Friday, July 17, 2009

Sublimating my competitive nature

I was pleased to see that the Emerging Runner captured the #5 spot for the top 100 blogs on Runner's World for April, May and June. My competitive side wants me to rank higher but I'm in good company and the top four blogs deserve their positions. I let my competitive nature get the better of me earlier in the week when I took off ahead of everyone in Wednesday's Fun Run. I had given clear direction that the event was about fun not competition yet I could not resist the combination of short distance, low humidity and a downhill stretch. This morning I thought about competition and how running is mostly about competing with one's self. After a race I do check the results but I never think twice about who finished before me. I monitor my pace and distance when I train because it's fun to know what you accomplish when you work so hard.

In terms of monitoring performance, I've wanted a Garmin 405 GPS watch for a long time. I do have the Garmin 50 with foot pod and HRM and it works great so why change? For one thing it would be great to track speed and distance with maximum accuracy. It would also allow me to capture elevation through the run. It has a built-in compass which would help with trails. The 405 also has export capabilities for overlaying runs on mapping applications. I thought that I might challenge myself and hold off buying the Garmin 405 a little longer until I've met certain goals. When a goal is met I'll put a certain amount of money into a fund. When I reach the amount it will cost to buy the watch I will. A goal could be reaching 25 miles on a non-vacation week, maintaining a specific pace or reaching a distance goal. No matter what, by the time I'm done I'll feel that I have justified buying it.

This afternoon AG and I are doing our end-of-the-work week run with one of my two running advisors, CK. CK is a master runner who's competed in marathons and many distance races. He's a few years older than me but much faster. CK runs in the low sevens and regularly beats the neighborhood 20-somethings in his town's annual Turkey Trot. It will be humid and near 90 degrees when we go out to Central Park. Today my competitive nature will have to take a back seat to just keeping up with two fast and experienced runners.

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