Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Time for a run

I've been in the habit of wearing a watch when running. It's the same mechanical watch that I wear most of the time. I like it, not only because it never needs a battery but because it's only accurate to within a few minutes a day. Such good-enough timekeeping makes it seem a lot friendlier than the authoritarian, microsecond precision of a quartz watch. But lately the watch has become a bit too much like its owner, prone to unreliability and frequent stopping, and so it's sitting on the shelf waiting for me to get round to putting it in for a service.

This prompted me to think about buying a running watch. Not a GPS one that nags you about running too slowly, but a cheap one with big, easy to read numbers. Also, since I've had a few falls while running lately, the most recent one being a swan-dive over the dog who, up until that point, had been trotting very politely by my side but had caught sight of a small brown pooch to our right, upon which she swerved in front of me to say hello to it (which she subsequently did, seeming quite unconcerned that her owner was lying on his back, gasping, whimpering and bloodied next to her), I was worried about breaking my much-loved mechanical watch.

I had a look at some Timex running watches but they didn't seem to be for me. What's the point of having a 100 lap recall function when there's no chance of me ever running 100 laps of anything, or 10 laps, or even 2 to be honest, being someone who closely equates the word "lap" with the word "pain".

I considered going to the local shopping centre to find a cheap digital watch since the only thing I really wanted to know was how long I'd been running for. But after doing a few runs without a watch I began to wonder why I even needed that ? I'd slipped into the habit of noting how long each of my day to day runs were, but I didn't actually do anything with that information other than forget it after a day or two.

Then I read a post on Barefoot Ted's mailing list where someone was ruing the fact that they'd recently got injured after letting themselves be seduced into going a bit too fast, and doing a bit too much, by focussing on their running watch more than their body. I could imagine myself doing that, even with a K-mart cheapie rather than a Garmin, being lulled into competing with time. The last skerrick of interest I had in buying a new watch disappeared there and then.


Dominic Rivron said...

I know what you mean. I'd do without a watch only the only reason I wear one is so that I know when to eat and drink when I'm running a long way. (I shoud dispense with the present tense here - I'm still suffering slightly with the groin injury).

Anonymous said...

I got my running watch at the Vic Markets, for $8, and it has a timer, a countdown, a backlight and a big face so you can glance and see the numbers easily enough. One of the best buys I got.

CharieT said...

I totally know what you mean and agree 100% on the garmin. I recently bought the Garmin Forerunner 110 made just for runners and i am really satisfied.
I'ts important for one to know what to use a watch for and most important is to look for quality in something you want to buy that has to do with your health.


ps still have thos flip flops on my mind xD