To make a long story short, I’ve been running for awhile. I started running in 1997 – yikes! I ran my first marathon in 2006 as a senior in college (Go Terps!). After my first marathon, which happened to be the Marine Corps Marathon, I asked for a Garmin for Christmas. Prior to this, most of my running loops had been figured out using Gmap Pedometer, or software quite like it since I don’t actually remember when that emerged. I definitely remember using a car to measure miles at some point in my life! Anyway. I found a deal at CostCo to purchase the Garmin Forerunner 205 for about $100, and I put it on my Christmas list and hoped for the best.
My parents Santa is quite awesome, and I got my wish.
I’ve been running with a Garmin ever since. I’ve been through the 205, upgraded to the 305 (only because it was red, not because I wanted the heart rate monitor) when my 205 bit the dust in 2011, and upgraded again to the 220 for my birthday this past year, compliments of Eric. I know some people love their Garmin-less runs, but I love the data, so I can probably count on one hand the number of runs I’ve done without a Garmin since Christmas 2006.
I don’t what everyone else uses to keep track of their Garmin data, but I’ve been using Sport Tracks the entire time. It was free at first, but at some point they required payment for use of the software. I believe it was no more than $30, which seemed like a lot at the time since I was still in school. Considering that I’ve been using it for about nine years now, I think I’ve gotten my money’s worth! (For those who are interested in a review of Sport Tracks, DC Rainmaker does a better one than I could ever do.)
This was all good until I tried to upload my run yesterday…and my logbook seemed to have disappeared. Every time I opened the program, it asked me to name a new logbook, and an error message occurred whenever I tried to open my normal logbook. I panicked. Did I just lose NINE YEARS of data? All my marathon splits? All those easy runs around Maryland’s campus? My first run in New York? I googled the issue, but couldn’t come up with anything that seemed to fit, so I did what any smart Windows user does…I shut down and restarted my computer.
Unlike the sound issues I face every couple weeks, restarting my computer didn’t do the trick. I panicked even more. I realized that I hadn’t backed up my log book in a looooooong time. At least that I could remember. So I went digging through some documents, and luckily the logbook has self-backed up (didn’t know that was a thing…) earlier this month. HALLELUJAH THANK YOU TO THE POWERS THAT BE.
I wiped the sweat off my brow and uploaded the lost data, thankful that nine years of running didn’t just go down the drain. Of course, almost losing the data made me go back through the years – I did a quick overview, but it’s interesting to see patterns based on what was happening in my life.
MY FIRST GARMIN RUN
And I ran around Maryland’s campus. I lived in South Campus Commons, in case you were wondering.
they warned me about nursing school…
When I interviewed for the accelerated BSN program at Rush University, they asked me how I handled stress. I told them that I run. When they asked me how I would handle stress when I didn’t have time to run, I wanted to tell them that I didn’t understand the question (hello, good nurses have good time management skills!), but instead I told them I would find a way and said something about having good support systems. (Thank you to my mom for doing my laundry.) However, nursing school wasn’t so bad…for the most part…
For the record, I commuted about three hours per day to get to and from school, plus this winter was one of the worst winters in Chicago that I can remembered. (It snowed in May. I may have cried.) We also had a test or quiz every single day, except for two days, in February. I suppose I didn’t run much at that time…
Luckily, the rest of the year went quite well, and minus a few bumps in the road I ran more than I didn’t! I won at nursing school. I did ponder running the Chicago Marathon that year, but I was smart and played it safe – I worked on the weekends, so my long run time was limited. I graduated in December 2008, and then BQ’s in Spring 2009 – hooray! Let’s contribute that to nursing school base building…
MY FIRST RUN IN NEW YORK
I didn’t know a single person when I moved to New York, but I knew I’d be able to meet some runners. On my first day alone in New York (after my dad left after helping me move – thanks, Dad!), I searched for a running group. I found an NYRR group that was meeting at Engineer’s Gate (before I knew that’s what it was called), so I met up with them. Instead of an NYRR group, I met up with Achilles and helped to lead a blind man around Central Park. Little did he know that that blind (metaphorically…) was leading the blind.
I’ve seen that loop many, many times since that first run on September 7, 2010.
over the years…
Since I’ve had my Garmin, I’ve recorded 9,618 miles of running. If you included the biking and swimming I’ve done, the total is 11,047 miles. I’m oddly proud that the avg. pace for running 7:59 – just under 8 minutes! I know some people run many, many more miles than I do. My record for annual mileage is 1713, which was in 2011…also the year of my marathon PR! Imagine that.
I know some people love running “naked,” aka without a Garmin. I’m a science nerd at heart and love the data. Sometimes I let the Garmin pace dictate a run, but many other times, I’m just…running. I would love to go back and analyze when I ran my best – in college? In nursing school? When I worked 3-11pm? When I was on orientation/jury duty and did the 9am-5pm routine? Night shift? (lololololol) Day shift? It would be interesting to see, and it’s all right at my fingertips! One of these days…
and the now
After my long run yesterday, my legs were a bit tired. Since I’m working the next four days, I probably won’t get any more mileage in after today….so I headed out for a longer-ish recovery run, if such a thing exists. And oh man, were my legs tired! I did eight miles, which may have been biting off a little more than my legs could chew.
And definitely got slower over time! Oops…
I’ve heard that women tend to peak in their 30’s, or after a baby (sorry Mom, not happening yet!), so I hope to have some good years ahead of me…and I will certainly have it all recorded by a little computer on my wrist. (My right wrist…even though I’m a righty. It confuses so many people.)
Do you use a Garmin/other GPS device? How long have you been using it for? Do you wear it for every run? What program do you use to keep track of all your data?