Pause without Cause?

20140615-084856.jpgThere is oftentimes debate among runners about the pausing of the watch on runs.  You know what I mean.  “I ran 5 miles at a 10 minute pace” is one thing. “I ran 5 miles at a 10 minute pace… with a 5 minute break between each mile but I paused my watch so it’s not reflected in this photo I just posted to facebook” is another thing entirely.

Living in a city with streets and traffic lights and crossing signals, I learned to stop when I don’t have the light to cross the street.  In the event of a collision with a car, I know I’m going to suffer bigger damages than the car and I’ve been tapped by cars coming out of gas stations and parking garages.  On a group run once, I paused my watch while stopped at a traffic light and the woman who was running with me chastised me for it and said, “there’s no pausing the watch in a race!” My response was simply stating the obvious fact that “there are no cars coming at me at 40 miles an hour in a race, either.”

I’ve generally speaking stopped pausing my watch, even at traffic lights. Not because I agree with that woman (because I don’t and I say anything that adds an extra layer of safety to your run is something you should do and if that means pausing your watch then pause it) but rather because I just prefer to kind of forget about my watch.  I’ve paused it, then forgotten to start it again, and a mile later been like “WHY ISN’T IT BEEPING?!”  This is infinitely more annoying than having extra time in there because I was stopped at a light.

Even more annoying than having to start/stop my watch, though, is having to start/stop my legs.  If I have a good groove going and then have to stop for a light, it’s hard to get that groove back, especially if I’m stopping every tenth of a mile.

So the question I pose is this: Pause or No Pause?


13 thoughts on “Pause without Cause?

  1. I don’t usually pause. But, if I’m waiting an eternity to cross the street, sometimes I will. Only reason is I barely remember to wear the damn thing, let alone turn it back on.

  2. I usually run at the park so I don’t have to deal with lights very often. I have paused my watch if I had to make an emergency bathroom stop though.

  3. My Nike running app pauses automatically and then it takes a few moments for to jump back on again so it kind of evens out. I don’t do it purposefully (or do it when I am wearing my watch) because it reflects my slowing down at water stops during a race anyway. And seriously – that woman – shame on her!

  4. I definitely pause, just because I know that if it were a race situation, I wouldn’t have to be stopping, so I feel it’s a more accurate reflection of my overall time.

  5. I rarely stop my watch because I NEVER remember to restart it. When I was training for NYC last summer and doing super long runs, we would stop for a few minutes and use the bathroom and refill our bottles about 10 miles in, so I would stop it. But otherwise, I just keep it running.

    I would have been annoyed if someone chastised me for stopping my watch. Why did she even care?! It doesn’t affect her AT ALL.

  6. I am the same I don’t pause because I won’t remember to start it again. When cycling I pause it when we go into a cafe, but we are stopping for a long time. Also I don’t move quickly so I don’t really worry about the minute I loose now and again.

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