Thursday, August 30, 2012

Running With a Watch

I have received some questions based on my half marathon post.  They wanted to know why I was so focused on completing it in a certain time when I preach Running Without a Watch.  Let me clarify.  I am not against running with a watch.  A watch is a very useful tool, fitting in the same category as an IPOD, Nike +, or google maps.  But like any tool, it must be handled with care.   

I started Running Without a Watch to get my running back on track.  I used to be so focused on time that whenever I went out for a run and ran too slowly, I didn’t enjoy myself.  It almost reached the point where I started to hate running.  Every few minutes I would glance at my watch to check my pace.  My running became inconsistent and I started to gain weight again.  I knew I needed to find a way to enjoy running again before I gained another 10-15 pounds.  I needed to act fast.   

It all changed one day during a particularly difficult run when I had to stop in the middle and walk.  I looked at my watch and it said 20 minutes.  That was the moment I knew something had to give.  I couldn’t continue this cycle of frustration and disappointment any longer.  The very next day, I cast the watch aside and reclaimed my love of running.  It no longer mattered if I ran an eight minute mile or an eleven minute mile.  What mattered is that I completed my run.  Running Without a Watch has relieved me of the unnecessary pressure that I felt each run had to be at maximum effort.

It is one week shy of my one year anniversary of Running Without a Watch.  I have made it through the cold winter, hot summer, time off due to an injury, the birth of a new baby, and the death of a beloved pet. I am running faster, farther and freer than ever.  I look forward to another exciting year of Running Without a Watch.

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