Back in 2008 I ran several half marathons. During those days I always wore a GPS watch that kept tabs on my distance and pace. I generally trained at an 8:40 per mile pace but often ran shorter distances at 7:30 per mile to build up speed. My best race was the Gasparilla in 2008 when I crossed the finish line with a respectable 1:44:43 time which meant I ran 7:59.2 minute pace per mile. My goal was to run in 8 min miles so I did it! After that year I ran fewer miles, no races, just ran 5 miles three or four times a week to stay in shape and have an isolated time to talk to the Lord. I’ve been running now with no watch for several years.
So, now I have an iPhone and it has an application which uses the phone’s GPS system and works better than any running watch I ever had. I’m heading out today to use the app and see how it works. Whenever the clock is on, I tend to push harder than without it. I started out at a faster pace than usual and maintained what felt like a pretty stiff pace. When I was feeling like lagging, the clock kept me moving. It has this nice lady that talks to you every five minutes and tells you how far you’ve run and your pace. At five minutes I thought I was running my normal 8:40 pace and the lady says your pace is 9:15! I pushed myself pretty good and by the end of my run was moving at 8:23 pace but thought it was more like 7:30! I ended the run having done a 9:07 pace.
My point is this. This highlights only one area of life that without an objective standard to compare me to, I think I’m doing better than I really am. This isn’t meant to shame anyone nor myself. It is just that if I want to grow in fitness, or spiritual health or my marriage, once in a while I need to find and consider an unbiased objective measuring stick to see how I am really doing. Otherwise, like my running, I tend to begin to drift all the while telling myself nothing is changing and I’m really doing as good as ever.
Just a thought from my run this morning.