Time to take off the training wheels

5 01 2009

It was a dark and stormy year …. (ah! Snoopy and Peanuts reference!)

I’ve been thinking over the last four or five months about how dependent I’ve become on my Garmin. Since I train alone and have been getting bored/depressed easily, I depend on it for straight distance. Whatever it says, I usually go about 1/8 mile further (unless I’m somehow back at the car). It’s only been about 1/10th of a mile off so …

I have, however, found myself depending on it screaming at me to get my pace where I’ve set it. This isn’t terrible some of the time, but I realized at the Turkey Trot, when I was using my everyday Timex, that I probably can hold pace better than I think I can. In fact, I don’t really hear it … and being that it beeps when I’m over or under a specific pace … beeps on the kilometer … beeps on the mile … but if I’m truly where I want to be – clicked into my own space … I don’t really hear it!

It’s nice to have on the track so I can pay attention to what my feet are doing (or not) and check in with myself and let the watch let me know the time or distance between intervals. There is, of course, a danger here if I wasn’t in the habit of counting every interval. My habit of counting intervals is a good one for counting laps and trusting the lap-counter in my head. The one on my wrist has usually been spot on, but it’s always nice to have a double check … and it keeps me, at least in the case of lap-counting, with a good habit installed.

I got this Garmin for the Heart Rate Monitor aspect of things. I’d like to learn more about this because it’s important. The thing about the Garmin, however, because it has so many bells and whistles, the battery does die with regularity … and at the wrong time. In fact, I was having so many problems charging my 205 that I was wearing 2 watches on my first marathon! The second watch was my Timex … and there was a problem with the chronograph on it, so it’s a good thing the Garmin didn’t die!

The problem I had with the Timex was that I had a lot of trouble seeing the time … ok that and the buttons were in completely different places than I’m used to … so I’m looking at another HRM investment … Probably the Polar w/o GPS. Why would I need another GPS? I already have one that works! I have no problem measuring out with the Garmin.

So – it was another Polar. Yes … I did say “another”. I have a one attached to my bike for when I was toying with doing double century rides. Yes – I truly am easily bored. The reason I stopped riding was after the last head injury, my balance has suffered. I shall, probably, have the clipless pedals that are on this bike replaced and get “lessons” from riding friends – but, let’s face facts … I hate changing tires on high pressure road bikes and Colorado is awash in goat heads just waiting for me to ride by. The only problem with my ancient Polar is that the HRM strap might never have even made it to Colorado when I moved out here and it’s a complete pain to get a new one.

Bailey got me a new Polar HRM for my Christmas Present. Gotta love the dog when she notices Runner’s Roost is having a 25% off sale! I’ve not really looked at it because of other things going on, but it should be interesting.

I’m still easily bored, however, even at the beautiful Englewood Recreation Center I’ve been going to. After a year of injuries, I’m having to behave myself. I do think this will be a good place for me, however, because I can walk in the pool to re-hab the ankle, knee and hips. The no-excuses ruling is in play here.

I started this post after coming in from a completely not satisfying race. Since then, I’ve had two more ice related slippage injuries and realized I’m headding into the Goofy in a position where I’ll have to power through it. I’m wanting to learn more about how to become more efficient with this sport that I’ve become addicted to and to power through my own laziness! Yes – I did say Laziness!

I’ve had a life-long problem with putting everything and everyone else before me. As I stare at me credit report (and grow incredibly depressed), I see how I’ve just been riding in the back car of the rollar coaster in so many ways. The back car is the one where people just get whipped through and have no idea what is coming along. The front car, however, is the fun one where you can see where you’re going and have fun with the ride. All it takes to move from the back car to the front one is paying attention and putting myself first … and taking off the training wheels that guide me from one place to the other.

So – the first step was to admit that I’m an Athlete – with a capital A. This means making the time for my workouts, training properly for my races and having fun with it all. This requires me putting me first, getting my life somewhat in order, and realizing that 90% of the people out there aren’t going to ever understand that I live below the poverty level and prefer to spend $80 on a pair of racing slicks that might last 400 miles if I’m lucky.

So – I’ll be wobbling around a little until I get my bearings … but there will be no stopping me once I do.

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