I didn't need no stinkin' Garmin.
When we moved to Arizona in 2009, I decided that I wanted to get back into running. As soon as the weather broke, that is. It was July, and I was in no way, shape, or form interested in running in the kind of oppressive heat we have here during the summer. No thanks.
In fall '09, I jumped right into half marathon training. Being an overachiever, I naturally chose Hal Higdon's Intermediate Half training program. No was way I going to do the *gasp* "Beginner" program. Of course, I had no idea how far or fast I was ever running since at that time, I had no Garmin to keep track of my distance and pace. I pretty much winged it. I assumed that I was running around 9 minute miles, so I just went with that. If the plan called for a 3 mile run, I ran for 27 minutes. For longer runs, I assumed that I was running a little slower, so I adjusted my time accordingly.
At the end of January 2010, I made it to the starting line of the Carlsbad Half Marathon. My goal was to finish in just under 2 hours. As the race progressed, I distinctly remember reaching the mile markers way above goal pace. Every couple of miles I'd do the mental math until it became readily apparent that, "Holy cow. If I push it, I can do sub-1:50."
Of course, part of pushing it meant foregoing a pit stop and peeing in my running tights. Oh well!!!
Crossing the finish line of that race is one of the most meaningful moments I've experienced in my running life (career? hobby? whatever). I really did get choked up. I couldn't believe that after running only a handful of times in the previous 4 years, I managed--in 12 weeks--to run my second fastest time for a half marathon EVER. I was so proud! 1:48:54 never felt so good. That time was way above where I thought I'd finish. Truth be told, I was hoping for a 1:58.
What is my point? I'm getting there.
As of today, I've been rehabbing for 6 weeks. On August 7th, I went outside for a 14 miler, took about 7 steps and then turned around and walked back home--pouting. It's been 6 weeks of Alter G Treadmill, elliptical machine and pool running.
Over the past 6 weeks, this has happened...
I spy a dead Garmin in a make-up drawer full of crap.
I'm happy to announce that my rehabbing (somewhat) is coming to an end! Today will be my third attempt at a combo treadmill run/elliptical training workout. The previous two have been totally pain free! I am hoping that in another week, I'll be back outside actually GOING SOMEWHERE on my runs.
Today also marks exactly 5 weeks until the Temecula Half Marathon. I have decided that for the next 5 weeks, I will train with the "ugly stepsister."
Maybe ugly is too harsh. She's the no-frills, functional stepsister.
On any given day, I read through running blogs and it's all about the numbers.
"I ran a new PR mile today! With a stroller too! 5:56!"
"I was off on my splits for my Yasso 800s: 3:14. 3:17, 3:20, 3:18."
"My long run went really well. I finished with a 9:05 overall pace!"
Numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers.
Numbers, however, aren't really something a runner should worry about too, too much after coming off of an injury. And I know that if I jump back into training with my Garmin, I'll be worrying. I'll be looking down at that bad boy every 35 seconds checking my pace.
I don't want that kind of pressure. I don't want to compare myself to everyone else right now.
My goal for the Temecula Half Marathon is to run it at a 9-minute mile pace. I feel pretty confident that if I continue to remain injury-free and consistent with my training, I'll be able to do it.
And like I did for the Carlsbad Half, I'm going to do it all by feel.