Last year, in 2010, I set one of my so-called mega-goals for my running. Mega-goals are those goals that can really only be reached in time spans of months or years, and by diligent tracking of data. For example, last year I wanted to run two kilometers every for every day of the year. To be clear, that wasn’t two kilometers per day.
That was two kilometers by three-hundred and sixty-five days equals seven hundred and thirty kilometers.
The reason I bring this up today, four months later, is a little complex… but I’ll try to explain:
I have this watch, see, that tracks via GPS all the metrics of my running: time, distance, pace, location, and even heart-rate (when I bother to wear the strap). It holds about a hundred runs in its memory, tracking all sorts of numbers and organizing them in little files that can be perused and compared later… and though when in the past I’ve run diligently I’ve also subsequently download and track my data diligently.
A few life events lead to about eight months of not-so-diligent tracking and download. Life events. You know, stuff that gets in the way of little side projects, events including a running injury, a break from running for about two of those months, distraction due to career and work, and (in the last few months) the fact I bought a new computer and never re-installed the software, data, or cables required to sync the watch to the computer.
And everyone certainly knows what happens when you fall behind on this stuff. It compounds. You put it off longer because the scope of the work becomes broader. And pretty soon, well…
I was running on Thursday — remember the whole half-marathon hat-trick? — and as I pulled into the home stretch, my watch popped up a friendly alert notice that it was running out of memory and that it was going to start dropping data off the back end of its database. This wouldn’t have been a problem, of course, had I still been diligently processing said data rather than simply just accumulating it in my watch. Had I not been lazy about it. Had I kept up and not let the work of my hobby get ahead of me. Alas, too late.
I’ll spare you the fiddly details, but long-story-short I finally took the hour or so around lunchtime today to get everything installed and transferred from the old machine to the new one… and then I cross-ported the data, making sure that everything was up-to-date and backed-up as currently as possible.
Of course, everything is now up-to-date and ready for some scrutiny. I thought — you know, since I’d spent the time syncing the data — that I’d breeze through that data and check out my meager progress over the last few months, including checking out my goal list… the one I’d so diligently watched until September-ish 2010.
Now, remember that whole two-kilometers-per-day in 2010 goal? After lingering between a quieted hard drive on my old computer and a watch with no ability to sync its data, the two met in the middle shortly after lunch today. Automatically compiled, a little green check-mark icon informed me that I had in fact met my goal of seven hundred and thirty kilometers in 2010. Cool, I thought. I wonder how close I was.
I clicked the goals tab, opened the screen with the appropriate data and had one of those holy-shit moments. See, between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010 I did a bunch of runs that I had aimed to collectively total at least (hopefully more than) 730 kilometers. Actual total? According to my watch I ran precisely seven hundred and thirty point zero six kilometers. Yes, that right. I met a goal measuring the driving distance between Lethbridge, Alberta and Grand Prairie Alberta, and I met that goal within a distance of sixty meters. On the dot. And without knowing it until four months later.
I’ll admit, fluke. But still very cool.