate as we like to think:

Arcane said...

I'm not sure of your area but if it's covered by Google Earth, you can get a far more accurate measurement using that. I measured two tracks in my area and they both came to within 1m of what they should. You might be able to do it in Google maps too;you have to activate the beta tools in it to access the measuring tool though.

sea legs girl said...

Hi Pernille

Totally agree that GPS is not always accurate. I almost never use my garmin anymore.

sea legs girl said...


What an awesome suggestion! I just downloaded google earth to my computer and measured the two traks. Then one I ran on measures to 373.1 m and the "good" one measures to 399.5 So basically not the information I was hoping for, but now I know I need to set a real PR on the good track. This means I needed to run 0.9 more times around the track to make it real, thus giving me a time really close to my old PR :(.

SteveQ said...

A short track seems weird, but looking at the one photo of you there, it looks like it was never intended to be a measured track, just an apron around an athletic field. 373.1m doesn't correspond to any track I can imagine - and I've run on some odd ones; the one I use is the last non-metric one in the area.

My Garmin died (for good) this morning.

SteveQ said...

And you asked "Whoever heard of a short track?" May I suggest Apolo Anton Ohno?

I'm reading "The Blind Assassin" by Maragaret Atwood. Kind of enjoying it.

SteveQ said...

And have you measured the so-called 25 meter sprint in the pool???

PiccolaPineCone said...

WHAT????? No!!!!!!!
I was going to suggest you gmap-pedometer it but given you google earth mapped it, it would be redundant and I hate to say it but it does sound pretty conclusively short.
I'm sorry SLG. Total bummer. I have to ask though... how did this come up? 27 meters short per lap is pretty significant. Were you and SR questioning it as you ran there? Have you run there before and wondered? What's the scoop? How did it begin to cross your mind bc I would think runners as experienced as you and SR would question it right from the beginning.

Alicia said...

Okay, but short track or not, you still pushed yourself at the end of that 5k when you felt like slowing down, right? So it's not like it was a total loss.

Maybe you could get a wheel and get a definitive measurement?