Have you seen a recent picture of a start line? One taken in say the last five years? In those pictures, most people’s heads are down and their wrists are raised. What are they doing? Well, they are doing what most runners do. They are starting their activity watch to capture their run. You know the saying, “if you don’t post it, it didn’t happen?!?”
Technology in the sport of running has made some of the best improvements over the years. You can get watches or add apps to your phone that give you so much useful information. This can be as simple as how many steps you took during an activity to elevation gained, exact mileage, time breakdown per mile, and calories burned. You can take this information, study it, make improvements where needed, and reach your goals.
However, have you ever just disconnected while out on a run? Just left the watch at home. Put your phone on silent and stuck it in a pocket. Turned off the headphones so you are not able to listen to your ultimate playlist. You might think this is an easy concept. Although it is way more difficult to actually do!
When you disconnect, there are several steps you go through because we rely so much on our technology. Break the process down throughout your activity, pay attention to what is around you, and in the end, it will be well worth the reconnection to yourself.
First, put away the technology. Leave your watch behind. As you look at your wrist, you will begin to notice the tan line from wearing your watch so often. You will feel a little off not hitting start and waiting for the GPS to connect. Throughout your run, you will continue to look at your wrist even though there is nothing on it. All the questions will start going through your head. “Am I running too fast? Am I running too slow? How far have I gone? What’s my heartrate? Does my foot hurt? Am I breathing loud?” This time, unlike the others, you have no watch to look at for the information and no distractions from technology.
Next, you begin to accept that whatever you are doing in that moment is totally fine. You are totally fine. So, you might not know your pace at that exact moment. You want to know the pace. Although you feel comfortable at this unknown pace. It is a strange feeling. If you had your watch, you could look for that information quickly. Although you don’t have it, so you look at the trees. You realize how beautiful it is around you. You might see a bird that is unique or a squirrel that is snacking. In that moment, you decide to keep running at this unknown pace and keep looking at what is around you.
Finally, you stop looking at your wrist. You don’t really question what your run is doing. You are just taking in what is around you. You’ve run this path a hundred times. And all of a sudden you are seeing things you’ve never noticed before. You see a tree that looks so different from the others. You see a flower blooming that you swore was not there yesterday. You hear the birds chirping. You’ve never noticed the birds being so active because of the headphones you had on. It is a completely different and exciting experience.
The next day, you put your watch on and go for your run. This time, you get all the details. You can lift that watch up and see the pace. Or your heartrate. Or the text that just came through. And that is all ok. Just as long as you remember to disconnect once in a while and look at what is around you. You might not know your pace although you get a chance to see the beauty around you.
The Reagan Run 5k 2021 is right around the corner. This event, taking place Saturday, July 3rd, is one you want a charged and ready watch. Get registered at getmeregistered.com. No race day registration is allowed this year.