Monday, May 10, 2010


I still consider myself a "new" runner, a novice, a beginner. It's something that, until recently, has held me back. A email conversation changed that. So did technology.

For my birthday and mum's day, Mr. Wumpus bought me a Garmin 405. It's got a heart rate monitor, programmed workouts, a virtual training buddy, oh and of course, it's GPS equipped. I'm also certain it will beam me up if I press the correct portion of the bezel. I haven't yet figured that part out.

My first run was an epic failure. I had turned the training buddy feature on when really I just wanted to see time, pace and distance. Two miles of fiddling with the thing and I was ready to throw it in the bushes. I took a week off and considered returning it (also, the thing costs a fortune). Then I decided to give it one more shot.

I managed to figure out how to work the damn thing properly and then went out and had an epic, epic four mile run. Not epic in that it was all that fast, but because a) I'm doing a 10 km in three weeks and didn't know if I had six miles in me, now I know and b) because I fell in love with my Garmin - it beeps for every mile and tells you your pace! How exciting is that? So exciting and c) (here's the big part) I actually treated this run like a workout not just something to slog through and check off my to do list.

And why does that matter? Because of the said email conversation. The Power of Smithers gave me some very sage advice: Treat training like training. Make every workout a workout.

Sounds simple, sure, but until now, I've given myself every excuse to just phone it in, do the required distance and call it done. When the training plan says "tempo" I run it the same as "easy." About the only things I ever change pace for are track workouts and hill repeats, of which I did very few last time around.

This time, for this training round, I'm going to train. I'm going to stop telling myself I'm a beginner and a novice and start treating workouts like workouts.

Oh, and the post title? I had often wondered how the pros (Steve, Sara) could list their mile split times. I mean, the best I could do was estimate and then come up with my average pace. Then I got the Goddam Garmin. Um, right.

Technology is a beautiful thing.

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