Purposely run a race Garmin-free?
What? Purposely run a race Garmin-free?
Two weeks ago, I decided to do something CRAZY. I purposely chose to run the Women’s Half Marathon in Phoenix without my Garmin! CRAZY, right?! Here's why…
Well, for starters, this was my 3rd year running this race. Since it’s been the same course, last year I was dead set on having a PR (personal record). It was probably the worst race I ever ran. Did I achieve the PR? Yes, I did. As much as I am proud of that, it was a miserable race. All I kept doing the entire time during this race was check my GPS, making sure that I was staying ahead of my last PR. I hurried through water stations and mentally and physically pushed myself so hard that I did not enjoy the race at all. Plus, I was really sore a few days after, which told me I was not focusing on my ChiRunning form either.
It was a tough decision, which I did not make until the day before the 2012 race, but I decided to leave my Garmin at home this year. IT WAS ONE OF MY BEST RACES EVER! And, I had another PR!
As I had a chance to reflect on my race, here is what I have learned:
• Being in the present moment, as opposed to worrying about the final outcome, is a wonderful place to be. I have learned this through ChiRunning but also with my daily meditation practice (not only has meditation improved my life, but also my ChiRunning). It’s really true when they say; “it’s about the journey, not the destination.” I focused on my form continuously and enjoyed every single moment. I thanked the volunteers, police officers, and spectators. I took in the beautiful weather and scenery that we have here in Arizona.
• Relaxation truly is the key. Since I was so relaxed mentally, this translated into physical relaxation. I stayed relaxed the entire time, even up the hills towards the end of the course. I stayed focused on my form and continually focused on my breathing to stay relaxed. I was shocked when I wasn’t sore one bit the next day!
• It’s not always about the numbers. When you are measuring something, it means you are going to do better or worse. What happens if we don’t improve? We tend to beat ourselves up which is not a good place to be. And what about those things that aren’t measurable? Like the beautiful scenery or those moments when you get to run with a friend you haven’t seen in awhile?
My bottom line:
Sure it’s great to push yourself to reach new goals in your running practice, but please don’t forget the reason why you run. One of the elements I love most about ChiRunning is having constant “AHA” moments. Not only “AHA” moments that affect your run, but more importantly that can be translated into your everyday life.
So try it one day: let go of tracking your miles, your pace, or distance on your next run.
Feel the freedom and love of ChiRunning, which really can’t be measured!
Lisa Pozzoni, Certified ChiRunning/ChiWalking Instructor in Arizona