There 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?