Well. You know I'm a technoplonk. And a hillophobe and I melt in the rain. Today's planned jaunt was 7.2km at what Asics describes as a 'fast' pace. That was intended to be around 8.14km/min, which should have been fairly comfortable. I've just worked out that I can have Asics plotting my route as I'm running it, which will save logging it afterwards, and then I found this little button 'Voice guidance' which I switched to On.
The weather forecast was not good (awful) so I abandoned the idea of going to Carsington, as my spotter (an early morning dog walker) told me that the paths were extremely soggy already due to the heavy overnight rain. Never mind, there are plenty of hills round town. I peered out of the window and saw a gap in the clouds, so went out hastily, switching on Strava, Asics and the Garmin.
Mr. Strava turns himself on and off ('Pausing' 'Resuming') every time you stop at a gate, road crossing or just as you take a deep breath, I sometimes think, so I ignore him. But Nagging Nancy! My first one and a half km is up a gentle incline. Half a km and up she chirps: 'You are 11 seconds behind pace'. What? Does she not know that I am setting off slowly, trying to work out if my knee actually hurts or if it's just a niggle that will go away? Can she not see I'm running uphill, dammit? She's sitting up there on that bloody satellite - is she not looking down, watching me dodging the huge great puddles and the stream that's running down the road towards me? This isn't supposed to be gorge climbing!
One km in and she tells me I've done one km in 8 mins and something - except that the Garmin is saying that I'm not at 1km yet. But she doesn't tell me that's okay, oh, no. One and a half km and she pipes up again, only I can't hear her because there's a bloody great lorry thundering past and I'm nearly in the hedge. Two km and by now I'm trotting down the hill, faster than I should be, but not a cheep from her. By this time I've decided that she's not sitting up on the satellite at all, she's at a desk in Dallas somewhere, filing her nails, talking to her neighbour about the great time she had last night and pressing random buttons when she thinks to check in on me. 'Oh, hey, there's that British gal, let's tell her she's too slow.'
I press on, determined to ignore her, and finding this quite hard work. By 4km both knees are niggling and my whole right leg hurts - hip, piriformis, knee, shin and top of foot. 'Not fair!' I wail - and plough on, more slowly. But Nancy's pleased with me because I'm on target now, at 4.5km, so I consider my gait for a bit. I reckon I'm landing quite flat-footed at the moment - not sure if my shoes have lost their bounce or if it's just me By 6.5km Nancy's back again, in full-on nag mode. 'You are 44 seconds too fast.' What? Hang on a minute, lady. You haven't said anything about my pace since I was back on track, and I know I didn't speed up that much over the last k, so... oh, sod you! Go back to filing your nails!
All the niggles have gone away again and my systems check reveals that although tired, I feel okay. Legs: check, knees: check, back: check, breathing: check - I only have a little further to go now. Nancy tells me I've reached 7km and I ignore her, because the Garmin says 6.8. I plod on, slowing down a little until the G reads 7.25km and then stop everything. It's raining now so I panic about all the technology as I head home.
When I reach home, there's an email waiting for me. From Asics. 'We have noticed,' it says' 'that you're running faster than expected. Why not recalculate your training pace?'
SOD OFF, NANCY.