Morgans’s Fear: #38 Workout without tracking technology
This week I ran naked! Well, not technically naked in the sense of “in the nude” but rather without my Garmin watch. I did wear it so that my coach/husband could have it for his records but I covered it up with a wrist band for the duration of my workout. My run was done on a treadmill, however, I made sure to cover up all the numbers with a hand towel and went completely by feel.
For the first 15 minutes I noticed myself wanting to check my heart rate zone and pace metrics. I’ve become so accustomed to defining the quality of my training by the various numbers put out by either my watch or the machine I do my workout on that I had lost my internal gauge of effort as well as work out quality. In the past, no matter how good I felt during my training, as soon as I’d see a number that didn’t fit with how I had been feeling I’d do a 180 in my brain and recreate the whole session into a negative. If I had been feeling good before, after I’d feel slow, fat, “not good/fit enough”, etc.
Running without the numbers made me realize that numbers don’t tell the whole story about your training or, more to the point, who you are as a whole person. Yes, they can provide useful data reflecting your overall progress, but they can’t show how you’re feeling or your level of motivation (or lack thereof) from day to day. A low heart rate, for example, on the surface could make it look like you weren’t putting in enough effort, but what a heart rate reading will never reveal the 3 hours of sleep you’ve been scraping by with for the past week or the high levels of stress and anxiety you feel between paychecks.
Workout metrics can narrow the field of possibilities of whats happening but they have to be read within the greater context of an athlete’s life by both the coach and athlete themselves if they are to succeed in the long run. These subjective factors play a vital role in one’s longterm success and it’s important to have a solid line of communication with yourself (body and brain) if we are to trust ourselves with the myriad of data points that too many of us have the tendency of defining ourselves by.
Chris’s Fear: Pizza
This was the toughest challenge yet! Beating out both not tracking food, giving up Stevia, and the Tim Horton’s doughnut.
As I described in the podcast, pizza is a big fear food for me. Something about it makes me seize up with anxiety. Maybe because it is consider true junk food by our culture, or maybe the grease, or maybe because I was teased a couple times by how many slices I ate as a kid. Regardless, it still scares me, which I why I had to face my fear this week.
Like with the doughnut, I placed this fear after a big workout because I knew I would not be able to handle it without a big workout before hand. Yes, this is not truly meeting my fears but it’s a step in the right direction. However, since I do my workouts so early in the morning, finding a pizza place open at 9:30 was tough so I had to opt for frozen pizza, which is not as anxiety provoking as something like Dominos or Pizza Hut. Still the anxiety was high when I bought it and brought it home.
I got through it and actually kind of enjoyed it. Doing a little meditation before and during helped too. I still had to actively let go of my fears of overeating and calories and gaining weight through out the meal and for a good hour after; it was definitely a good opportunity for practice.
I will definitely have to repeat this again in the future maybe two more times, but next time have chain pizza and then again with chain pizza and no workout.
One more challenge down!