Back to the basics
Why we should take off our watch and headphones and enjoy the run… once in awhile.
Running used to be simple and easy. Years ago I remember saying, "I love running because you don't need anything but a pair of sneakers!!" I guess in reality this is true if you really bring it back to the basics (but not really). Now, we go out on a run and we are wearing a flashy, wicking pair of shorts and top, breathable sports bra, compression socks, new shoes, a Garmin watch and motivational bracelet, headband, sunglasses, bluetooth headphones, and possibly even carrying a handheld bottle with electrolyte mix and chews. We are literally heading out the door wearing at least $500-$750 worth of gear. Not to mention how long it takes to pick out the outfit and put all of this on! Putting the bracelet just right so that you (and the people viewing your photo) can read the motivational mantra. Picking out the right playlist. Deciding between the polarized or anti-fog sunglasses. Taking a photo! Woof. It can be exhausting (and can honestly take more time getting ready for the run than it takes for the actual run).
I say let's get back to the basics. Why do you run? For me, about 25% of it is to challenge myself and push my limits. The other 75%? It's this right here:
I run for the community and for the relationships I have formed through running. Because through running and these friendships, it makes me a better person. I want to be out there pacing someone to their PR. I want to be there when someone is out on the run and needs water. I want to have the laughs and the ridiculous conversations that we have on our long runs because the rest of life is sometimes too serious! A lot of us have intense and heavy jobs, and we need those light and foolish moments.
Let's focus on that. The simple moments when we are out there running and enjoying ourselves. Take your headphones off once in awhile and have a conversation with your friend running next to you. If you run alone, take your headphones off and listen. Listen and look around you. Take off your watch once in awhile. It won't kill you! (and your coach will understand). Leave the sunglasses on though because you know... UV protection.
Social media can be addicting, and so can the urge to be "matchy" and to look strong and motivational. Guess what, just by getting out there and putting one foot in front of the other, you are motivational! You are inspiring someone. So get out there and run. Let's go back to the good ole days when we only ran with our sneakers. At least once in awhile ;)