I don’t typically write about the mundane training tasks I undertake on a relative daily basis for a reason: they’re mundane. Ho hum. Ran 3 miles and it was fine. Ho hum: swam. and stunk. Ho hum: rode a stationary cylce and was spinning at an average of 30 mph for an hour and now I can’t walk. You would never ever read this blog if I did that. I keep that kind of stuff to the 140 character or less mantra and contain it to RunKeeper.
Today was different though: I ran an unrecorded run today.
No Garmin. No RunKeeper. No phone. Until about 10 minutes ago, no computer either (long story… I would have totally posted this from my phone, though). I was kind of freaking out, honestly, but after it was over, I thought: I’m writing about this on the blog tonight so they get something better than “ho hum: ran a race” or “ho hum: still love RunKeeper”.
In the over 2 years since I started my post-kid running, I have yet to do one where I didn’t at least try to estimate the time and/or distance and get my avearge pace (let alone splits). I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m additcted to my stats. My run buddies (I have 2 – more on them in another post) both have made fun of me for my, uh, precision, when it comes to my running path, especially since both of them tend to like to cut across the road and cut the corner. Not me. I map it out. I measure it on the Garmin. Then, I turn on RunKeeper and record it and take averages. I go all the way to the end of the sidewalk and then I make a sharp right turn.
Yeah, I’m one of those.
So… I tell you all this so you understand why today was kind of a big deal to me. I was, for a lack of a better term, naked.
It all started in the dressing room of my office gym. Actually, it all started about a week ago – my last run. I haven’t been in a week because, honestly, I’m worried about IT Band issues again (now on my left – my strong leg!) and that I pulled something in my left foot (praying it wasn’t the worst case scenario – sf or planar facitis) so I took a week off (which, by the way, are both feeling fine after today’s run, thankfully).
To combat the jumpy legs, I did yard work. Not running or cycling, but still strenuous enough to get my energy channeled in the right direction. I had a run planned today, though, with my running buddy #2 and I was pretty excited about it. It is the same guy that ran the Tarheel 10-miler with me and he tends not to like running in the rain all that much, but the rain let up quite a bit by our run appointment and he told me “it’s your call”. Personally, I love the rain run, so I suggested we go outside.
I unpack my stuff only to find a dead Garmin and a missing waterproof case for my iPhone. doh. I’ll be damned, though, I waited a week to run and it was perfect running weather – mid-60s, overcast and a smidge drizzly. I was going outside naked, damnit.
I was so excited to be outside running that I kept telling myself not to think about not being recorded, but I’ll be honest – I missed it at first. That first tell tale beep of my Garmin, each mile ticking away – confirming that my heart rate was way too high, peeking at my pace as I went. I missed it, missed it, missed it. But, after I got over the initial shock of being unrecorded, I started to just focus on the run itself, which is something I hadn’t done in years. I listened to the sounds my shoes made on the pavement. I thought about how my legs were operating – and realized why I was having pain (and hopefully corrected that a little). I actually took a look around at the neighborhoods – and the people in them – that we ran through.
The most interesting part of this run for me, however, wasn’t even the fact that I was “naked” or that I didn’t measture anything. It was the route. I live in Raleigh, NC and as you may have seen from the national news, we got a slew of tornados that ran through our town last weekend. One went through downtown. I ran through the aftermath of that – now 5 days later. It was pretty sobering. I thought many times about turning and just going north or heading west, but I didn’t – I kept going south and east until I started having to dodge trees and could smell the fumes from the chain saws and the aroma of fresh cut wood. At points, I was tripping over roof shingles in the road.
five. days. later.
I shutter to think what it looked like 5 days ago.
So, in light of that experience, suddenly the Garmin, the RunKeeper, distance, pace, time, splits…
none of that mattered.