I know what you’re thinking… but this post is not about actually running in my birthday suit 🙂 What I want to talk about is something that is pretty much a foreign concept to me these days, although I used to do it all the time. I’m talking about running WITHOUT my precious Garmin!
Let me back up a little bit. When I began my journey into running I didn’t have anything, not even a good old fashioned stopwatch. I didn’t really care how long I ran for or how far I went at that point, I was just trying to survive. Later as I got into running more I would glance at the clock when I left and when I came back to see how long I had been out. But I still had no idea how far I was running. I trained for my first half marathon by driving routes in my car before a run to see how long they were, then I wore a $10 stopwatch from Walmart to time myself. A year later I trained for my first full marathon this way, until I discovered Map My Run which allowed me to plan my routes electronically before I went out to run. I thought this was the best thing ever! But I still wore my trusty old stopwatch and didn’t know anything about mile splits or pace. My first marathon wasn’t about speed anyway, it was about hitting the mileage and my only goal was to finish.
I ran my first marathon in November 2008 in 4:35:15, and I loved the experience so much. I couldn’t wait for more, and I was excited to see what else I could do. Suddenly I started caring about speed and learned all about how to get faster. I found out that many runners had GPS watches that tracked time, distance, and pace as they ran, which they said had helped them become better runners. I did some research and decided I wanted a Garmin. I was about to start training for my second marathon and really wanted to get faster and amp up my training.
That Christmas I received my precious new Garmin Forerunner 305 from my dad. It immediately became my best friend. I’ll never forget the first time I ran with it on Christmas Day. I was amazed by all that it could do and stared at it the entire time. When it beeped after every mile to tell me what my mile split was, it was like a personal challenge- I wanted to run the next one faster than that! I learned what my natural pace was and was eager to push it and see what I could do.
The more I ran with my new Garmin the more I fell in love. I started to wonder how I ever ran without it in the first place. It helped me get faster, run with a greater purpose, and set new goals for myself. It was the reason I was able to take more than 20 minutes off my first marathon time in marathon #2, running it in 4:15!
I made sure to charge my Garmin so that it was always ready for me at a moment’s notice. Garmin came with me on all my runs, no matter what the weather or distance. That big red thing was always on my wrist on every run. It came with me to Costa Rica, Ireland, and many places around the U.S.! We have been through a lot together!
I have also been caught at the end of races in the professional pictures, making sure to stop my Garmin!
And I bought Kevin one (a much more attractive new model) when he started training for his first marathon. He quickly learned about Garmin’s amazing powers and loved his as well!
Obviously I’m more than a little dependent on this thing. When I run without that big clunky watch that I have gotten used to, I literally feel like I’m naked and something is missing. However, now that I am pregnant my running has totally changed. The Garmin that I used to love so much doesn’t make me as happy as it used to. Instead of motivating me, it makes me more aware of my slowing pace due to pregnancy, which makes me feel bad sometimes. I don’t want to spend my time as a pregnant runner caring about what a watch says. Instead I want to enjoy myself and the ride I’m taking my little one on as we run together.
Because of this, I decided to try running without my Garmin. I’m a little OCD and still want to know the distance that I run, but pace doesn’t matter to me anymore. I went out two times so far on familiar routes so that I knew the approximate distance I was running, but I left my watch at home. It was so enjoyable and freeing! There was no pressure whatsoever. I couldn’t tell if I was running fast or slow, and I didn’t care either. I just RAN, and it took me back to when I first started running and had nothing fancy. That was when I fell in love with running, and it reminded me of that special time.
So I’m not saying goodbye to my Garmin, just see ya later… in about 6 months or so… or longer! I know I probably won’t want to wear it post-partum either as I try to regain my strength and my speed. I’m also not saying I won’t run with it at all for the remainder of my pregnancy. I may still run with it occasionally, but for now I am really enjoying myself and the feeling of freedom it gives me to ‘run naked’. Maybe someday I’ll get to the point where I won’t care about distance either, but I’m not there yet. Baby steps…
Are you dependent on your Garmin or GPS watch? Do you ever run naked? Do you enjoy it or would you rather know your distance, time, and pace on every run?