I like using an app to track my running mileage. It used to be Nike +, until they disabled a very important feature with their last update—hitting the pause button on my headphones no longer paused the app, just the music. That might not sound like a huge deal, but when you consider I run with two dogs for two miles, with an average of 1.5 poops per dog, and I have to take time to clean up those poops...it adds up.
So I switched back to Runtastic. Not my favorite, either—its social media options suck—but it has a more accurate GPS, whereas Nike + consistently shorted me between .04—.06 miles; the only reason I stayed with them for so long was because of that terribly convenient pause function.
Now, every time one of my dogs stops to unload, I have to take off my glove, pause the app, pull out a bag, open the bag (with freezing cold fingers, so I usually end up snaking my hand inside my ski mask to wet them), pick up the turds, knot the bag, untangle the dogs, restart the app, untangle the dogs again, and return to running. Repeat x 2.
Just rereading that description is irritating to me.
Then it occurred to me—why the hell am I doing this? Is it nice to know how fast I'm going? Well, yeah, but I'm not getting an accurate read anyway, since we average around four pees per poop per dog per run. That's a lot of stops.
Which then lead to the more introspective question—what am I trying to accomplish by running?
A.) Physical fitness
B.) Weight control
C.) A fun activity to enjoy with the dogs
D.) A way to consistently challenge myself
E.) Stress management
Speed doesn't show up on my list at all. When I enter a race, I'm not entering to win, because I am slow as hell. Seriously. The fastest I've ever clocked was a nine minute mile, and I nearly died from the resulting side stitch. I race to support causes, to challenge myself, to finish strong.
So, I stopped pausing the app every time the dogs stop to take a dump. And wow, is it relaxing. Even the dogs seemed more relaxed, probably because they're feeding off my emotional state.
Nothing like throwing a problem over your shoulder and not looking back.