It seems people express two extremes when talking about technology. I think I’m in the middle. I’m
- willing to learn,
- have many frustrations gaining proficiency, and
- enjoy the benefits once I understand it some.
I often feel like I’m holding onto a handle bar, flying through the wind, while someone else is pedaling the contraption. But there are just enough “ah ha!” moments to make it useful to me.
What is useful to me right now in my running life is my Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS watch and my Runner’s Log app on my iPad. I know there are many functions of these machines that I don’t utilize, due to lack of skill. Still, I am able to use them enough to give myself encouragement and aid in my self coaching decisions.
I had the Runner’s Log app first. That is exactly what it is called. Runner’s Log, by FikesFarm, LLC. I have version 2.3. I know there are all kinds of websites for logging running statistics, but I like the simplicity of this app. I don’t have to be where there is internet service to input data or view my statistics. It has not been very difficult to learn how to enter data, or see a summary of my efforts. And it only cost me $1.99 two months ago.
It is motivating to see the mileage add up, even if it is not so much on any given day. The calendars off to the side show the pattern of days that I was running. I have decided that it is best for me not to set mileage goals for certain time periods, but rather to just enjoy what numbers do add up. A specific mileage goal might tempt me to push myself when I need to rest, or make running less fun due to always feeling “behind.” I hate to feel behind! My goals are
- to be capable of running certain distances and
- to be ready to run certain races,
but I find I can do this well without the added stress of mileage goals per month or year.
When filling in the data, there is an option for keeping track of shoes! This makes it easy to see how many of my miles were barefoot versus minimalist. Looking at things recently, I was surprised to see that I have actually run 17.4 miles barefoot since I got the app in December. If you had asked me, I would have told you I hadn’t been able to run barefoot, due to weather, for quite some time. That is how it felt. Good, hard data came to the rescue and now I am less apprehensive about transitioning back to barefoot as the weather warms.
The Runner’s Log app has the ability to map routes for distance, but that is where I switch over to the Garmin. I change my routes more frequently than I would have thought. It may not be by a lot, but it is enough to make drawing a new route on the app tedious. With the Garmin Forerunner 10 information, I can just name the route on the app and enter the distance that the Garmin records for me.
The Garmin Connect website provides me with interesting information, such as changes in my pace over the course of the run, but I get overwhelmed if I look at the website for too long. I did figure out how to adjust one run’s stats, which were corrupted by my forgetting to turn the watch off before I got into the car. I had “set” a speed record! By the time I was done fiddling with that, though, I was mentally exhausted. It was soothing to open the uncluttered Runner’s Log app and add my run data.
Technology may be fascinating in its own right, but I usually only have so much patience with it. It had better be doing something for me, or it is useless junk. When it does do something for me, however, I wonder how I ever lived without it!