Friday, September 21, 2012

Running Simply

One thing I have always loved about running is its simplicity. Just put on my shoes and out the door I go. Actually that’s not quite true because if all I did was put on my shoes I would be running around the neighborhood naked. Aside from being arrested we wouldn’t want my neighbors throwing up so I put on my shorts, shirt, socks and shoes and then out the door I go. At least that’s the way it was a long time ago. So long ago in fact I had forgotten what it was like to run so simply. When I trained for my first marathon I had 1 pair of shoes, 1 pair of shorts, and I wore whatever cotton socks and t-shirts I had in my dresser (I did buy a technical shirt eventually due to the chafe monster). Other than the race entry fee, I spent about $100 on running stuff.

How is it that something so simple and beautiful has now turned into a laboratory and resulted in drawers, shelves, closets and storage bins full of gear. Not to mention the insane amount of decision making that goes into each run, as follows:
  • Select between at least a dozen different pairs of shorts, countless pairs of socks and buckets full of technical shirts (of course 95% of the time I wear one of my 15 or so orange MMRF shirts).
  • What is the weather like outside? Do I need sleeves or a jacket?
  • Am I running in trail shoes or road shoes today? Do I want to wear the TNFs, Brooks or Hokas? Do I want the red, green, orange, blue or black ones?
  • Do I need my handhelds or a hydration vest?
  • Am I wearing one of 3 different headlamps or carrying a handheld lamp this morning along with a reflective vest and LED lights if running on the road.
  • Am I using Hammer Gel, HEED or Perpetuem on my long runs? Should I bring S-caps?
  • Do I bring a phone, and don’t forget the epipen?
  • Should I bring an iPod or Garmin today?
  • Remember ID and don’t forget to lube up in all the right places!
Getting out the door has become a nuisance. It drives me crazy and I am sure all the crap around the house and my constant preparation for each morning drives Tani crazy too (although you would never know it).

What does all this mean? The obvious answer is I am obsessed. The real answer is I simply love to run, and as part of this journey have collected lots of stuff to help me run longer, faster, safer and more efficiently.
However, aside from all the incredible experiences that have come along with running, it is the pure freedom and simplicity of running I love most.
As my training and running goals have ramped up these past few years I really began to lose sight of this and I actually began to get (I cant believe I am actually saying this) a little bored and dare I say annoyed with running leading into Badwater this past July. I therefore made it a point over the past couple months since my return from Death Valley to run simple. I choose one or two of my shorter runs each week and don’t think about anything on my way out the door. I grab my favorite of everything and only mandatory items. No watch, no iPod, no packs, no bullshit. Just me, the road and my thoughts running simply as it was meant to be. It feels so good to be out in the early morning hours simply running free. Try it!

Peace and Have A Great Day

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