I admit I am a gadget-geek, and it shows in my running. Those who think that running is a “cheap” sport should look at the plethora of gadgetry out there. We have running watches that track time and distance, heart rate monitors that connect to your watch or your smartphone, fitness devices that measure number of steps, and so on and so forth.
I have my own slew of devices. I went through a number of Garmin watches before settling in on a combination of a Pebble watch and an iPhone running the iSmoothRun app (which pairs nicely with the Pebble watch). I use my iPhone to measure my sleep patterns, track the number of steps I take, measure my HR in the morning.
But I have to also learn to disassociate myself from these gadgets. Early this week my HR monitor died on me so I ran Tuesday's run just going by “feel.” Then the other my Pebble watch lost connection with my iPhone, causing me to run with no feedback on pace, heart rate, time, distance. It was discomforting.
Gadgets are supposed to help me run and I shouldn't be dependent on it. The plan called for a 30-minute run and I roughly know what route to take and what pace to run to complete a 30-minute run. Even if I'm off by a few minutes, at least I got to run. Fortunately my phone could give audible alerts on time so I was able to finish the training run.
There was a time when all I had was a stop watch and I got to run. I remember when we knew what was an easy run and what was a punishing run based on how hard I was breathing and how hard my heart was pounding. I should remind myself that running is less about the gadgetry and more about what one feels and senses.