Going back to the run from New Year’s Day… I forgot my Garmin that day and ran the 1.4 mile loop I knew from previous measurement. I looked at the clock as I walked out of my parent’s garage and then again when I finished. It was a great run, and I could tell that it was faster than my average. Sure enough, when I got back into the garage I calculated that I had run the 4.2 miles in a little under 39 minutes, 9:17 pace.
So I have a theory about this run. I didn’t wear my Garmin and I didn’t take my phone with me, and I ran faster than I have since being injured this fall. It made me question my electronic running devices. Was that the reason I ran faster than usual? Or was I just having a perfect settings kind of day? It wasn’t too cold, there wasn’t much wind, I had good company, and I felt good. But maybe it was the freedom of not having a number looming at me from my wrist…
Sometimes I wonder if we define ourselves and our runs with the numbers displayed on our watches and GPS devices. When I look down and see a number that I’m comfortable with, is it possible that my body automatically feels as if this is the definite pace it can or should only go ? Could a faster, lower number look wrong and therefore, I subconsciously feel the need to slow down?
The New Year’s Day run felt great, I wasn’t struggling to maintain pace. Quite frankly, pace and time weren’t even on my mind because I wasn’t constantly peering down at my watch face, I was just running. Maybe we all need a “free run” every once in a while. (I guess in all honesty, my run wasn’t completely free because I noted my time of start and finish.) However, during my run, that was the last thought on my mind. I was just out there running because I wanted to…because I was enjoying time with my family…because it felt good…because I love to run… I was not running to meet a certain time…a certain distance…to meet someone else’s preconceived ideas about what a good pace is…
I was simply running.
& I loved it.
So… I dare you to go take a run without electronics, without a GPS watch, without your Garmin. Even if you take a route that you know the exact distance, and even if you take note of the start/finish time on the clock, just go run and don’t keep track of your pace. It’s an experience that every runner should have. I think it brings you back to the reasons why you fell in love with running in the first place.
Tell me how the experiment goes. Or tell me if you’ve already done it, did you find that it was a different kind of run?