If anyone is under any illusion that a GPS watch is the last word in accuracy and decries a race long! or short! based on the findings of a bit of plastic on their wrist, they should carry out the following experiment:
In determining whether my replacement Garmin Forerunner 910XT was sent complete with a duff battery, my watch took part in a two hour run where it went no further than sit on my study windowsill. Despite not moving an inch (unless it sneakily did a runner whilst I went to make a cup of tea) the watch claimed to cover a third of a mile when all it did was relax looking out of the window watching the clouds pass by.
If its ability to capture totally accurate data is compromised when standing perfectly still, imagine the challenge it faces when constantly on the move, turning sharp corners, speeding up and slowing down, often passing under bridges and the like. It’s a mini miracle these devices come up with a distance half realistic at all.
The fun of a motionless run done and relieved that the alarming battery drain of yesterday appeared to be an anomaly, several hours passed looking at pictures of racing cars in Bahrain before I headed out a little before 5pm for an easy paced recovery run. The first mile was a torrid affair – the legs just didn’t want to know.
Thankfully things improved so that my regular recovery run to Dysart Park became just that – perfectly regular. I found a better alternative route to the park now that the footbridge is temporarily closed – a dead straight road that runs alongside the River Witham. There was little in the way of pain – the right groin ached a touch. The main issue was I was a touch overdressed wearing tights and cycling shorts underneath, feeling uncomfortably warm.
By the end of the run and with the Garmin on for around an hour, the battery showed 94% remaining, which is just about spot on for a watch that has a claimed life of 20 hours. Whether the replacement fixes the issues I had is another, as yet, unanswered question.
After the body’s capitulation during Tuesday evening’s intervals session, the effects of which rumbled on into the evening, Wednesday saw a well earned rest after two weeks of running without a day off. Thursday was an early start with the resumption of F1 testing in Bahrain, but during the day I could tell the legs, body, and mind were distinctly fresher than they were two days ago.
The day’s work was nearly done when I headed out for my pre-run at around 5:45pm – 3.4 miles or so up to Harrowby and back. The legs felt pretty good – the pain in the right shin from Tuesday night was gone, the right calf though was feeling tight. It was therefore a blessing that I had 20 minutes before heading off to the club, to massage the calf, finding some distinctly tender spots up near the knee.
Massage done, and new replacement Garmin 910XT on (Which may or may not be with me for much longer, depending on how rapidly the battery continues to drain…) I headed to the club. The route was the same as we’d done two weeks in a row a couple of weeks ago – heading to Belton House, before running along the road I now know to be Five Gates, into Londonthorpe and back to Grantham. I cannot wait until the clocks go forward and we can hopefully explore some other roads and paths in the area.
The first whole mile with the group will go down as one of the slowest I’ve done in many a year – 9:10. Thankfully I was not the only one who found this a touch too sedate and a group of three, with a further three not too far behind pushed on, albeit barely breaking eight minute miles. The pace slowly picked up over the course of the run, I even found two or three sections where I’d really pick up the pace, all in the name of chasing Strava segments, some of which were yet to be created. This new session is apparently called Stravalek – far more entertaining than Fartlek, which had you chasing lamp posts or something like that. The final Stravalek was around two thirds of a mile at sub six minute per mile, which felt pleasantly easy – the body drain of Tuesday was seemingly an anomaly.
A couple of miles later and the run was done – tired after sixteen miles, but in a good state except the right hip, which was a bit achy after a slip early in the run. Hopefully a bit of TLC during Friday will see that right.