You all know me as Irondiva. Or maybe the girl that started the naked racing craze (ha... right, I totally wish that I could take credit for it but I really just left my watch at home and my bike computer was broke. I'm sure tons of people run without electronics, but let me have my moment). I learned to love racing naked last year - it took some time to get used to. I mean, I didn't have all the data telling me when I was dying and how short or long the course was (it's Ohio people... the courses are NEVER accurate). But I loved learning about my body and what "pushing it" felt like. I went as fast as my legs and arms took me. Most of my races, that was fast enough for a PR or a podium spot in my age group (again, people, it's Ohio... and central Ohio at that, I'm not claiming to be really good here).
But then came training. I literally want to know every detail. How far did I run? How fast did I run? When I ran that same course 3 days ago, and the sun was shining a shade brighter and it was 3:17pm versus 5:46 pm, was I faster or slower (and if I slower this time around, I must surely be getting worse and maybe I should retire from the sport). I logged into MapMyRun religiously after every run. My bike computer was reset before each ride. I counted every lap in the pool (my pool is 19 meters and I've perfected counting up to 200 laps). I had excel charts and graphs in pretty colors and summaries of each discipline, each month, each year.
I was neurotic about it to be quite honest. And honestly, it didn't mean anything to me. I used it to critic myself when in fact, I knew nothing about the data that I was getting from it.
So when I started training with Coach Sharpie and we started this HR stuff (yes! another piece of data that I can meticulously dissect), I was a bit surprised when she told me to try to just wear the HR monitor and not focus on distance or pace.
Say what crazy lady? How am I supposed to fill in my excel chart without the time, distance, and pace of every workout?
But I've been doing it and you know what? It's freeing... I actually have that freeing feeling again. I run for time (and drills). I bike for time (and drills). I swim for time (and drills). And when the workout is done, I know two things - how many minutes I worked out and what my average HR was. And that's it. I don't obsess with how many laps I ran at the gym (remember, that track is 9 laps to a mile and I've counted up to 15 miles so you can imagine how freeing just that aspect of it could be), how many up and backs I did in the pool, or how far I didn't really go on the bike since it's stationary. It doesn't matter right now.
Maybe that's why I don't mind this HR training. It may be slower than I'm used to running and biking, but my mind can just go blank. I'm not thinking about the last workout I did and comparing it. I'm really enjoying every session.
My new naked is just me and my HR monitor. Not really naked in most people's eyes, but extremely naked for a girl who's been obsessed with numbers that really had very little meaning for last few years.