For the past few weeks, I have been trying to run four miles, a seemingly easy goal that has somehow eluded me. Each run would end just after three miles for various reasons: exhaustion, blisters, chubb rub. A new run would begin, full of promise and hope, only to have to stop before reaching the goal.
Yesterday was the last chance I will have to run before Sunday’s Newport Bridge Run. Being a four-mile run, I wanted to know I could run that distance before race day. I was determined to do this!
I’ve been using a Fitbit for over four years. It keeps me honest. When I began running, I loved seeing my distances, intervals, and paces. Being naturally competitive, the features fueled my desire to improve. During these last few runs, my focus on my Fitbit interfered with my progress. Two weeks ago, I forgot to pause it to take pictures of a butterfly on a flower. The inaccurate time messed with my mojo for the rest of the run. Yesterday, I didn’t hit pause hard enough when I stopped to tie my shoe. Thanks to the new IOS update, my phone is eating battery. When I realized I used 30% of my battery during my first mile, I manually closed a bunch of apps to save battery, accidentally closing out Fitbit and ending my run. I stopped, reloaded the app, and started another workout, wishing I made a mental note of the time and distance before opening another workout. All the while, I contemplated whether the Fitbit helps or harms my mojo and workouts.
This made me wonder how much technology not only helps but harms our workouts. Yes, Fitbit helps me in many ways. I track workouts, steps, heart rate, and sleep. But I sometimes rely on it too much during my runs. If I am slower than usual, I get discouraged. When I am faster, I push a little harder. I enjoy seeing progress as I get stronger and faster.
Yesterday, not only did I run 4.6 miles total, I ran my fastest 5K! While I’m sometimes torn about how much to rely on technology during a run, I am pleased that I can use the results to track progress and get new goals! I’m trying not to look at it so much while running and focusing on how I feel rather than how fast I should be going. It’s times like these when I need to remember how far I’ve come and have faith that I will reach future goals rather than beating myself up if I go a few weeks without making progress.