On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I got the Garmin.

Sorry for the silence lately... like the rest of America, I'm on vacation gearing up for a month's worth of holiday eating.

But, yeah, I got the Garmin, and I've had the chance to take it out a few times. There's a lot about it that I love. The amount of data is impressive and useful. The integration with software I use (RunningAhead) and the heart rate monitor is also great. But...

My problem with the Garmin is that it's like a treadmill. I hate running on the treadmill because it's terrifically boring. I spend the entire 30 minutes - and I rarely, rarely go more than 30 minutes on that tedium machine. I spend the entire time staring at the control panel on the machine, counting my footsteps as I try to pretend like it's not as boring as it really is. And having the Garmin, well, it's a lot like having the worst part of the treadmill (the control panel) strapped to your wrist.

This morning, I wanted to do 6m. I went out 3.13 and turned around, forgetting that my route started downhill and ended with an uphill. By the last mile as the hills picked up, it was getting tough. And there was the Garmin, mocking me with its GPS indicators: 5.23m... 5.29m... 5.44m... etc.

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