Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Running Technology

When I first got into running, all I thought I needed was a pair of running shoes.  That was NOT the case.  First came the running shirts, then the shorts, then I had to have some long spandex because of FPS (frozen penis syndrome.  OUCH).  

Now, I'll be the first to admit, I'm a nerd.  My ex-girlfriend gave me a Nike + for Christmas a 1.5 years ago (which is odd, because she is Jewish.  I don't get the whole Jewish giving gifts on Christmas thing.  But, then again, I gave her a gift on Christmas.  Sooooooo complicated.).  I loved the Nike+.  Lance Armstrong told me every time that I went longer than my previous long run.  'Congratulations, you have completed the longest run of your training!'

So that was good, but then I realized that GPS was the way to go.  4 years ago, my parents gave me a timex GPS watch, but I had to wear the receiver on my arm that would send signals to my watch.  I ran with it on one of my half marathons, in which it was off by more than 5%, and it also took more than two minutes to lock onto the satellites.  The Nike+ was more accurate, but seemed to be a little off when I mapped it on  At the time the timex was an expensive watch, so I felt very bad when I replaced it with the Garmin 305.

I did tons of research before I bought the 305.  The 405 had been out for a couple of months, but most of the hardcore runners believed the 305 was superior, except for the looks of it.  (The 405 actually looks like a watch, but has less front area than the 305).  

I bought the 305 for $160, which is STILL a good price (go buy one...AMY).  So for the past 6 months I haven't gone running without it.  Amy loved that I had it because she would know exactly how far we ran (she had Nike+, but it was, as we found out, a little off).  I LOVED it.  I could import my run into runningahead and think nothing of it.  It knew my route, my elevation, everything.

Fast forward to last Saturday.  I hoped to run 13 miles in the city of Great Falls.  It has  a route along the river that is meant for only runners and bikers.  I try to run it twice a week.  It has very little elevation change and a great view of two dams.  (We are THE great falls of the Missouri river, look it up)  This run is 30 minutes driving time from my house.  I was out the door and halfway to town when I realized I didn't have my watch.  Would it have been that bad if I didn't have it?  No.  Who cares if I didn't have it?  I could have known my total time and distance (the course has mile markers), but I NEEDED to know my splits.  So I turned around and got my watch.  My dad shook his head as I explained I wasted a gallon of gas to get my watch.

I started the run in rain and 40 degree temperatures (June in Montana is CRAZY).  I had to wear my winter running shell, which meant I covered my hands.  That's right, I ran without looking at my watch the entire time!!!!!  I didn't look at it at all.  I ran based on effort.  I also had to run in efforts to get back to the truck in time to circumvent the entire FPS syndrome, as I had  a mild case, even in June.  I ran 13 miles in 1:46, which was the same as I raced the half the week before.  How did that happen?  I wasn't that tired.  I ran this WAY too fast, yet didn't look at the watch.  But you know what?  I'm glad I didn't look at it.  It was very freeing!  The next day I ran 17 and didn't look either.  Even as a nerd that likes numbers, it was refreshing.  I'm sure I can't do it much more, but my next marathon (August 1st) I'm gonna try not to look at my GPS.

Technology may rule, but it may not help.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Bah! Technology? Who needs it?