A year ago, my heart rate monitor broke. A month ago my GPS watch watch broke. At the same time, I tried to install a running app on my phone only to discover that my phone is too old to run it. Two weeks ago they began work on our apartment and we are staying at my in-laws’ place. Being who I am, I forgot my headphones in our apartment. So, this left me with no heart rate monitor, no GPS watch, no running app, no foot-pad, and no music to run with. I actually missed a few runs because it almost seemed pointless at this point.
Anyway, I gathered my unmotivated self and finally went out for a run. I thought I would have no way of knowing what pace to keep, not knowing how much time had passed, I would get bored etc. Instead, I had a great time and am continuing to have a great time. The two things that surprised me were:
Pace: It wasn’t as big of an issue as I thought it would be. In many ways it was better, I didn’t follow my watch every 2 minutes to see if I am on pace, I simply ran as I felt. At points a knew I had to slow down if I wanted to run for much longer, other times I felt like I could push a bit. In the end, instead of running at a steady 6:00 pace I probably ran a range of 5:15 to 7:00.
Boredom: Running for 60+ minutes can get boring sometimes no matter what you do, but I think this has been the best part these days. Running with NO HEADPHONES. Listening to my surroundings, noticing what is going around me, getting lost in thought, these are all done without headphones. I spend a huge chunk of my days on the computer, there is always some sort of canned input linked to my brain. One of the reasons I run is to get away from that, no need to bring it along with me. And besides, listening to this lady with headphones, in front of me, with a heavy Spanish accent sing, “Stay-ink alive! (gasp) (gasp) Ahhh! Ahhh! Ahh (cough-gasp) Say-iiink Aliiiive” was worth it alone.
The fact that I have been running for a few years and have various courses which I run regularly and know their distance and difficulty helps. Also, being able to control your pace takes some experience, and separating yourself from your technology addition takes some willpower. But even if you are new, I think taking a break from the gear can only be positive, even if you just do it once in a while.
And lastly, no one really cares if you went for a run, so don’t sweat about not posting on fb.