Chasing my tail
Three months ago I was happy to run the distance to the small harbour in the neighborhood and back – all together a bit more than 10 km. Tonight I wanted to run there again – nice evening long run, no stress, just me and the road.
As V. decided to go swimming, I laced up my shoes and hit the road straight away. For some reason, I started to check my watch almost every km – or what I thought was a km. The thing is, I don’t have one of those Forerunners at my wrist as I don’t need a beep to remind me how slow my pace is. Not just yet. When it comes to running, I am still very much at the beginning of the journey. I don’t want to know the times – or do I?
Before I knew it, I started racing… with myself! Along the road, there were several points I recognised and remembered (windmill, waterway marker, bike path crossing, harbour entrance etc). As I was passing them by, I tried to memorize the lap times to be able to compare them with the lap times on my way back. Then I started thinking what was the time I reached when running that very same track for the first time, in January? I completely lost myself in my calculations. I did not listen to my music and what was worse: I did not listen to myself.
And before I knew it, without remembering anything about my run, I was back at home clocking my fastest 10K. But did it make me any happier?
well, hard to say:). Almost till now I have very special relationship with racing:). on one side it looks like sucess, getting better and faster results, on the other hand it may kill all the hapiness and joy I am getting out of running.
So it is a hard call:). What I found is that from time to time it woks.. to run for speed to run for life, for good and better time. if it is not very often, it works, it keeps my balance between race and pleasure:). So IMHO, if you take it like a good and part of your running philosophy:), it still keeps you happy..
well reading your post for the second time, I would say, you work hard, so … this creates your doubs, but still you enjoyed it, right? :).. and that’s what matters the most. keep running! cheers, 12:)
LOL !!! … seems like someone is hooked … one way or the other ;))) Well, some people do not like racing, do not need watches, mileage, do not keep records of their runs and do just fine … but, honestly, I don’t think you are one of those 😉
I personally think that it can nicely spice up your running to clock your daily runs, keep records of your progress and from time to time just try to kick it and run your personal best on a given course. But it’s a devils treat and it is really easy to get caught in the timing frenzy and end up injured. Once I settle into some “more-or-less” regular running pattern, I keep running mostly the same routes. Then I keep records of my times and feel comforted by seeing the slow, yet undeniable progress. I think, you would like that too. My rule of thumb was to try for 1 PB a week at most. If I clock my PB early in the week, and some other day it looks like a may beat yet another one I force myself to slow down and finish slower. I think this approach really paid of, since besides my traumatic injuries suffered due to my falls, I have been virtually injury free for past two years … while still getting (slowly) better. Good luck and keep running!
Indeed, the idea of monitoring my progress is somewhat contageous and addictive or may be it is the residual habit from my youth when everything was about scores, points, speed and targets. So yes, I do keep track of my training sessions in a logbook. It is just that time and speed did not matter too much to me – until recently.
I will take it easy though, just like you and 12Honza advise. I know myself: if I rush things, usually they start boring me. What I like about running is the possibility of building a slow and delicate relationship with it – rushing into it does not help. The true passion grows slowly and steadily…
You’d love a forerunner, I really think you would! Well, let’s face it.. that would make for the two of us 🙂
It sounds like you had a fantastic run, never mind the mind chatterings about calculations! haha you do make me laugh!
Sometimes it’s good to race, to give in to the desire to be faster and beat your personal bests. Not because you have to… but because you know in yourself, in your own body that you CAN do it faster. It’s a good feeling!
You won’t be in racing mode all the time either, next time take another trail that’s through the countryside and take it slow. But for those times you do want to race… it’s good to have that gadget to time yourself (that way you won’t be having to be doing all those calculations and checks, and just enjoy the speed!) We definitely need to meet up for a run one day 🙂
Your post has really made me look forward to the weekend now, thanks for the inspiration 🙂 x
I was already kind of looking around as I like gadgets (don’t we all?). So far I set my eyes to 310XT. Ideas welcome.
ahh that’s the same one I’ve had my eyes on for some time now as it’s swim proof too. If you get one first I will be hanging for your review!
What I like is the lifetime of the battery: you can hike/bike (or run, if you are that good) with the thing on your wrist for up to 20 hours. My birthday is in October – long way to go…