I am… when I use my CardioTrainer app on my droid, when I am wearing my Garmin, even when I am checking to see how many people view my blog a day. I am in some ways obsessed with numbers.
I have trained the last two years without knowing my pace until I got an official race report after finishing an event. The only other time I have ever known my speed is if I happen to be riding with someone who had a bike computer or ran with a Garmin. It was fine. I still finished well. I trained by going out and running as far as I could and some days at “race pace” (whatever that was in my mind) and by riding my bike as fast and efficiently as possible. (I have a really hard time lolly-gagging on my bike. I have to go as fast as I can for that day, period.) This system worked for me. I don’t know what my mile splits were last year at this time. I have no idea if I could maintain 17mph for 30 miles on my bike last June. All I have is race evidence that says I could maintain 19.2mph on the bike and a 7:40 and 8:30 respectively in the run portions of the IronGirl Duathlon last September.
So WHY am I obsessed with the data this year?
Maybe it’s because I have the devices that show me my overall time, my pace, my mileage- or is it because I really want to improve all these aspects of my training?! Whatever the reason is, it is addictive. It is really hard not to compare (over analyze) on a day-to-day basis.
Yesterday I had planned on running 8 miles. Well, I started out feeling like crap the first 1- 1 1/2 miles. My left thigh hurt. (This has been going on sporadically the past 7 months during runs- no idea why or what causes it.) I had to use the biffy. I was distracted and just not feeling my running mojo. I stopped at mile 2 and regrouped. I decided to make it a 4 mile day instead. My pace the first 2 miles was horrible- around a 10:20. My second 2 miles I felt okay at a 9:20. I got home and felt horrible. I ran horrible. My pace was SLOW. Time to beat myself up…
Then I snapped out of it! Running 4 miles slow and not feeling the groove is WAY better than sitting on the couch and doing nothing. I need to give myself some slack. I could have run slower than that last year at this time and I still did well in my events- I just wasn’t aware of the details then.
Running is just weird for me. When I have an off day on the bike, I still feel good when I get home. When I have a bad day running, it messes with my psyche. I am a bipolar runner. One day I feel the groove and the next I don’t. I love it. I hate it. Today I ran 9:20 pace, but it was really more like 8:30 most of the time. Yesterday I was over a minute slower. It will never make sense to me.
Do you obsess about your training data? Do you compare one day to the next?