Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Training Tuesday: Watchless April


As I was getting ready for work this morning, my dear friend, Judi, texted me this picture.
This was me after my first half marathon in October 2010 - The Grand Rapids Marathon.  The race that started the obsession, I guess you could say.  I have no idea where we were (Peppino's maybe?) but as you can see from my face, I was a happy girl (and so much younger - wow). 

Somewhere in the last 4 1/2 years, I lost that happy runner girl.  I got wrapped up in paces and splits and training plans and whenever I didn't have a run that went perfectly according to the plan, I got pissed and pretty darn hateful towards myself.  Sure, there's a time and place for all that data, but who am I kidding?  I'm not doing this for prize money or to win races. I'm always going to be a mid to back of the pack runner and there's nothing wrong with that. Yes, I worked hard to improve my times and become a better and faster runner, but along the way I lost what it felt like to run just for fun.

I want that feeling back.

Another good friend, Deb, challenged me yesterday to a month of "gadget-free running".  No Garmin or watch, although she said I could use it for the key parts of some workouts, like speedwork, and for the 2 races I have coming up.  We chatted back and forth on DailyMile a bit and I said I thought I could give up the Garmin but not my music.  We agreed music was OK since we both run with music.  I talked with a couple other runner friends to get their perspectives, too.  They all decided it was a brilliant idea and would go very far in helping me find that love of running again just to run.  (DAMMIT! And here I thought one of them at least would take my side and say it was a terrible idea!)  

So yesterday, I started what will be a month (at least) of watch-free runs (jury is still out as to how I deal with bike and swim workouts). My plan is to leave the Garmin at home for all of my runs, even the speedwork.  I was told I could run by feel - I've been running long enough to know what a tempo effort or Yasso effort should feel like and to focus on that.  My explicit instructions for yesterday's run were to "Have fun".  I did 6 miles on my familiar rail-trail and just soaked up the sun and tried to get lost in my music.  Did it feel 100% fun? No.  But, it's a start.

What about you?  Do you want to join me in a gadget-free month? Have you ever taken an extended vacation from your data?