If life can be divided into those who count and those who do not, I am a dedicated counter. I love my Fitbit, jump on the scale every morning (not more than that, promise) and prefer Flywheel, the spin studio that gives you stats, versus Soul. So, it only makes sense given my inclination to count that running would involve a state of the art GPS watch providing me with pace, distance and everything else one would like to know about a workout.
However, you may recall I was burned by my Garmin GPS watch. In a marathon in a semi-remote location, my Garmin didn’t get signal. It wasn’t a great race for a number of reasons but any normal person would go to plan B and run based on perceived exertion but I was lost. I had relinquished any sense of what a certain pace felt like as I relied on my ex-friend Garmin to tell me if I needed to speed up or slow down. I also lost a lot of the pleasure that comes from running. I always wanted to be one of those people who ran a race and yet stopped to take photos but thought, “how are they sacrificing those precious minutes?” As if I were an Olympian and minutes made any difference.
This summer I look a different approach. Marc and I are signed up for a race that basically involves running up and down a mountain; one doesn’t do this type of terrain for time. And in a major departure, I’ve been running without a watch. I’ll go out for an hour or two hours without concerning myself about pace or exact distance.
When you’re not fixated on your watch you start to look around

In the course of my training I happened to  receive a Timex watch in the mail as a thank you or a project we participated in. I use it just as a simple stopwatch. I don’t stop it when I break for water or any of the other silly games I used to play. Just start and stop.

I am by no means defecting into the no-count camp. I’m wearing my Fitbit as I type this and will get on the scale this morning. I tell clients to take a break from weighing themselves when they are scale prisoners. When numbers cause you to be in a bad mood or zap pleasure from an activity or day, it’s time to make a change. Now, I need to get over carrying my phone to take pictures as I run…

Are you a counter or a non-counter? What do you count? Has your counting ever crossed the line? Do you run with a watch?


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