Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What Makes My Watch Keep Ticking?

As I sit here and log this afternoons run, I find myself scanning through my watch to find out exactly how many minutes I ran. I do this regularly, every time I log a run. With my new less functional approach on running, the amount of time is never exact nor ever planned, hardly. It is programmed into my right thumb to click the stop and start button as I start and end my runs. I rarely look down at it as I finish, not until I log my run. I like the idea of running without a plan. Geoff Roes said it best in an article from Trail Runner Magazine; sometimes he will feel bad and run only 30 minutes while others he will end up being out 3 hours.  This week I have found that medium.

In the past I was always a numbers freak, I still am to a point.  I love statistics and do a really good job at memorizing pointless facts.  This has to do a lot with my childhood love for baseball, I would browse the newspaper memorizing different batting averages and other stats.  When I got into running, it became times and miles.  I have logged every step I have ran since January 1st, 2007.  This has caused problems and it has helped.  It has created a monster at times and other times it scares me.  Right now, I am neither a monster or am I scared.  The numbers I see and write are the same as any other number, they only quantify what I have done.  I will never be able to look ahead and see the numbers of the future, then I would be scared!  It is all in the past, and I can't change any of it.  

All of that to say this..... the past couple of days were a little shaky for me.  Sunday, I decided to run only 5 miles.  Then Monday, I trekked through a 12 mile snowy trail at the Forest.  My foot was hurting and my calf muscle was nagging me.  I didn't know what to do, so I stopped.  I took a 15 minute break because the pain in my foot was a strange sharp feeling that was new to me.In the past I would keep going and probably end up with some sort of injury.  This time, I stopped, untied my shoes and laid down on the trail and just waited.  It felt so good.  After a little rest and worry, I got up and finished my run gracefully without a single hint of pain.  Yesterday, it felt like my 15 mile race had just ended, this could have been because it was sleeting and snowing with wind directly in my face, but nonetheless, I was tired and slow.  Once again, I took it easy and cut back the miles.  I know my body better than I ever have and no longer fret over not getting the desired amount of miles.  It is time to be..... smart.

Something always happens though.  I get rejuvenated.  I feel refreshed.  A sense of clarity!  What is it exactly, that makes me keep going on to that next day?  Is it the sense that tomorrow will be better?  Is this my escape from society?  Am I channeling into my future?  Or am I just nuts!?  Todays run was that run that got me up again.  I have a renewed strength and awareness of my running.  I am looking forward to tomorrow, the next workout, my next race, and the next trail run.  Cross country season is just 5 and a half months away and I am ready to go out with a beautiful senior year!  I could go on and on about what I am looking forward too, but I will enjoy most the feeling of Running Free.

It is hard to believe that this blog was inspired by my watch.  It is nothing special, just an old Nike 50 Lap watch that was purchased in 2006.  It is almost 4 years old, 3 years older than the life expectancy of friends' same Nike watch.   It has been through a lot, hundred of runs, some races here and there, 10 degree runs, 100 degree runs, rain, and snow.  It has been with me to a great hiking trip to the Smokies, Nationals in WA, and survived a horrible fall last summer.  The band has broke four times, now being held together by four layers of super glue.  The split function makes my watch turn into the alphabet, and it is dirtier will continue.  Thank you trusty watch.


1 comment:

  1. I enjoy reading what you have to say. Just remember, "One run will not make you, but it MAY break you." Consistency is the key to success and longevity in running. Sounds like you've got that and are already learning to listen to your body. Keep up the good work, I'm excited to follow along!