Mile Trial Fail

Remember the last time I ran a mile time trial, and I was so excited?

Well, I ran a mile time trial again tonight, and it was far less exciting.

I had a session with my trainer this morning, and other times I’ve run after working out with her, my legs have felt like utter jello, so I decided to postpone today’s run for tonight since I had no plans tonight.

I didn’t leave work until almost 8, which is not terribly late by normal-life standards, but might as well be the middle of the night for running. Especially when it’s already dark and you have 8 miles planned for tomorrow morning. I had 5 miles on my schedule (4.5 after you subtract some intervals I did this morning in between strength moves) for tonight but knew I’d have a hard time sleeping if I did it tonight.

Screen shot 2012-08-28 at 9.29.28 PM.png

Here’s what I have on deck for this week, and I looked at it and tried figure out how I could move things around.

One mile? No matter how tired my legs are, I can crank out a mile. Less than 10 minutes and I’ll be done.

So, out to Madison Square Park I went to knock out that mile. My legs were still feeling pretty sore, and I was tired. I figured I probably wouldn’t break my past record tonight, but I didn’t think this would happen…


It’s not just that it’s more than two minutes slower. It’s that it’s wrong. The last time I did the time trial, I think I ran about two laps around the park, but I didn’t remember exactly where I started and stopped, so I just went by my watch tonight.

Bad idea.

Screen shot 2012-08-28 at 9.43.35 PM.png

(Map from Garmin)

No, Garmin, no. I don’t even know how I could possibly run in this formation.

I ran two laps around the park, looked down at my Garmin, and it was just around .7 miles. I ran another 3/4 of the way around the park (for a total of 2.75ish laps of the park) before my Garmin beeped one mile.

Screen shot 2012-08-28 at 9.44.34 PM.png

(Map from MapMyRun)

Here’s my actual run. Around the perimeter. Like a semi-normal person. (You know, a normal person who runs two laps around a park as fast as they can at 8pm.)

1.31 miles, which is a 6:16 pace. Which is still faster than I ever thought I could run, but not faster than last time. How quickly we change expectations, right?

I’m not going to wait until next month to try this time trial again. I foresee another one next week, once my Garmin and I have had some time to chat and work out our differences.

But hey, at least I’m down one workout from my schedule this week. Four to go.

What’s your primary way of tracking time/mileage/pace? Do you have a backup?

18 comments on “Mile Trial Fail

  1. Valerie

    Sounds like your Garmin is in cahoots with my…every GPS app or device I’ve tried so far. I map all my runs anyway, so I’ve started calculating my own average pace when I get home. Not ideal, but I’m just the right shade of OCD that it’s what works best for me and my handy dandy marathon training spreadsheet.

  2. Liz

    My Garmin has been a mess lately, too! If I’m running an unfamiliar route, I always double-check my runs on MapMyRun or Gmap Pedometer when I get home.

  3. Nicole

    I use the Nike Fit option on my iPod and it seems to work well! I don’t always know how far I’ve gone in-the-moment (since it’s not easy to look at like a Garmin) but that’s OK – keeps me focused on the running and less on the tracking.

  4. Megan

    I find that for a time trial, it’s probably safest just to run it on a track. That way you can know for sure! Even with the map, were you really running on the street outside Madison Square Park, or actually IN the park?? There’s a track on the East side around 6th street!

    1. Theodora Post author

      I was running on the street around the park. It was late enough that it wasn’t super-crowded. I know where the track is, but it’s about 2 miles away, so when I just want to bust out these 1 mile trials, it’s much easier to go to Madison Square Park!

  5. Kristina

    On the run of my last triathlon, my garmin kept hitting the mile markers well before I hit the course mile markers, which has now shed more than a shadow of doubt on ALL of the runs I’ve tracked via garmin. It’s definitely a love/hate relationship that I have with the device!

  6. Jen

    My garmin is acting wonky too. I consistently run either the 4, 5 or 6 loops in CP and this morning it told me (on a 4 mile run) that I only ran 3.67. I think a factory reset is in order.

  7. Caitlin

    Hahah what did Garmin think you were doing?! Props to you for still getting in a run and being flexible with your plans. And good job on the 8 miles this morning, I saw that on Instagram!

  8. sarah

    My garmin turns into a brick in Midtown (and the UWS, and Brooklyn Bridge, and downtown Newark). If you use, you can easily chart out a mile for a time trial.

  9. Meggie

    I don’t usually trust my Garmin in the city (tall buildings, etc — it will be more accurate on perimeter sometimes) — it gets thrown off all the time and the pace is not always accurate (it will jump from one thing to the next 4:37 to 12:10 back to 8:10 etc etc). I only use it for tempos and long runs. For time trials, I usually go to the track or go to a straight away on the west side highway and map out prior how far the distance I want to go is and then run it with a regular watch. I’d try that next time, just so you don’t run into any issues! And, might be nice to mix it up if you’ve done last two around Madison Square Park!

    1. Meggie

      @Meggie: and, sorry, one more thing! I do 800s sometimes in the park — straightaway by reservoir is about 800 m, go from this one certain crosswalk to a light (and that is 800m) — if youre ever interested in doing that, I can tell you the exact directions!

      Garmin usually does a bit better in central park of by the rivers (is a little wonky in some places along east river) — maybe try there?

      1. Theodora Post author

        Ooh, thanks for all the comments! I may try one of these for my next time trial–I’ve only done MSQ the past few times because it’s close and easy…and I’m lazy.


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