numbers game

RunKeeper. Garmin’s. NikePlus, Daily Mile, what have you….running apps/gps/the like. They’re an amazing tool. I’ve only started using RunKeeper since I got an iPhone (circa late 2011), so before I had my phone strapped to my bicep with a little ol’ lady telling me my pace every mile while Beyonce blasts in the background, I had a purple running watch on my wrist. I never knew how fast I was going. Runs were in minutes, not miles. I just went.

But I quickly learned to love RunKeeper. Oh…. 8:15 pace? I can go faster. Knocked off another mile? I can do one more! It really is more than a tracking tool…it’s a motivational GURU. I think for awhile (read: years) I was running too slow because I was afraid of pushing any harder, of going out of my comfort zone. RunKeeper helped me realize I can still run 10 miles at 7:50 pace, and end it feeling (relatively) fine.

But on the flip side, I’ve become concerned with numbers. That 10-mile run I just referenced? I wanted to run it slower. I have been feeling burnt out all week, and honestly wanted to get in a long, slow run that felt super comfortable and only allowed myself to space out. I should have ditched the phone, but I wanted to have proof of this 10-mile endeavor. Accountability. Pride. And as I started going, once mile 1 was in 7-something, I tried to slow down to mid 8’s. I tried… 


Pace (min/mi)

Elevation (ft)


































For one more mile. But then I still felt good, so I picked up the pace, went faster to get the back hills over with, and by mile 4 realized I was starting to get competitive with myself. At that point in time I wanted to run 10-miles in avg sub-8 pace, to prove that I could do it, and feel okay along the way.

By the end I was tired, and it wasn’t the run I had set out to do. So I’m not sure. Am I a sub 8 runner? Should I suck it up and realize I’m a bit faster than I thought I was, and challenge myself? Or is RunKeeper pushing me to lengths when I don’t always need to be pushed? It’s hard to slow down when you know your pace is fast, and you feel good, and why not keep going since you’ll have this miniature feat recorded for you and for the interwebs and everyone (read: no one, really) that cares to also know you ran a loop in central park then down the west side highway and calculated it perfectly so 10 miles would land you RIGHT infront of your office, canceling out the need to catch any subway back downtown?

Long story short (kinda), I understand and totally appreciate what running apps can help people accomplish, but sometimes I think I stop listening to how my body feels, and only listen to what the numbers are saying. Would love to know what others think!

About Laura

marketing director at Possible. formerly at Greatist. Still running, finding zen, and searching for the perfect bloody mary.

Posted on May 18, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. WOW GIRL!!!!! Congratulations!! Amazing run!! Ummm you will not be running with me anymore because I can not hold you back any longer. GO GIRL!

  2. you’ve figured out what I’ve known all along. You’ve been given a gift for running and it’s okay to go all out 🙂 Great job!!

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