Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Running without GPS

I've grown pretty tired of some of the things I obsess over during a run.
I've spent whole 2+ hr runs thinking about what my feet are doing, how they're feeling and if the shoe I'm wearing is right for me or if I should've bought a different brand/model. Well I fixed that dilemma by being a good American consumer, cycling through a plethora of shoes, and finally finding a shoe that's perfect for me. For both trails and roads: Montrail Mogue Fly.
Light. Cushy. Responsive. Grippy. Supportive when need be. Like running in a pair of beefed up slippers.
I love them.
I don't think about shoes anymore on the trail.
Took me damn near 2 years.
But something else that has plagued my mind is distance. The way I'm measuring it, if the measurements are correct, why I couldn't make it .37mi further to make it an even 15mi run and how that lack of. 37 of a mile somehow makes that run insufficient.
Does that sound silly?
It is.
All elite trail runners recommend you train by time, not distance when you're on the trails anyways because of the difference in terrain.
For instance: my 6 minute road pace effort might only be an 8 min trail pace because of elevation gain/loss, technical footing etc...
Not only that, but the most important aspect in training for an ultra is getting time on your feet.
So why do I care about precise milage?
I couldn't tell you.
But the thing that pisses me off the most is gps signal or lack there of. Not only does it infuriate me when I loose signal during a run, but it especially drives me crazy when it takes 3 minutes to catch a signal while I watch the gps reception percentage jump from 3% to 79% back down to 1%. That's 18 min a week i've been spending waiting on a watch to locate satellites. That's 01:12 minutes every month that I spend staring angrily at my wrist when I could be relaxing into my run.
Whats worse is when your forget to charge the damn thing!
What makes me even more angry is that those things make me angry. Then again I've always been easily irritated by all the technology that's meant to make our lives "easy" and "convenient".
Don't even get me started on "smart" phones.
The point of all this is that I'm trying to strip everything down to the essentials in regards to running, so I ditched the gps. I down (or up) graded to the suunto core, witch has a stopwatch, compass, altimeter for elevation, barometer for sudden weather changes/ storm warnings and a slew of other features.
I think that the ability to have some basic information such as your altitude if you're training for a specific race or rapid changes in air pressure when you're training alone in the mountains during monsoon season is very important, so I'm not cursing technology completely.
Besides, I can wear this thing for running/exploring as well as for my daily time piece and it looks sexy.
I just want to run as far or short as I want based on how I feel. And I want to relax. That's the whole reason I'm out there In the first place. To feel good. To be in nature. To be with myself.
The less I have to worry about, the better.
That holds true in every aspect of life.

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