Mindlessness can kick in after a few loops around the track. At least, it sure can for me. Maybe you know the feeling.
There I am, jogging along at a happy clip and letting my mind wander off with whatever song is piping through my headphones. I step on up to cross my starting point for the umpteenth time, and I suddenly wonder:
“Have I done 10 laps or 12?”
Oops. Something like that.
|Adapted by this user from vintage/public domain image.|
OK, don’t judge. One of the beautiful things about running is the way we can be lured into the moment-at-hand, leaving the rest of life behind for a bit. Whatever happened before we stepped into our sneakers seems to evaporate, as the endorphins kick in. At the same time, we might lose count of our laps.
This doesn’t happen in an actual race or on a road or trail run. That’s because our run-mapping apps compute our journeys for us. Some of them even talk to us along with way, chirping progress updates and split times. But those programs (mostly based on GPS technology) don’t measure track runs so well. And our personal activity trackers (like my Fitbit Charge) number our steps and our stride-based daily distances, but they don’t tell us squat about laps.
So we can come around the final bend of each track trip and wonder if we’ve counted accurately.
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.
Cue my forehead slap right here.
I’ve been carrying a smart phone around for years. Like many runners, I use it for training and race tracking, music, photography, and a host of other non-telephonic purposes.
|Screenshot/photo by LAN/Runderdog - all rights reserved.|
So why did I overlook the stopwatch feature for so long?
Well, duh. The stopwatch (at least on my iPhone) includes a LAP option. I can click it each time I come around. So when I hit the track after setting a personal goal of running a certain number of loops, I won’t lose my total.