Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Fartlek & My Hate For The B Tag System

Still recovering from Monday's race. For the most part the legs are feeling pretty good, just a wee bit tired. On Tuesday I almost convinced myself that I deserved a day off, but after a few hours of sitting on the couch I realized that Monday was not my goal race and there is still work to be done. So I have been actively recovering with a few slow runs and a modified speed workout today.

Often times I am very ambitious. When I originally planned my workouts for this week I was sure that my legs would be well recovered by today and I would be able to fit in the 6x1600's that I chose to opt out of last week. Well my ambition far out weighted my realism, and I instead opted for a much easier speed session that wouldn't take too much too soon out of my legs.

Today's modified workout was a fartlek
1/2/3/4/5/4/3/2/1 @ goal MP
Goal marathon pace is 7:05-7:15

Average Paces: (1) 7:06, (2) 7:05, (3) 6:59, (4) 7:05, (5) 7:04, (4) 7:12, (3) 7:06, (2) 7:05, (1) 6:51

It felt good to shake the legs out because they definitely needed it, but my splits are all over the place. For the first half of the workout I had the wind at my back and was feeling pretty at ease, but as soon as I begun to step down the fartlek ladder I was running straight into a strong wind off the lake. It wouldn't have been so bad if the sand from the beach wasn't blowing into my eyes and in my mouth and if I would have noticed the wind at my back for the first half of the workout to plan a reroute, but I didn't because I was too busy dreaming about what I would be having for lunch.

Tonight I have an easy shake-out run planned with the hubby and will probably be 4-5 miles.

Doug the Stud

The Oak Brook Half had Brightroom Photography on site to capture race day photos. I went onto their site today to look at my pics, all of which I am making extremely ugly faces and DO NOT look cute. But I saw this picture and find myself puzzled.

Please ignore my fugly face and the burning desire I have to immediately stop my Garmin.

Let me explain:
  • The clock VERY CLEARLY here says 1:27:45 and I am past the finishing line sensor
  • It took me maybe 2 seconds to cross the starting line because I did not start at the front
  • The results have me listed with a finishing time of 1:27:53 and my Garmin stats had me at 1:27:43, where I do understand that I could have made a timing error
  • This event was timed with the B Tag system
Maybe I'm just being super crazy, but I don't understand where the official time is picking up the 8-10 extra seconds. If I started BEHIND the line, why would my chip time be slower then or tied with the clock time? I understand that this really is not that big of a deal, but if I earned those extra seconds I would like for it to be noted correctly. I have had issues with the B Tag timing system before, most recently when I ran a 5k in July and my chip did not even activate. 

Point being that technology frustrates the hell out of me and sometimes I think it is inaccurate, and I hate these B Tags. Seems like in almost every race I've ran this year with these chips there has been some type of results listing error. I think that I'm going to just let it go because it becomes too much of a hassle to deal with result listing inaccuracies and people are probably starting to think I am crazy for challenging them.

Has anyone else ever had result listing discrepancies, or do I just have bad karma?
If so did you contact the race directors or did you just let it go?


  1. I have had some problems with chip timing, very aggravating and for the most part have just let it go. It hasn't affected my placement and I know what my Garmin says. I trust that over the chip anyday. That picture totally cracks me up in a i have several of those sort of way :)

  2. I wanna be YOU! HOLY HOLY SPEED!!

    Love your facial expression Britt! Congrats on a stellar HM and for the record, go with YOUR have photographic evidence!!!

  3. I am feeling the same way about my workouts this week... I really thought they were doable, but the progression run I did saturday took way more energy than I thought it would. Oh well I'm trying! :)

    I am not so speedy as you to have had any major chip timing mishaps

  4. That finish shot is classic! I ran a 5k last month where my Garmin was 12 off the B-tag. I found it odd but didn't question it. Now I'm wondering...

  5. First off, congrats on the insanely fast half marathon time! That is awesome! You really are running out of your mind this year, I have no doubt you will smash your marathon time this year at Chicago. Now beating 3:10 will be tough, I think you can do it, but that might depend more so on the weather conditions on race day than anything else.

    That is pretty annoying that you had a timing issue, for your half marathon time I would go with your actual garmin time, as long as you started it right when you crossed the starting line. Unless your official time made you lose a finishing position due to the 10 sec difference, I probably would pass on telling the race officials about the error.

    I've never had any issues with chip timing before, but stories like these are why I'm glad I run with a garmin, so regardless of what happens at least I have my own time.

  6. Oh I had a discrepancy at a 5k I ran this year, right when I past the mile 3 sign, my garmin said like 28 minutes and then when I got the finish line it said 32 mintes...which is crazy, there is no way I ran .1 miles in 4 miles lol but then when I got my chip time it was right with my who knows!

  7. I hate photos of me working my watch. For the Disney 1/2 marathon I saw a chip timing difference of 36 seconds in my favor.

    Google did not have a good answer concerning chip timing systems. This was the best article I found:

    The manufacturer claims accuracy to 1/100th of a second. Perhaps the start and finish mats were synced improperly by race personnel? Did they specify net vs gun time? I am sure the Event coordinators would not mind hearing from you. If enough people mention the same discrepancy it is something they can improve on. I have seen results change and my place moved up and down in the days that follow a race.

    That said chip timing systems are much more accurate than the old pull the bib number add it to a loop and write down a gun time in a notebook method.

    Equivalent performance race tables say your marathon time will be 3:04:32 based on the 1/2 time. The Chicago marathon course has less elevation changes too. You are on target for a great race. I wish you great success in your marathon and hope you have the best of weather and no strong head winds.

  8. That seems really off--a second or two you can forgive, but that is a really significant change. I don't blame you for being upset!

  9. I have had them be off no more than about 10 seconds and I am to lazy to bother fighting it!

    I just found your blog so I can't wait to start following you especially since you reside in one of my favorite cities!

  10. hmmm, i think you should say something!! i would want that time right :)

  11. This would PISS me off for lack of another word and it IS a big deal. I also wouldn't let it go with picture proof there. We train our butts off for this stuff and seconds are SECONDS. I would be UPSET and I think you should list your Garmin time on your sidebar!

    Speaking of Garmin, I'm laughing at your finish picture and the immediate stoppage of said device. I have my finger hovering on the damn thing for like 100 yards before I cross that line-ha!!

    Again, fantastic race!!! I have dreams about running that....great dreams and then I wake up-dang!

  12. race directors are pretty good about fixing timing errors. There should be a contact on the results page. Just send them a link to that picture.

    Also, what is the 1/2/3/4/5/4/3/2/1 mean? I don't ever do "workouts", I just run, so I'm curious what the heck that is.

  13. I WOULD DEFINITELY contact the race director and have that changed! Girl, your PR IS 1:27:43 and you are absolutely incredible and you look SO strong at the finish. I have the same question as rose runner...was it the 1/2/3/4/5/4/3/2/1 workout?

  14. Hey! I recently started following your blog because my friend Kim over at ilaxstudio recommended it. My running club out in Oak Park just had the race director for the Chicago Marathon come speak to us last week and he said that the reason they won't switch to the B-tags is because of how inaccurate they can be. They test out the B-tags on a few people every year in the marathon but he wants to see a 98% accuracy before they switch to them. They aren't near that yet.

    As for contacting the race director about a timing issue, I've never done it but some of my running club buddies did for the half marathon in Palos earlier this year. I guess the times were all screwed up there.