Sunday, January 1, 2012

Breaking the bonds !!!

I tend to be a little compulsive about things, and running is no exception.  For years it was a stop watch that dictated EVERYTHING on my runs.  Then I graduated to a Nike+/iPod training gadget.  This thing is very cool. ( If you're not familiar with it, you put a little sensor in your shoe, and your ipod tells you how far and fast you've run.)  I would faithfully time my runs with the iPod and use a stopwatch as a backup.  Then I would upload the data to Nike's website to track all my runs.  I would then spend way too much time looking at charts and graphs of my running stats.  EVERYTHING was driven by pace and time, and I'd be incredibly upset if my iPod battery ran out halfway through a run.  Not because I had nothing to listen to, but because I wouldn't have a record of the run to upload.  My totals for the week and month wouldn't be accurate !!  God Forbid !!  It was like if I didn't have the data, the run didn't happen.  Well, I now I have a Garmin Forerunner to track my runs as I train for the marathon.  This creates a very interesting dynamic for an OCD runner like myself.  First off, I have to stop using the Nike+ website.  I have about 2000 miles worth of data that I am now going to just ignore.  I have a hard time with that.  There is a theraputic value in forcing myself to walk away from that, I know.  I could just replace the Nike website with the Garmin website and continue to be so anal about my data, but I'm going to use this change to force some new habits.   For starters, I am going to just run without a pre-planned route in mind.  I would NEVER do this before.  I had to not only know the route, I had to know where the mile markers were so I could record my splits at every mile.  So I would measure the routes on a website like Mapmyrun, then use the Nike+/iPod, usually drive them in my car, and use a stopwatch.  Now I am going to just head out the door, without a route in mind.  I did it today for the first time and it was somewhat liberating, and somewhat disconcerting.  I wasn't obsessed with my time or splits, and I had a great run.  I even ran without music. ( Also a liberating change, but not one I plan to make a habit of ).  So now I am free to run where I want, as slow as I want, whenever I want.  It sounds great in theory, and I'm sure it will lead to good things eventually, but it's going to be an adjustment for me.So...2012 New Year's Resolutions: Run slower, don't worry about the splits or the pace, and just enjoy.  Ultimately this should help me train slower and run farther.  Stick around and we'll see how it plays out.  Happy New Year to everyone, and of course....

Just Don't Stop Running.....


  1. I have a Garmin 305 (I think- maybe it's a different model...) that I rarely use. As a runner who needs to run just because I love to run, I find the Garmin and all of the info it provides to kinda stressful. I do, however, listen to the same playlist every time I run and I know every tenth of a mile of my route, so I can judge how well or horrible my run is going, usually. If I'm not at the bridge by the time I hear Johnny Cash, something's wrong.

  2. I also love to run just for the sake of it, but I think there's something about the analytical side of my brain that overpowers the emotional side. When I run and get all wrapped up in the numbers, my emotional and irrational side of my brain can be free to think what it wants to think, go where it wants to go, and not worry about the other side of the brain reigning it in all the time. There's a constant dialogue in my head of differing opinions, thoughts and so on. If an activity can keep one side of the dialogue occupied, it gets quiet. Some activities manage to occupy both sides and then there's peace. Those moments are gold. Solid gold.
    ( just for clarification, I don't actually hear voiced like the Son of Sam or anything, it's just that most thoughts have a plus and a minus aspect to them and I'm constantly thinking about things from multiple angles. There are times when that is quite beneficial, and times when it's a pain in the ass. So...I'm not crazy, just overly analytical )

  3. Ahhh... see at work I can multi-task my brain just as you say- precision and detail on one side and room for random thoughts on the other. So running is totally different for me.

  4. Most of the time I have some portion of my brain focused on something other than the task at hand, but there's something about running that sets it loose. I get solutions to things that are bugging me, come up with great ideas, and just imagine things in a whole new way. I think part of it is the physical exhaustion. I don't get the same mental release on an easy or short run that I do on the long or harder ones.