That is the question.
I used to time all my runs using the very nifty Garmin 305 â€“ itâ€™s basically a GPS device that tells you how far youâ€™ve gone and how fast. When I got pregnant, I stopped using the Garmin because I didnâ€™t want to know my mile splits, and then when I began to run again after delivery, I didnâ€™t strap it on for the very same reason. Before my tri last weekend, I pulled it out of the drawer, charged it for the first time in a year or so, and set it to multi-sport mode so I could know my speeds on the bike and run. My intention was to use the Garmin to pace myself intelligently and not burn out (it worked).
Since then, Iâ€™ve been wearing the old 305 on runs, and I have mixed feelings about it. A year ago, my pace rarely wavered from one run to the next, but now, itâ€™s so highly influenced by things like sleep deprivation (Henry woke up three times in seven hours last night â€“ ugh!), dehydration (from breastfeeding â€“ no matter what I do, I canâ€™t get ahead with hydration), and just general mood (sleep deprivation + dehydration = crabby ass Caitlin). My effort output is usually the same, but my pace â€“ man, itâ€™s all over the place. And a wavering pace can be a strange mind game, indeed. Donâ€™t you hate it when you feel like youâ€™re exerting maximum effort but your pace barely qualifies as jogging?!
One thing I do LOVE about the Garmin â€“ knowing my distance! Itâ€™s fun to watch my distances get longer and longer (every single step counts!). I try to focus on that number instead. Maybe I should tape over the corner that reveals pace?! Hmmm. Thatâ€™s actually quite a good ideaâ€¦
What about you? Do you use a watch for runs and pay attention to pace or go by feel? Iâ€™d love to hear some feedback on going by feel instead of time. Quite honestly, itâ€™s not something that Iâ€™m very used to (I really was a slave to the Garmin before pregnancy) but think it would be good for me to focus on feel over pace.
Anyway â€“ today I did sweaty, sweaty 5K in about 35 minutes. Pace â€“ decent. Feel â€“ pretty good.
Asparagus and onions
A bucket of BBQ sauce
Yo â€“ the couch is calling my name!