Garmin, check. Shuffle, check. Clubcard, check. Monday night is big shop night in the Hopefully household and earlier Athons have taught me that the most effective use of time is to run home from Tesco (well I’m hardly going to get up at half five on a Monday morning am I?). I have long since run out of shame when it comes to going to supermarkets in my running kit (at least tonight I was there pre-run so I wasn’t red-faced, sweaty or muddy, which is a blessing for everyone) and I think more people (me included) were distracted by the sight of a woman who appeared to be wearing a pelmet as a skirt.
To get home, I have a choice of two routes. Both are three miles long. One is an undulating bypass between an industrial estate and a housing estate finishing with my old nemesis hill. The other is mainly flat and runs between fields full of sheep. Guess which one I picked? I know, I know, but don’t judge me just yet…
Yesterday on Twitter, JogBlog was extolling the virtues of owning a Garmin to Hels and the conversation turned to the fact that some let you run against a virtual training buddy (JogBlog’s is named Cedric). This lead to some discussion about training plans which reminded me that I should really get on with some proper training if I’m supposed to be running the Folkestone half in September and Cathy suggested I use a virtual partner. Instead, I used my actual partner (the ever reliable Ginge) to kick my arse as we ran along the canal – the result was that I managed to finish with an average pace of 10.03min/mile over 8 miles (the last 2 half mile splits came in at 9.35 and 9.24 – I have no idea how) and I never do that.
Ginge presented me with undeniable evidence that it’s my head that’s holding me back from improving at the moment – when he told me that he’d deliberately gone a bit faster than normal, I checked my pace, fear set in and I immediately slowed down.
Unfortuately (and fortunately, I’m not an idiot) now that this particular Pandora’s box has been opened, the fact that I can go faster is fluttering out there like a malevolent moth. I can’t really keep slacking by running at my familiar pace, however comforting that is. And so it was with some trepidation that I pressed buttons randomly on my Garmin until I had managed to challenge it to a race at a 9.30min/mile pace all the way home from Tesco. The result?
It was a bit of a drubbing for the Garmin – I beat it with a minute to spare. Ha. Take that as-yet-unamed-GPS-watch-thingy.
Annoyingly, this doesn’t really affect my cornet count and I now have a higher benchmark than I expected. Arse.