Today, I ran naked.
Well, I wasn’t completely naked. I mean, I had clothes on. But I ran gadget-naked. And you know what?
It was great.
Five years ago, I started running for the same reason a lot of people do: Weight management. I’d just had my second baby and the weight just wasn’t coming off as fast as I wanted. So I took up running. I’ve run a half marathon, a couple of 10-miler races, 10k’s and 5k’s.
Along the way, I started collecting data about my running. I worried about things like miles per week, pace per mile, and heart rate. I’ve run with a smart phone so I can have music and GPS tracking at the same time. I’ve used an assortment of heart rate monitors to track calories burned, heart beats per minute and the time it takes to recover.
Today, though, I left it all at home.
I got dressed, dug my tried and true Timex Ironman sports watch out of a drawer (it’s the kind that just beeps at you when it’s time to quit), and tied my shoes.
And then I went outside to play.
I looked at pretty multi-colored leaves on the trees. I looked at the Christmas decorations on my neighbors’ houses. I counted the number of times my foot struck the ground in a five minute period (four hundred and five, in case you’re wondering). I even wrote most of this post in my head before heading back home.
It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers. To worry about my speed (or, really, lack thereof), or how maybe I shouldn’t have gone so crazy with the holiday food since, oh, October.
When I only look at the numbers, it’s easy to forget why I love this sport.
Today, I didn’t run for time. I didn’t count calories or distance. I didn’t run to stay in a heart rate zone.
Today I ran because I felt like it.
So, to all you other runners out there, I say give yourselves an early Christmas present:
And run naked.