Don't Check

Tracking your mileage is great... except when it's not.

Today, when my evening activity got cancelled and the sun was still strong, I decided to lace up and go for a run. My plan was 20-30 minutes, another nice jog, although this time I wanted to take fewer walking breaks than last week's runs.  I set my Nike running app on my phone to start, and when I heard the music, took off.

Gorgeous day for a run!

After a long day at work, I was tired, not expecting much from my legs.  Instead, I started out strong!  I felt great. My shins were bothering me a bit, but breathing was steady. The gorgeous weather was the perfect pick-me up and my old 10k playlist had me going with the beat.  I actually think I was going quickly, probably closer to a 9-minute mile than last week's 11-minute joggers.  I kept looking forward to the moment the app would tell me my first mile was complete and what the time was.... except it didn't come.

I passed the spot that I know to be about a mile in my regular run, but no announcement by Miss Nike; the music just kept playing.  After one more song, I finally took out my phone to see for myself what was going on; I wanted to know my pace!

NOOOOOooooooo. It didn't track. Even though my music was playing, the run was paused for some reason, never really started.  I felt so bummed, as though the whole mile was a waste!  WAHHHHH

Except duh, I still ran it. It happened. My heart and legs got whatever benefit they would have regardless of whether my phone recorded my mile or not.

Still, that little mishap put a damper on the rest of my run.  Further, my shin pain got worse, and I gave in to it and started walking.  Then, I reached the section of my run with excess construction dust and car pollution -- NOT pleasant.  So the rest was a bust!  I did another mile and a half, but it was slow and involved a lot of walking. I'd lost the drive that powered my first mile.

Had I not checked my phone, would my shin have still hurt and the dust clogged my throat? Probably. Would it have bothered me as much?  Probably not.  Maybe I wouldn't have noticed the dust, and maybe I'd have powered through my pain. Maybe the rest of my run would have been as powerful as the first mile.

MAYBE! Who knows. I let my app failure spoil my fun. 

Don't get me wrong; I love the app. I'm all for tracking and celebrating and improving. But maybe, once you're in the zone, don't take the risk of spoiling it by checking in. Instead, eyes on the road! 



And if all else fails, shake it off with some calming chamomile :)

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