February 15 2018
Longtime runner Ellie Kemper charms our socks (and running shoes!) off.
I’ll be the first one to admit – I LOVE technology. Especially gadgets that record loads of data. Tracking my pace, distance and run cadence to quantify improvement be stills my beating heart (run nerd alert!). And even though I adore the numbers, I periodically make a conscious effort to curb my techie enthusiasm in pursuit of living happily ever after in perfect harmony. I might be a numbers girl, but I’ll always be a run girl first.
After training all Winter to run a Spring marathon, I can recite my current miles splits and anticipated finish times for various distances upon request, without hesitation. On the other hand, I can only recall a handful of runs during that same time period that blaze my memory for reasons other than speed or distance. I don’t have memory of the scenery or experience outside of pushing myself to run stronger and faster. And that’s OK because my approach to running matched my goal to achieve a new personal best; however now that the race is done, it’s time to reevaluate my run priorities.
In the past after I ran a marathon, I took a significant break from running to allow my muscles to heal while I sought a new focus. Each time I did that, getting back into running shape felt frustrating and muddled. To prevent that discouraging feeling this time I decided to take one week off (to let my body rest) and then run naked for a month.Yes, you read that right – I’m running naked. Maybe not naked in the sense that you know it, rather stripped of my beloved technology (and ultimately devoid of the self-inflicted pressure that comes with knowing my pace with every single step).
I’m happy to report that two weeks in, running naked is not as terrifying as I once thought. In fact, it is quite liberating. Temporarily taking away the gadgets allows me time to enjoy the run and helps renew my vow of love to the sport. Taking in the lush landscape of the trail, truly paying attention to conversation with my run buddy, or watching my dog sprint beside with the expression of pure joy provides a reward that might not be quantifiable – but amazing nonetheless.