This is the same one I did last New Year's Day (Resolution Run 2010). An 8K / 5 mile trail run. Finish time was 20 seconds faster than last year. I'm pleased somewhat with that, but not entirely.
You see ... I quit on myself and for that I'm very disappointed. This was a huge lesson on "Why you should not always trust your Garmin!".
Since I've been spending the last two months training alongside my friend for her marathon, my pace has dropped dramatically. Then the last two weeks have been injury recovery from over training. Honestly I didn't expect a whole lot out of this race and really did not think I would improve my time. I figured it would be 2-3 minutes slower than last year. So, for that, I am very pleased with the results.
However ... back to why you shouldn't always trust your Garmin and why I was disappointed in my performance.
Hubby and I warmed up with a nice little 1 mile easy jog. My breathing was a little heavy and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to "race" or just go for a fun run. It was BLOODY cold out (-4°C / 28°F), although gorgeous sunny & clear. The race started and I felt FANTASTIC! I haven't felt like that during a run in a while. It felt like flying. Nothing hurt, my movement was floaty and light ... it was wonderful.
I'm running along, feeling fantastic, but also noticing that my Garmin has not yet beeped the first mile. I have a pretty good feel for pace & distance and was sure that it had been more than a mile. Eventually it beeped and I looked down and saw a 9:53 mile. I actually exclaimed outloud, "Are you f*%&ing kidding me?!". That is only slightly faster than what we have been marathon training at. It felt SO much faster than that.
A few minutes later I checked it again and it said average 9:58 pace - apparently I was getting slower. I got mad! I swore that I'd never run/train for a marathon ever again. The shorter distances, faster pace is just too important to me. It's not worth it to me to throw that out the window just to run a marathon.
Then I shut down. I quit! My heart wasn't in it anymore. My time was gonna suck, I may as well walk a bit. Though I didn't take it quite that far. After beating myself up for a bit I finally decided just to do what I could on that day and hope to improve on the rest of the course. Not long after that I saw the 4K marker. Huh??? Something's wrong here! The distance on my Garmin was about 2 miles which is only around 3 Kms. Somewhere I'd lost almost a Km.
This revved me up a bit. I stopped paying attention to the distance on my Garmin and just ran. I missed seeing the last 3 Km markers and picked up my pace at the end much too late ... but I still beat my time from last year. In the end my Garmin read about 1/2 mile/1 Km short. My friend has the newest Garmin and hers also read the distance short. Though I asked another lady who had an older version than mine and hers was 100% spot on. I'm not impressed! There was a fair bit of tree coverage, but being winter it was not solid.
Never again will I rely solely on the distance on my Garmin in a race. I knew in my mind that I was running faster and should believe in myself. Technology is only a tool. I still love my Garmin, but the trust is broken a little. It's funny how every race teaches you just a little bit more. I also need to learn to push through and not shut down when the going gets tough. I push through so much other crap in other areas of my life and don't quit, but when it comes to my abilities it's a personality trait I've been fighting against for years (and years). When I was a kid, if I wasn't among the best, I didn't do it - end of sentence, not to be discussed. As I get older I'm improving on that, but it's still a ways to go.
Race Results - 8K/5 miles @ 8:41 pace - 43:27