This week looks to be a busy week on this blog! I have a 1/2 dozen posts that I 'need' to get on here (including this one), a few of which should (and may...) go up today.
I often tell my trainees to ditch the watch, leave the GPS in the car, and just go... don't worry about times, forget splits, have the distance and maybe even your route unknown, throw on some good tunes (for complete distraction - so you can even forget to focus on your breathing) and let your muscles do what you've trained them to do and just... run.
Yesterday I took my own advice and for the first time in a Long time, I ran alone (all my runs of late have been with a training group, or training an individual, or pacing a friend, etc.). I left my watch at the house, left my phone on the counter, stuck my earbuds in, and very intentionally made sure I didn't know what time it was when I left the house so I couldn't even guess at how long the miles took me or attempt to worry about a pace. I didn't drive anywhere, I just took off from my house.
As I ran, the trees, the hills, the water, the breeze, everything was new again. It was running for why we all run - the pure Joy of it. I found the number one thing that was present on this run that is, at times, absent was this ridiculous grin that I simply couldn't shake - the earbuds filling my head with sounds of joy, hope, and love in motion (Mat Kearney, Sidewalk Prophets, Need to Breathe, and a dozen others) and I just ran.
In the end, I went back and drove the route (can't help it ;)
and the run came out to 10 1/2 miles - which for me and my knees is a very long run on a Monday morning! It was 10.5 miles of church. Me, alone with my thoughts, my music, my prayers, and the priceless stares from other runners looking at me like I was the most insane thing they'd ever seen in my VFFs and that ridiculous grin!
So remember, sometimes you HAVE to ditch the watch, forget the GPS, ignore your time, run a completely new route, and just run to run. Remind yourself why you're Really doing this. If running isn't a vacation, a stress relief, an escape, and a joy... you're just not doing it right.