Today, I had one of those bizarre epiphanies. The kind that leads you to a totally obvious conclusion.
Sometimes, when you’re running, less is more.
And although the wisdom certainly applies, I wasn’t thinking about clothing. I’ve been tooling around in a sports bra for a couple of weeks now, actually.
I refuse to be encumbered by superfluous clothing when it’s over eighty degrees out. And I don’t care who has to look at my flabby torso.
Anyway, no, this epiphany was related to the little gadget that’s been strapped to my wrist on almost every run for nearly a year now.
It started when I headed down to the little gym in my building tonight. Because it was 95* outside. And I planned to run on the treadmill. Only to discover that all of the treadmills were occupied.
I side-eyed an empty elliptical for a fleeting moment before sighing and heading for the front door. Watchless, Garmin-less, iPod-less. (And shirtless, of course, as I stripped it off and tossed it in a corner of the lobby on my way out.)
Around the neighborhood in the sweltering heat I tooled. For 30 minutes. Ish. I probably ran three miles and change. Ish.
And you know what? It was actually rather lovely.
If I’d had my Garmin, of course, I would have been constantly bemoaning my pace and gently berating myself for going so slowly. Every step would have twinged with mild anxiety. But today? I just ran.
So, here’s the deal. I’m packing my favorite little gadget away for a couple of months.
And I’m just going to run.
This doesn’t mean I’m not ever going to run hard if I happen to feel like it. (My ten-year-old Timex Ironman can clock a 400 on the track just fine.) But as the temperature continues to rise and the crushing humidity settles in, I’m just going to run as much as I semi-comfortably can, without worrying about whether those runs are happening at a 7:45 or 8:45 or 9:45 pace.
Because I’ve been worrying about that for nearly a year, ever since I acquired the Garmin. And…I need a little break.
This also doesn’t mean I’m not going to track my workouts and mileage. I’m just changing the variable part of the equation for a little while.
Instead, I’ll just run by time and then back into an approximate distance using an assumed pace. Say, 9:00/mile.
I’m pretty sure this is how I tracked my runs for years, before the days of GPS and MapMyRun. Less data is more. Sure, it’s not going to be perfectly accurate, but who cares? It’s not like the IRS is going to come audit my training log.
Anyway, yeah. Pretty obvious stuff: you’re headed in to a mellow, base-building period. And running in punishing conditions. Why not leave the damn wrist-computer at home?
Thank you, douchebags who were walking on the treadmill in polos and boat shoes tonight, for helping me to realize this.
Oh, and bonus? When I pick it back up after not playing with it for a while, my little Garmin will be a shiny new toy once again.
PS: Dear iPod, you’re on notice, too.
Not because I have anything against running with music, but because I don’t want to sweat all over it and ruin it. And also, you can’t run through sprinklers when you’re carrying an iPod. And I live for running through sprinklers on hot summer runs.
While we’re at it, here are a couple of quick recaps that I’m a little behind on.
Vacation week rundown:
M: 4 easy (beach, barefoot, 40:15, 10:00 pace) Tu: 3 easy (beach, barefoot, 31:00, 10:20 pace) W: 3 easy + circuit training (beach, barefoot, 29:59, 9:59 pace) Th: OFF F: OFF Sa: 4 easy (mostly road, 35:15, 8:48 pace) Su: OFF
Total: 14 miles. WOOHOO! Well, I was on vacation. Um, running on the beach is a serious workout, yo.
And adding May’s monthly stats to the pile ‘o fun:
May gets a huge MEH. I had very few quality workouts (which is my own fault because…I just didn’t ever make it to the track or discipline myself to tempo it). I ran a respectable 10K and a shitty (literally) half marathon. Then I took several days off (needed). And then I went on vacation.
Well, I guess that last part wasn’t so bad.
June, onward and upward. And I’m running naked. I’m practically one of those early explorers, scribbling complicated equations on maps and navigating by the stars.
I’ll bet they weren’t ready for this jelly, either.