Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Time keeps on ticking...

For the last two years or so, I almost never wore a watch while running (I haven't worn one in regular life in about 10 years). I got into the habit of not wearing a watch so much that I actually forgot to bring it to Phoenix when Danielle and I ran the Phoenix Half Marathon in January.

When I started in DC Fit, they said they require everyone to wear a watch, so I broke the watch back out and started wearing it again. The problem is, almost everyone I have met there so far is totally obsessed with times. Times for everything. It's not really a matter of if you feel good during the run or not, it's a matter of how fast you ran.

I started to get caught up in it, too. For the last couple of weeks, I've been obsessing over the times for every run I do. This weekend, I was talking with Meg and realized that I am really starting to obsess over this, to an unhealthy degree. So I'm going to start to ignore my watch again. I'll wear it because they make us, but I am not going to check it every 3-4 minutes to see if my pace has fallen off 5 seconds per mile or any stupid stuff like that. I can appreciate the ability to know what my pace is is and if i'm holding steady, but I think that, especially on the long runs, checking once every mile or two will give you a good idea of that, and, frankly, I should be able to tell from how I'm feeling, as my body pretty much tells me what's up.

I had a lot more fun running when I wasn't stressing about time all the time. That's what I need to get back to. All this constant measuring makes it feel way more like work than play, and I want to make sure that running is fun, because Chicago is a long way away, and it better be an enjoyable road to get there, dammit!

8 comments:

Al Dimond said...

They *make* everyone wear a watch!?! That is totally nuts! Even when I bring my watch running I usually forget to either start or stop it, and don't really know where my mile markers would be anyway. I only really use the watch for track workouts and races in which I have a plan (which is far from all races).

Actually, forgetting to start/stop my watch drove my River to River team nuts the one year we tried to keep accurate splits. We strapped someone's Garmin to the baton, but I forgot to hit the split button on all of my legs so the guy before me had no idea what he ran for any of his.

In big marathons and halves they have clocks at every mile or at least dudes yelling out splits, right? At the Big Sur Half they had split-yellers every mile and those were the only distances marked. I'm sure it's similar at Chicago. Except the official time won't have the extra pre-start time cut off, which might be a while in a race that big. But if you could keep it in your head through the race you could probably run Chicago watchless without really losing any useful information.

April said...

HA! Sorry that you had to "feel my pain" on your run! But I do appreciate your advice...this afternoon, I'll try to walk for a bit and stretch them out really well before I start running. Thanks for the tip!

April said...

Ok, now my comment on your post:

you ain't lyin. It is so easy to get obsessed with looking at your watch every few minutes. I do that too, especially toward the end of long runs!

RazZDoodle said...

Imagine if you had a Garmin. Mine died on my last run and it was kinda nice.

lauren said...

you could just get one of those shoe watches. you know, the ones you tie on your laces. (or are they just regular watches with no straps?) then, you'd have a watch, but you wouldn't really look at it (or if you did, you would not do it often because you'd a) have to stop and b) look kind of silly.)

i run with mine on, but i do it just so i know how long i've been gone unless i'm feeling very motivated.

Joe said...

razz: danielle has a garmin that she obsesses over. i think if i had one, i'd make myself insane.

Megan said...

this is what i learned in the last two months: the only person that cares about your time is you.

i don't mean that in a bad way - what i mean is that you are always going to be most competitive with yourself, because everyone is too concerned with their own times. so if you can nail down the pace that you are most comfortable with, and run that consistently, then you'll be great. and you won't need a watch!!!

hmmmm. for some reason, after reading that, I am not quite sure if that is exactly the point i was trying to make, but oh well - you know what i mean.

peter said...

You won't need a watch for the Chicago Fun Run. Just an exit plan for when the No-More-Running Po-lice come onto the course. It's Garnin wearers that are nuts. Can't run next to 'em. Always talking every 5 seconds about their pace, oops, slow down it's 6:40, wait, no it's 8:30 hurry up, wait, no it's 7:20 that's good, wait, what? 9:15, no, 8:30, aww