Adventures in #nowatchme

Karen, Kimberly, and I each had very different definitions of success for the RnR New Orleans half marathon last month. None them involved a PR and yet all of them involved racing happy. In our next few posts, we’ll each talk about our definitions of success and how we achieved our goals.

Up until a few years ago, I ran without a watch or any kind of device tracking how far and how fast I ran. In fact, I ran my first marathon in true Tina Muir #nowatchme style. To train, I’d map out a route and stick to it. I’d look at the time on a clock just prior to heading out and immediately when I got home, then estimate my speed. I was a much happier runner.

Without a running watch, there was no fretting about hitting certain paces, no incessant comparing my results to my friends. There was something about lining up at a starting line with no preset ideas of pace, but a plan to run by feel. These were the good old days.

In late 2015, I decided that I should have a running watch. I was a serious runner after all, yet I had no idea what paces I was running. Enter the deluge of data. And comparison. And thief of joy.

I ran like this for years – looking at my watch during every single training session usually made me (who has high expectations) upset. And then I’d login to Garmin Connect to compare my current results with my past results and also with my friends results. During races, the instant feedback sent me to bad mental places. This is no way to live, folks.

I recently ran the Rock n Roll New Orleans half marathon #nowatchme style. Since I was coming off an injury that had me sidelined all fall, I hadn’t really had a solid training build-up and I had no idea what I was or was not capable of doing. My only goal was to run and enjoy myself. The morning of the race, I put a sticker over my watch face. There was no way I would be able to check my pace at any point – I wouldn’t even be tempted. It would be impossible for me to be upset with my pace this way. Running #nowatchme style would allow me to run happy.

And that’s what I did that day. I ran happy. As I neared the finish line, I looked for the clock and realized I had a pretty good race. It felt amazing!

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