No watch. No heart rate monitor. No iPod.
I went running just for the sake of it. I wasn't concerned with how fast I was going, how hard or how little I was working, or whether I was adhering to any training plan (this wasn't on the schedule). I just ran and enjoyed the view.
I immediately felt the liberating effects of leaving the watch and HRM behind. It was nice to just enjoy a run without the weight of some other goal on top of it. My legs moved without much coaxing, my breathing was cleansing.
The absence of the iPod was a little different.
I admit, part of the reason I went out today was to get out of the house and into my head (I grew up as an only child and I have turned this space into quite the playground). For the first quarter-mile, I hummed some little songs (iPod residue). That quickly gave way to daydreaming about things to come.
But once I got into my groove, the real playtime started.
I'm sure you all experience some sort of meditative state when you run alone, with or without music. For the first year or so that I ran, I had no music, so it was always a mental retreat. Once I started setting race goals, workouts became a chore. That's how the iPod entered the picture -- I needed something to get me through it. Today, I got back to the retreat aspects, and it was refreshing in so many ways.
My thoughts meandered and played. I thought of Iowa, road trips past, ridiculous schemes (like the time I announced to Scott that I was going to teach myself calculus), etc. Here's where I wound up after about an hour:
Whenever Smiley D makes an appearance online (a smiley with a capital D, rather than the widely-used parenthetical smiley), I picture this dog in my head:
Every. single. time. And I always get a little kick out of it.
Really, the parenthetical smiley is so demure...so POLITE. But Smiley D is a real cheeseball. A hambone, if you will. He tells you that he likes you, is aware that he is dangerously close to The Line (or else is looking at it in his rearview mirror), is a little pleased with his handywork and hopes you are too. Other times, he's telling you that you'd better have some treats and is drooling on your shoes.
Here, let's put them side-by-side:
:) vs :D
Now that you have this dog in your head, doesn't that capital D put a little silly in those eyes? Parenthesis Smiley looks like he's trying to get away with eating your chocolate chip cookies. Smiley D's got chocolate all over his face and is happy to see you.
The Moral of the Story:
Umm...It's gotta be one of three things:
- A low-tech workout is magic elixir for a rut.
- A low-tech workout is a quick way to discover just how crazy you are.
3. In addition to the three dogs I already have to keep me company in the trailer park, I also have a junkyard dawg inside my head named Smiley D.