Free Yourself from the Numbers

With each passing day I gain the new friendship of a runner or triathlete. Since my first race, the NYC Mary in 2008, my life has taken quite a turn and I love it. I honestly don’t know what I did with my time before training for Ironmans and Marathons?

Look! I used to run in PANTS!

As my athletic endeavors became more challenging I found myself absorbed in the science behind it all. I hired a fantastic coach, learned about nutrition, heart rate, cadence, pace strategy and aerobic thresholds. This helped me tremendously! I saw improvements in my times and felt great about my training regimen. I had a sort of revelation the other day though, watching my twitter feed and everyone talking about their runs, bikes or swims and the mileage and pace associated with each one. (Funny how all my friends now are athletes says the kid who went to art school.) I got kind of turned off by the whole thing, the science of it all. Even I was guilty of over analyzing my training.

I had forgotten that at it’s core, the reason I run, or racing in triathlons, is that it’s fun. No matter what pace you hit, how even your heart rate was, or how many miles you put in, at the end you still feel great and probably really enjoyed yourself. You just forgot because you were too focused on numbers.

I set out to do a little test 2 weeks ago during the Grete’s Great Gallop Half Marathon. I was going to run naked (without my precious Garmin) and prove that it doesn’t matter. I raced my heart out and came within 5 seconds of a PR I set in 2010! I wasn’t looking at my wrist every 30 seconds, I was focused on how I felt and how fast my legs were turning over. It was very ‘freeing,’ similar to turning off your cell phone during a vacation.

The New York City Marathon is in 2 weeks and I am running that bad boy Garminless. I invite anyone interested to try it! Obviously first time marathon runners or people out to BQ might not apply, but everyone else, what have you got to lose? Who’s with me?!

Anyone want to make any Garminless predictions for my time? My course PR for New York is 3:00:48.