19 January 2012


Is it always about the numbers? Can I be a decent triathlete without worrying about a whole slew of numbers? If I just put my head down, do the prescribed workouts, eat a balanced diet, is it OK that I ignore the numbers sometimes?

By numbers, I'm referring to the outputs generated by all the various gadgets beloved by the stereotypical triathlete - Garmins, heartrate monitors, bike computers, power meters, etc etc etc. I own a Garmin with a HR monitor and I use it during most of my bike and run workouts, especially if I'm outdoors. But I haven't downloaded the data from the Garmin since sometime last summer (I know, what is the point of gathering the data if you're not going to analyze it). I don't own a bike computer so I have no idea about cadence (ever) or distance when I am on my trainer. (I did own a bike computer once - first birthday gift from my then-fiance, now-husband. It fell off my bike shortly after I put it on and I accidentally ran it over. Haven't had a bike computer since). No power meter. And I rarely bring a watch to the pool with me unless I have specific instructions to gather splits. And there are some days I simply don't want to run with the Garmin or any watch at all. So sometimes I don't. I've been pretty decent so far in 2012 at filling out Training Peaks in a timely manner with the results of my workouts, mainly so Jen can see how I'm doing and we can discuss any problem spots - but my entries are relatively devoid of numbers, except when I thrown in HR or some mile splits.

Right now I'm pretty comfortable with my relatively number-free athletic life. Sometimes I wonder if I should someday invest in a PowerTap or power meter thingamajig, but then I wonder if I'm really good enough at the moment to warrant such an investment. But if I do make the investment, will it help me become a better athlete, the type of athlete who needs that sort of equipment, who needs to keep track of those sorts of numbers, who is good enough to warrant the investment. I can assure you that as long as I don't win the lottery, 2012 will not be the year I invest in a PowerTap thingamajig. But it may be the year I get a proper bike computer.

Finished a book yesterday - fluffy book this time around. The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand. Total chick-lit book that my aunt Amy lent to me through the Kindle (so it was freeeeeee for me! Thanks Aim!). It was about a restaurant on the beach in Nantucket. Having been a waitress throughout my college career, I can tell you they got most of the restaurant lingo correct. And some of the characters in the book seemed just like characters I met during my waitressing days - it's hard to explain and I'm not trying to be stereotyping, but I noticed that, like any career field, restaurant work attracted a certain type of person - social, gregarious, outgoing, etc - and I never quite fit that type. In any case, the book was an amusing read and the restaurant they portrayed seemed to be a much cooler place to work than my former place of employment - Chilis. Bleck.


Chelsea said...

OOH! how do you loan books on kindle!!

onthebusrunning said...

Funny, I had a similar thought this morning, re downloading the data from your Garmin. I have my Garmin GPS watch and I don't think I've plugged it in since the summer. I always love the stats it spits out once I do it, but I guess I love it more for structuring my speed workouts where I can get pace and distance on the fly. Like you said, sometimes it's nice to go sans time piece completely!

Katie said...

yeahhhh I'm trying to get away from the numbers. I haven't look at anything on my garmin screen other than HR in almost 2 months. and power tap, nah.

Caroline said...

@Chelsea - I'll send you an e-mail. Have you read the Hunger Games yet? If not, I can loan the first two to you - only certain books are loanable, but those definitely are some of them.
@Brad - You and I love the Garmin for the same reasons - I like the instant feedback, and I just enter the basic stats into Training Peaks, but that's about it.
@Katie - when I race I usually only have the overall time and distance showing, and during IM I had HR showing so I could keep it under control since it's such a long day - but yeah, I don't want to know pace or splits for miles or for each event, then my head gets in the way.