Running naked…

18 04 2011

Hahahahaha…

I bet that got your attention!

Now that you’re here might as well stick around and read the rest of this post (you pervert!).

Today I ran without my garmin. Without a heart rate monitor. Without a route. Without a mileage goal. Without a time goal. I just ran. Today starts the idea of #watchlessmonday. Picking a time during the week where a run takes place without the constraints of what many of us are bogged down with…our gadgets.

It was a little nerve-wracking at first to leave without the comforting compressed feeling of a chest strap around my body. I’ve become very attached to knowing exactly how fast I’m running, how far I’ve run, what my heart rate is and how many calories I’ve burned. As I left the house I was scheming ways of figuring all those things out without the need of any gadgets. I thought about running a direct route, one that would be easy to remember so that I could come home and google map it. I thought about running a route I was familiar with and already knew the mileage. I thought about running for a specific amount of time so that I could estimate distance…

Then I thought to challenge myself.

You know I love a good challenge right?

I purposefully ran a route that would be impossible to map. I purposefully ran a route I’ve never run before. I purposefully ran a route in which timing couldn’t be a factor (we’re talking hills baby!). It was just what I needed. I’m back to tracking food for nutritional purposes, which means I’m back to wearing a HRM when I’m at the gym to calculate how many calories I’m burning. I’ve been bogged down by my gadgets and today was liberating (Thanks Sharla).

And just like most things in my life right now…

There was a message to be learned.

As I started my run I was trying to memorize the route. I didn’t want to, but my own thoughts of having something to prove kicked in. What if it’s not far enough? What if it’s not fast enough. I have a half marathon coming up and how can this count towards training if I have no idea how far I’ve gone? As I rounded a corner I came to a set of long stairs that would have completely thrown me off course. I ran by them.

Then I turned around and ran down them.

It was important for me to let go of the constraints of what I think I should be doing and just enjoy what I was doing. Halfway down there was a landing. There was someone there, alone, throwing a ball against the door of the building. Time slowed down for me in that instance. That person looked bored. As if there was nothing better to do in the world but stand there and toss the ball back and forth. It reminded me of when I was a kid. Socially awkward. Not yet diagnosed with Aspergers. Labeled a loner. Teachers just let me be. No intervention. A tennis ball and brick wall…

That’s just Tara.

As I ran past them I looked inward to who I am and began to give thanks to the GOD that has brought me to where I am today. I tried not to cry, but couldn’t help myself as I remembered what it was like to be that person standing on the landing (both as a child and as an adult). By the time I hit the bottom of the stairs I didn’t care about my gadgets. I didn’t care about how fast I was running. I didn’t care about whether I was going to run 2 miles or 12 miles…

I just ran.

I didn’t need my garmin to tell me I have endurance. The hills I ran without stopping (and if you know Tacoma, you know there are some serious hills in the downtown area) showed me I have endurance. I didn’t need the garmin to tell me I can run fast. I just had to feel the strength in my legs as I pushed harder to know I was running faster. I didn’t need the garmin to tell me how far I was running. I just needed the exhaustion of both my lungs and my body to tell me I ran far enough…

I didn’t need the validation of a gadget.

I just needed me.

Just Tara.

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