Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Facing a Fear

It might sound really silly, but I've begun facing one of the biggest, most consistent fears of my running career. I got a Garmin watch 4.5 years ago and have used it only sporadically since then because it has historically given me too much data. I know this sounds counterintuitive to almost everyone. How could there be too much data?

I've found that it's a real concern for me. Where many people are encouraged by knowing their pace and whether or not they're meeting their goal in real time, I am kind of intimidated by it and myself. If I see that I'm running way better than my goal pace, I get nervous that I won't be able to maintain (though I'm excellent at finding a pace that's both doable for the distance and sufficiently fast) it and sometimes I even slow down and fall into the same self sabotage habits that wrecked my Oakley Mini 10k.

So I've been avoiding using the watch on a regular basis. Over the last year, I've used it more regularly than ever before but still not enough. Finally, I decided to import all the data from it onto my computer a few weeks ago. I downloaded the training center, plugged in the unit and had all the data I've recorded on it since December 2009. It was that easy. And even though it wasn't very much data, it was enough to get me hooked. In any setting but running, I love data.

I don't think I've run without it since then. I also haven't downloaded anymore data, but the fact that I have it available to me whenever I want to look is very appealing. The idea of having a more complete picture of my progress is exciting and I'm a little embarrassed I haven't made use of this resource until now.

It still remains to be seen how I'll handle having it during races. I still don't care to know exactly how my race is progressing every step of the way, but I'm sure there's a solution. Maybe taping up the watch face until the end? I don't know, but I'll figure it out.