Sunday, June 12, 2011

Keeping track

Sometimes I wonder why I really need to wear a Garmin. That thought hit my mind this morning as I was doing my long run -- 14 miles made up of an out and back to the Beaches. It's a route I really love to run, not really used by distance runners for some odd reason. So here I was, trying out different routes that hugged the water's edge. As I hit the four mile mark, I pictured the route up ahead, thought about when I'd hit mile 5.

"The bridge," I thought. I'd hit 8 kilometres at the bridge.

Quickly lost the thought as I enjoyed the wind, sun and coolish June weather. As I took a few curves, I spotted the bridge ahead, looked down at my watch. Yep, on track. A hundred or so strides later, as I was about to hit the foot of the bridge, I saw the distance creep up: 7.99K. And as my foot hit the bridge, it turned to 8. Smile.

Whenever I give directions to a friend, my mind's eye takes the distance, and applies miles and kilometres. Where's work? 900 metres away. The grocery store from my condo? 1.05K. I'd got half this city mapped out from my front door that it's uncanny.

Distance has an odd symmetry. This past week, I started running from the front door of my workplace to home. It was a half hour run, but I found an odd pleasure that in actual fact, it was exactly 6.4K from door to door, a number that means nothing to anyone but a runner. My mind does the calculations, 14.5K is 9 miles, 8 miles is 13K and 6.4K is 4 miles on the nose.

Not that my obsession with tracking numbers and converting is an odd hobby, my new job gave us pedometers that we can use to track our walks. Of course, since I'm so used to it, I put it on and racked up thousands of steps in a few days. Just what I need, yet another place to synch up.

Running is my way to unplug, absolutely, but I do find it odd that every run goes into Sportstracks, Daily Mile and Garmin Connect. Not that I need it day to day, but looking back gives you perspective. Like the other day when I showed my Garmin to a fellow runner at work. I first used it in September, 2008. It read 8400 kilometres (more than 5000 miles). Eye popping? Yes, but only if you can track it.

Training update: More than 40 miles on the week, I guess you can say I'm back in training, now I have to plot out the schedule.


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macnic said...

As someone who works with algebra every day, I also love the numbers and mental math associated with running. I'm not quite where you are with the door to X spot in town yet, but I'm sure I'll get there

Patrick said...

That is an impressive mileage total.

I am kind of similar to you in that I have also figured out how far many places in the city are from my front door since I have been running with a Garmin. It is helpful when planning a running route.

Doug said...

Sounds very similar to what goes on inside my head while running on the track. I am constantly trying to figure out my pace every 200m and adjusting my pace to hit my targets... or realizing that I'm too fast or slow and not adjusting. Ha! You definitely get to judge distances the more you run.

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