Monday, September 13, 2010

Running update: Another way in which I'm a tard

You guys all know I'm a Garmin dork by now and you also know that after the discovery of the Virtual Partner (whore) feature, I pretty much dropped off the face of the What Can This Thing Really Do planet.

Even though I wanted to know things like my heart rate and details about each and every mile I'd run, the wounds from my exploration of the crazy ass menu substrata had left me twice shy and therefore I just allowed myself to think that "oh, it probably can't do that anyway". And by "that" I mean, "tell me all the details of every mile I've run".


It can.

So, you know, back when I was torturing myself endlessly on the hunt for the sub-60 10K (apologies. I know I said I'd stop saying that.), it would have been super extra nice to just look down at my watch every mile when it beeped (yep, it does that, too) to see that Oh crap, that mile was 9:49 and I better pick it up if I want to come in under an hour rather than having to compound the running torture with complicated and extremely fuzzy math to come to the same conclusions.

Which is what I did. I ran along and distracted myself from the pain of trying to run below a 9:29 pace by simultaneously trying to compute pace, distance and mileage stats like some sort of human pace calculator. And since we all know how awesome my math is, I think you know that the only outcome could be failure.

In the end, I resorted to Running Fast Because of Fear rather than Running Fast Because of Facts, which is how I'd prefer to do it, but since Facts were sort of hard to come by but I had plenty of Plus-60 Fear in my head - that's what I went with.

I wasn't looking to be a hero with my time, just to come in at 59:59 or less, and I thought if I had enough fear then I would be able to conquer all.

Which only proved to be true after a few shitty training runs, a kidney shriveling mess of a 10K race and then a significant revelation involving being realistic about the involvement of stop light rest breaks on race courses.


I really could have used the Auto Lap feature on the watch back then.

Auto Lap? Why, what in the whole wide world is Auto Lap?

Well, I'll tell you what it's not. It's NOT something that I would associate with running laps. Because I don't run laps around a track. I run around a neighborhood, along a creek and through the streets of Silicon Valley. There aren't any tracks or discernible laps involved. It's out around my pre-determined loop and home. So, perhaps you could call that ONE lap, but I don't, I call it one run. For which I'd love to know how each mile panned out so that I could come to know and embrace the fact that mile #2 is where I tend to suck ass but then by some miracle during miles #3 and #4, I pull my act together and start running like I mean it.

Which I did not know until last Saturday.

Because on Saturday morning I sat down with my Garmin and the Garmin website and hunted around like a god damned sniper looking for instructions on how to make this obscenely huge watch tell me the wonders of my running world.

And that is where I found out that this Auto Lap business, that I'd be ignoring steadfastly since coming to own said watch, should be called Auto Mile or Auto Distance or Mile Info or something that would tell the casual owner who didn't read the miniscule booklet that came with the friggen watch that OH you can track the data for all your miles with this thing.


Anyway, now we know that Auto Lap means Turn This Feature On And It Will Beep After Each Mile And Tell You Your Pace And Time For The Mile You Just Ran.

Don't you know I was so proud of myself for finally figuring this out, until I went out for my run, which was now delayed by a solid 30 minutes thanks to my digital tinkering, to find that the temperature had increased a solid 10 degrees and OH YAY every time this thing beeps I get worse news.

So, now I'm not stressed out just at the final minutes of my run (gotta make sub-60! gotta make sub-60! Don't throw up!), I'm stressed the whole fucking time because ACK! My pace is 9:39 average and then 10:17 average and CRAP!

Yeah, I'm not to be trusted with too much information. And, yeah, I know I should probably dive in and see what else this thing can do now, since it apparently has all manner of magical abilities, but my brain is totally fried.

I might have to go back to complete ignorance or the concept of running for, like, the joy of it or some such nonsense.

Painful and tedious mileage stats soon to come...I'm sure.


  1. Forget all the technology. Running for an hour. You're amazing. I come close to throwing up just thinking about it!

  2. My cheapy-not-like-your-Garmin (that I still covet) Garmin does that with each mile. I guess Joe set it up because surely I didn't read the miniscule booklet either. And, yes, each mile I run seems to get depressingly worse. I was quite happy the other day when my first mile was 8:45. The next mile was like 30 seconds slower. And the one after that was 15 seconds slower or something insane. It really does not make me run faster. It makes me run frustrated and depressed :-) I think I like it better when I'm running and don't hear the beep. (Although, if I don't hear the beep, then I start to do calculations in my head and that's never a good thing.)

  3. coming from someone who hasn't run a mile since long before i've last changed a diaper (youngest turns 19 this month) thanks for the laugh!!
    i second my friend thimbleanna's sentiment... amazing!
    keep up the hard work!

  4. Oh, man. I have been making out with the AutoLap feature for YEARS, and it's really the only fancy feature I actually use on my Garmin. If I had known that you didn't know about it? I totally would have told you before now.

    Which means you can totally blame me for NOT telling you about it. Clearly, it is all my fault that you had to do all that math (which, even if you are good at, is totally impossible while you're running).

  5. Thimbleanna - Well, there is that whole 'puke threshold' thing after all.

    lera - Yeah, my naked running days (without the Garmin and Camelbak) are way more relaxed. Math ruins running.

    brigette - thanks, doll!

    Dawnie - I will thank you to stop holding out on me! ')


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