Yesterday, I got up the courage to spend some of these past 7+ months of saving my allowance and bought a Nike+ SportWatch GPS . With this watch, I don't need a chip in my shoe (unless I'm running indoors or where there's no satellite signal), I don't need a new iPod strap (unless I want to listen to music), and best of all, I get the added incentive of having it record all of my running stats effortlessly.
I don't know why, but I really like seeing aggregate statistics pile up. It's similar to how I really like time lapse videos of plants growing, a hoard of ants eating a dead animal, or a season-long time lapse of Lake Michigan freezing and thawing. It's just cool to be able to step back and actually see a long-term change take place. That's why I like seeing my running stats. While I might not be able to see the change while I'm in the grueling first month of training, after several months I can actually see my performance on a graph and compare it to what it was one, two, three, or four months ago. Being able to view this change is very encouraging, and it helps keep me motivated to run. I like running, but sometimes that extra push is necessary to keep me going.
In the interest of that "extra push," I decided to add a widget to my blog that shows my most recent run's distance and date as well as my lifetime's average pace. You'll see it show up in the right-hand column. Today's run (being just my second since I decided yesterday to get back into shape) was a measly 1.41 miles. Hopefully we'll see that number increase quite a bit over the next couple of weeks.