As I was getting ready for work this morning, my dear friend, Judi, texted me this picture.
This was me after my first half marathon in October 2010 - The Grand Rapids Marathon. The race that started the obsession, I guess you could say. I have no idea where we were (Peppino's maybe?) but as you can see from my face, I was a happy girl (and so much younger - wow).
Somewhere in the last 4 1/2 years, I lost that happy runner girl. I got wrapped up in paces and splits and training plans and whenever I didn't have a run that went perfectly according to the plan, I got pissed and pretty darn hateful towards myself. Sure, there's a time and place for all that data, but who am I kidding? I'm not doing this for prize money or to win races. I'm always going to be a mid to back of the pack runner and there's nothing wrong with that. Yes, I worked hard to improve my times and become a better and faster runner, but along the way I lost what it felt like to run just for fun.
I want that feeling back.
Another good friend, Deb, challenged me yesterday to a month of "gadget-free running". No Garmin or watch, although she said I could use it for the key parts of some workouts, like speedwork, and for the 2 races I have coming up. We chatted back and forth on DailyMile a bit and I said I thought I could give up the Garmin but not my music. We agreed music was OK since we both run with music. I talked with a couple other runner friends to get their perspectives, too. They all decided it was a brilliant idea and would go very far in helping me find that love of running again just to run. (DAMMIT! And here I thought one of them at least would take my side and say it was a terrible idea!)
So yesterday, I started what will be a month (at least) of watch-free runs (jury is still out as to how I deal with bike and swim workouts). My plan is to leave the Garmin at home for all of my runs, even the speedwork. I was told I could run by feel - I've been running long enough to know what a tempo effort or Yasso effort should feel like and to focus on that. My explicit instructions for yesterday's run were to "Have fun". I did 6 miles on my familiar rail-trail and just soaked up the sun and tried to get lost in my music. Did it feel 100% fun? No. But, it's a start.
What about you? Do you want to join me in a gadget-free month? Have you ever taken an extended vacation from your data?
I run. I eat. Sometimes I'm a triathlete but mostly I'm a runner. I love to change my hair so I probably don't look like my profile picture :) I parent now college-aged twins. I love a great craft beer and I'm trying to find my way back to my goal weight.
Join me as I strive to: Live life to the fullest, Laugh often, Run free, and just Breathe.