Sunday, 15 July 2012

Shiny thing make it better?

So, it's been a busy few days. I started writing this on Thursday, but it's been sat half finished as a draft since then..

Anyway, Thursday came, the weather held, and I decided I'd strike whilst the iron was hot and keep ahead of schedule with my 4 mile easy run. This also left Friday completely clear for the Derby Summer Beer Festival, because it would be rude not to.  (The Derby Beer Festival might be why this stayed a draft.. erm, possibly...)

So, on went the shorts, the t-shirt, the trainers, and the watch.  It was then I realised the watch had a flat battery.

For the past year I've done just about every run with a Garmin Forerunner 305 on my arm, it's a fantastic bit of kit, logs my route, tells me how fast I'm going.  After each run I usually sit down with a drink , plug it into the PC and upload a log onto, where I've been keeping the history of everything I've done. I get to see if I'm faster or slower on the same route, and all sorts of fairly meaningless stuff. As someone who grew up with video games and high score charts it seems like a good way to keep track of how I'm doing.
I've pretty much come to rely on this black and red lump of plastic.  I'm even prepared to overlook the fact it's bulky, and looks like the sort of thing someone with an ASBO might wear...

A Garmin ASBO tag
I looked at it, lifeless, and for a moment I actually felt like I couldn't go for a run, I contemplated shifting my 4 miles back to an early morning, or even missing it. It was then it dawned on me, I must have caught a case of stupid. Until last year I never needed that stuff, sometimes I used to run with a stopwatch / heart rate monitor thing, but again it was unimportant compared to actually doing the run.

So, no Garmin. I figured knowing my time still might be a good idea, had a look in the drawer, found my old stopwatch and decided that it'd be good enough, so instead I'd just go and run and completely ignore the numbers.  There's a nice little 4 and a bit mile route that I run fairly regularly, I'd just run that.

At the end of my road I hit start, the stopwatch started counting, but instead of looking at the screen every so often I ignored it, just thought about my breathing, and how I was running, how I could land more softly, and just making progress with the minimum of effort.  You know what? It was probably the best easy run I've had in ages, those 4 miles sailed past, before I knew it I was back home and hitting the stop button. The only statistic for the whole run: 43:47

Now here's what came as a surprise, the plan says I'm supposed to be doing my easy runs at a 10 minute 10 second mile pace, even without the Garmin ASBO tag to tell me to speed up and slow down, it turns out that's pretty much exactly what I ran.  Who needs technology eh?

And remember those tigers I mentioned the other day, well, you'd really not stop to put a watch on before you ran away from a tiger, would you?

1 comment:

  1. I have the Garmin too and it spends most of its time flat. Needs a charge every time I use it and now I've lost the charger too so I'm relying on mapmyrun app on iPhone instead.

    I love the instant feedback from the Garmin but now I wait for the robot woman from mapmyrun+ to tell me once per km how long I've been running. At least I'm not obsessing about how long I have to go whilst I'm still running.