Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Day My Garmin Died

I waited out the rain this morning and finally left home to hit my usual weekend path for a 14 mile training run.  It took everything in me to pull myself away from the last day of the Olympics (I've been completely hooked), and it was just one of those "don't really feel it days."  I got myself out the door anyway, and that's usually the hardest part.  Until this happened.
Excuse me, this is not supposed to happen!  Without my Garmin, how do I know how far I've gone, how long I've been running, and for goodness sake my PACE?!  After accepting the fact that I probably have an over-dependence on my technology, I had a choice to make.  Either I go through with the run (my path does have mile markers after all), or I go home and log my miles on the treadmill (yikes).  I decided to just go for it and see what happened.

So off I went and just ran by feel.  Thankfully today's long run was mostly about time on my feet, just getting in the mileage.  It was a different experience, adjusting based on my breathing, heart rate, muscles.  I had to be even more in tune with my body and quite honestly, I was probably kinder on myself because I wasn't constantly thinking about how quickly I was getting through the miles.  I'm sure my pace wasn't great because it was hot and approximately 1000% humidity.
Even though I wasn't beating myself up about how "slow" I'm sure I was going today, I was happy to see the mile marker that let me know it was time to turn around!  Being completely transparent, I can be a bit of a control freak, which is why I never take off without my Garmin on my wrist.  Runners in general tend to lean in the "Type A" direction, which explains the huge advances in technology that can break down your runs,allow you to compete against yourself, and analyze trends.  Companies are even starting to embed technology into clothing and shoes to give us insights into our body movement and provide coaching on how to run more efficiently.

I don't use my Garmin to its fullest extent.  I mostly want it to connect to the satellites quickly and be able to tell me my pace and splits.  But it still sends me into a tailspin when its not available to me.  My Forerunner 210 is about six years old and can be a little temperamental - if the little charging teeth aren't connected exactly right, the juice doesn't flow, which is I'm sure what happened today.  Over the years, I've gradually updated my technology and I find myself wondering if this is a sign that I need to start considering an upgrade.
The evolution of my technology (From Timex Ironman, to Garmin Forerunner 60, to Garmin Forerunner 210).
Looking back, I do have to say that I am grateful for my technology breakdown today.  It was refreshing to be free of the pace monster.  I wouldn't recommend it for every run, or even most runs, but once in a while, I may purposefully give my Garmin a rest.  My "not really feeling it" run turned out not to be so bad, and I attribute a lot of it to not obsessing about how fast or slow I was going.  So, when it comes to running are you more of a free spirit  or a technology maven?  Either way, switching things up can really change your perspective and I truly believe can make us all stronger, happier runners.

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