Zen Running – leave your watch at home.

Green Bay Cellcom 2007 – 1st Marathon 

My dad and I joke about my Type A personality traits. I can count on one hand the number of times I have gone out for a run without my GPS watch.  I don’t like surprises, especially when I go out for a run. I use my watch to track my speed and distance relying on this data to improve my performance, but I sort have forgotten why I love running. I have gotten caught up in the numbers and part of the joy as been lost.

I didn’t recognize this aspect until I was at the Lakefront Marathon  this past year and I was 10 miles in…my watch quit.  I was dumb founded and actually stopped running for a brief moment.  I was at a loss on what to do until I remembered a phrase from the movie Spirit of the Marathon where one of the individuals referred to “Zen running”.  No watch, no worries, just running for the enjoyment of the experience.  At the time I thought this was ridiculous…who runs without a GPS watch?!?!? Wait, I used to.  Training for my very 1st marathon I was a novice runner and I didn’t know about gear, heck I showed for most training events in sweatpants and a sweatshirt – no tech fabrics to be found.  Seems crazy, right!

Fast forward 9 years and I am standing on the side of the road during a marathon freaking out about my watch not working.  It was time to get over myself and get back to the basics. The fact of the matter is I love to run. I’ve been doing it since I was 12 years old. I didn’t have a GPS watch for many years and survived.  I started moving at that point and what followed can only be described as Zen running! I had the best time EVER. I no longer was focused on my splits but the experience of the race and how I felt putting one foot in front of the other. I got into a rhythm that felt amazing and natural…like the good old days of middle school cross country.

As I rounded the last corner and headed for the finish line chute I was in a state of pure joy.  My body hurt, I was cold, and extremely tired, but none of that mattered, I was happy.  I was reminded why I loved to run.  It was about how I feel when I am out doing it.

On a side note Lakefront was my best time marathon time for 2015! Maybe a little more Zen running is needed as I prepare for 2016 racing season.

#BeKind #BeHappy #BeActive

Lakefront Marathon 2015 

3 thoughts on “Zen Running – leave your watch at home.

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  1. I can also count the times I’ve run without tracking it on one hand haha. it is one time. I totally feel you on needing to track everything, but you’re so right about getting caught up in it. I loved this post and am going to try zen running soon because it just sounds good for the soul.


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