Monday, October 5, 2009

"Free" Running

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by technology? I have a love/hate relationship with it. With all the great running gadgets out there it is easy for a nerd-o-file like myself to track exercise data for everything: pace, speed, mileage, elevation, heartrate, power songs, nike+, calories burned....I could go on and on and on. And don't get me wrong, for the most part, I love doing it. Minnie has totally changed how I think about running and I owe her superb pace tracking to the fact that my pace is faster than it was a year ago. But, I find myself often tied down to the technology. I have even been known to postpone a run because Minnie couldn't find the satellites. When I go out for runs, I'm thinking about everything all at once - my mileage, my pace goal, my mile splits, my halfway splits, my stride, my breathing. I have found that sometimes it clouds the purpose of those 6 miles in the first place: to just run and enjoy it.

So, I have made a pact with myself to add one day of "free" running to my weekly workouts. Technology is not allowed on these runs. It is just me and the road and pace be damned. Exact mileage be damned! If I run 4.68 miles..so what? If I run a fun, free run at a slow pace...so what? I think I need these runs to get back to running fundamentals and to just go out there and, well, do it. Running is fun and it's very easy to lose that aspect when surrounded by the pressures of training runs, upcoming races, stats, pace, strides, goals...all of it.

So, I'm off to run a fun and "free" 3 or 4 or 5, or maybe 6 miles. I don't know, and I don't care to know.

Today I Love: the cool weather we're FINALLY getting!!! It finally feels like FALL!

11 comments:

Willie said...

What a great idea! I've also postponed runs because Paula was dead or couldn't find satellites. Sounds silly to say it now.
Find the joy in running again, I love it. Just don't ever let me discover that I ran some miles and .99, that would drive me crazy! It's ok as long as I never know!

J Roy said...

Love your post! I actually had struggled with the same when I was training for a marathon this past summer - for a newbie distance runner, pace/splits/fueling/etc became an obsession. I questioned foregoing racing altogether to get back to why I began running in the first place (I toyed with this in the last post I wrote on my training blog [jroywriterun@blogspot.com]). Glad to know I'm not the only one who has felt this way! I'll have to use your option of a free day during a training week - great advice!

kara said...

When I'm feeling tired or depressed I run without time.
Just head out - try not to get lost. And when I feel done - go home.
I like what you call it - Free!

Jo Lynn said...

That's a great idea. Hard for us Type A personalities though. However, it would be a good "challenge" to put on the table. ;)

Marky Mark said...

Great idea!

Sarah said...

This is really a great idea, Jen! I agree that it is so easy to get bogged down in everything consuming a training run...it definitely doesn't make it fun all the time.

Love this idea! You should run like Pheobe just once...and take a picture. :)

amyreinink said...

LOVE this post. I run with music pretty much all the time, because I feel like it helps me get into a nice zen-like zone, but I leave my Nike + at home lest I become obsessed with my pace. On my group runs especially, when I even forgo my iPod, I just focus on running by feel, and it feels REALLY good!

Marlene said...

Ahhh, I wish I had the guts to go free! I am way too hooked on numbers. Enjoy!

lindsay said...

i am wayyy too hooked on numbers too, but i can be content with "just" mileage & time for my most basic spreadsheet. yes, i'm such a dork i have THREE spreadsheets to log my training in... 'cause one isn't enough? ;)

running "free" is a great idea - get 'back to the basics'. my version of running free is just not looking at garmin the whole time. that way i can still record the mileage and time afterward, but lighten the "stress"-load of technology. :)

SDrunner said...

I've been on the fence for a while whether or not to get a Garmin-like product to replace my not-so-relable Nike+. But one of my cons is for many of the reasons you just listed. I also don't feel like I am at the stage where I really "need" one, but that's just my opinion. I like running 'free' every now and then and just get out and run. Great post!

Mike said...

I'm going to have to give this a shot - I'm hooked on technology for running.

Running bored me before I started getting music, speeds, etc. I wonder if it's different now.

Neat idea either way.