A week where I put some of the thoughts bouncing around in my head into action. Sometimes we think about all these great things that we would do that could improve our lives, but never take the time to make any changes of consequence.
Favorite photo from the week
This week I made a move that might be fairly insignificant to most people, but in the day-to-day living of my life, it is a significant change for me.
I have moved back to using a Timex Ironman watch as my daily wear watch and my primary running watch.
- No GPS = no imprecise mileage tracking
- No live pace tracking
- No live tracking where I am during a run
- No Notifications – do I have to take this call, text, weather alerts or other miscellaneous stuff that I get notifications about at odd times and when I am running
- No Heart-rate monitoring, which with the wrist reading while I was running was not all that accurate. Though I will miss the ease of checking my heart-rate first thing on waking up, which I do consider to be a fairy important metric.
- No sleep stats – some of the results captured make you wonder about who was actually being tracked or who was wearing the watch.
- No tracking of the number of steps I supposedly take during a day
- No auto populating various websites (Strava, Garmin Connect, etc.) with the activities that I captured
- No wonderful graphs and stats to drool over or scratch my head and go WTFO
You really do not realize how much you use your Garmin or Smartwatch and how it/they insinuate their way into your life, until you stop using it and go old school.
One thing I am noticing is that I am also reducing the times that I carry my iPhone with me while running. It is not a conscious decision, it is more…well do I really need it with me all the time? So the blog will probably stop having as many while I am running photos, which is okay too. Maybe I need to paint better pictures of the run when I write versus relying so much on visual stimulus.
During this week, I also re-read What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. This time the book didn’t really “Wow” me like it did the first time. I guess I am in a different place now than I was the first time. It is now more reminiscent of a bunch of my blog post, but better written, with a few more nuggets of wisdom than I can provide.
So how is this experiment going?
Better than this old guy thought it would.
Actually, when I started using the Timex watch there was more than a little feeling of withdrawal from all of the above things than I believed that I would have. The withdrawal was real and while I have gotten over the worst of it, I still feel at times like I am missing out by not using my Garmin – all the time.
However, I am finding that since I stopped using my Garmin that I am relaxing more when running and at other times. All good things. Each run I do without electronics, it gets easier to run without them.
Yes, I did use the Garmin for my long run this week and that will be the plan going forward, using it for long runs and speedwork, but for easy and recovery runs using the Timex. I have a feeling that when I race again that I will be wearing the Timex, just because I don’t want to be distracted during the race and instead of using the “distance” from the watch, use the “official” distance of the day.
It just makes things less stressful.
The other thing is that I have become comfortable in my own skin and really do not care what others think about my running or activity levels. Also, I feel as though I have taken back a bit of my privacy, especially since I have been leaving my phone at home when running from the house.
Honestly, I no longer feel that I need the external “proof” of what I am doing on a day-to-day basis to validate my running. I know what I am doing and that is more than enough.
Speaking about running, that has been great this week.
Getting over 40 miles this week was the first time that I have done this since I got injured back in June. Doing hill repeats, even though they were just 20-25 second repeats, they still hurt and reminded me why I love to hate them so much. I really prefer the track over hills any day of the week!
Saturday even though I didn’t write about it on the blog, I ran a half marathon training run and had zero issues during the run. It was one of those runs where I got going at a steady pace, didn’t slow down terribly and finished with the feeling that I could have gone further without any problem. Which is how I wanted to feel, but I had to prove to myself that I could still run 13.1 and I did. Now it becomes a question of how fast versus whether I can finish or not.
However, on my planned easy run Sunday, my left foot didn’t feel quite right, so I shut it down after a mile. This is part of taking a long-term view of my running that is a huge change for me.
In the past, I would have sucked it up and finished the 3-4 mile run and suffered the consequences. By stopping when it started to bother, I am hoping that whatever is going on, goes away pretty quickly. I am pretty sure that it had nothing to do with yesterday’s long run, but probably more lifting and moving heavy things around yesterday afternoon, when re-doing SD1’s room.
I am learning – well slowly anyway.
My New Balance Beacon 2 are doing everything that I can ask of them, although I wouldn’t opt for them to be my “go fast for me” shoes, they have been comfortable and allowed me to run well on my easy and recovery days, along with that 13.1 miler on Saturday.
Nike Zoom Fly SP are my go fast shoe of choice on the roads in good conditions. As I have said before I run differently in the Zoom Fly than I do in other running shoes. However, on the track they are too soft and unstable for my tastes. A better shoe than I am a runner for sure.
New Balance 890 v7 are my fugly shoe, I run decently in them, but not great. Yes, they are comfortable, but are missing that “snap” that encourages me to want to go fast in them. They feel better on the track than the ZF, but are missing something on the roads.
New Balance 1400 v6 – I got a helluva deal on the 1400s through eBay this week and couldn’t resist buying them. I haven’t really taken them out for a fast workout yet, but on a 5.0 miler around my hilly Middle Road Loop they were fine at slower speeds. The 1400 are quiet, have good manners and now I need to do a fast workout in them to see how they feel at what they are supposedly made for – speed.
The reality is that
It was actually a very good week and one where I made a fairly major change by moving back to a Timex Ironman for most of my running and feel good about it.
The training is going good with a 40 mile week, some hill work and a nice 13.1 mile long run, so the confidence is coming back, slowly but surely.
My running shoe rotation is has moved to a Nike/New Balance focus. The NB just fit my feet the best of any brand and the ZF feel faster on my feet than anything else. As long as it keeps working and I don’t get a super deal on something that I always wanted to try, I think I will stick with this. Although, I do really want to try the Altra Torin 3.5 and a couple of others. ;-
Another week in the books and one where I wonder how the changes I am making will affect my running and other areas of my life? Very well I hope.
Good job! You inspired me to hit the track the other night
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wow! what a change! I definitely leave my phone at home and only have my TomTom runner’s watch, and I’ve changed the screen of the watch to just show the time while I’m running. But it still shows my my splits and I wonder how much more relaxed I’d be if I didn’t use it. And what would I do without the Strava upload! But you’ve got me thinking, Harold.
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Sometimes thinking is a good thing. For me, it is causing me to look carefully at my relationship with tech, how it enhances or becomes part of the problem in my life. The more I look, the more I am thinking that getting back to the basics in running and other parts of my life (i.e. diet, philosophy, lifestyle, etc) is more important than using the latest and greatest whatever. I am finding that the Timex watch is less a less stressful supplement to my running, whereas not having anything would be too stressful and going in the other direction was also too stressful. It is all about finding a balance that works for you. 🙂
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