At my Spin class yesterday, everyone was asking who got a "running watch" for Christmas. I got a Timex Ironman, but I didn't pipe up, because they were talking about the high-tech wrist computers that calculate your running distance, pace, and, according to one guy in the class, some even calculate how much time you spent in the air while running and how long your feet were on the ground.
It's not that I'm against gadgets -- I love them. I have my JawboneUP back and I'm loving being able to know how active I am. Yesterday during a shopping trip, I logged more than 5,000 steps.
It's just that these kinds of things can become a distraction or a cruel master. I ran with my friend one day when she wore her Garmin, and she almost killed me because she wanted to run a 10-minute-mile pace or less for the entire run. This was supposed to be an easy weekend workout, and my days when 10-minute miles are easy, especially on trails, are in the past.
I used to wear a heart-rate monitor when I ran, and even that bothered me, because I spent my run looking at it instead of focusing on my run. Now I prefer to just set an amount of time for my run, and ignore all of the other data. I understand that it can be really useful for someone trying to boost their speed to have all of this information, but it tends to make me neurotic. I like going old-school.
I have been using my Ease Into 5K app for my runs, which tells me through my headphones when to walk and when to run. If I wanted to know how long I had been running in the middle of a run, I had to pull my iPhone out of my pocket, so I usually just focused on the music and relaxed.
Having a watch is nice for my other workouts, and this one can be worn in the pool so I can time a swim workout.
By the way: The thing underneath my watch in the picture above is my RoadID (I purposely took it so that my identification tag is not pictured). I strongly recommend something like this for anyone who works out alone, even though I can't get my husband to wear his. I keep mine in my car with my headphones so I remember to wear it. A friend of mine was hit by a car when she was out biking and was a Jane Doe for more than a day while she was unconscious. My triathlon club also requires that we wear something like this during our swims in case there is an emergency. The RoadID would also be good for anyone with medical issues like diabetes or seizures. This is not an affiliate link, just a Public Service Announcement. Running (or biking, or swimming) without ID really is Running Naked.
I hope everyone had a great holiday, and that you will have a healthy and happy new year.