Isn’t Running Supposed To Be Simple?


Don't You Need All This Stuff To Run?

I admit it – I am one of those runners. I need certain things to make my run good. I have been running for a long time and perfecting the runs over the years.. not the speed but the little things that drive me nuts on the runs..

Music – yes I run to music. I used to just use music on the treadmill to block out the sounds of the others around me, but since I have rid my life of any indoor running (sorry EMZ) I still use my Ipod outside. When I first got an Ipod Nano – I had an armband. This lasted less than a month. It slipped down my arm as I was running and drove me nuts. Next purchase was a case with a clip for my Ipod and I could clip it on my shorts. This lasted a little longer, until the Ipod stopped working because apparently you can’t run in the rain or sprinklers and expect the case to stay dry. Ipod #2 and new waterproof case – quite large and tacky came with an armband which I quickly discarded and ended up just carrying the case.  I turned into Mix it up Lady Baha, and was constantly changing the music and not focusing on running and in the summer months I was carrying this in one hand and water in the other – something had to give. Then came the little Ipod shuffle…and finally I was at peace with my music. Just clip on my collar and attach to my Sennheiser headphones and let it roll..

Pace/Mileage tracker – I originally started tracking my mileage with the little Nike+ device that stuck to your shoe,  and the attachment with your Nano. This was quite simple to use, but I would always leave one of the two pieces at home, and blew my running buzz from the start. I was constantly in online mileage challenges with Jason and if I couldn’t track it – it didn’t exist!  I believe I WON several of the challenges with Jason but have no way of proving it now – and by the way, I was faster too- Nike+ told me so. I then upgraded to the Garmin 405 and while working with a coach to improve my runs, almost lost my mind with the continuous beeping when my heart rate went out of range. Eventually I think I had my coach convinced that the beeping on the Garmin alone or know it would beep at some point elevated my heart rate. Thankfully it died for good. Then came the Garmin 310xt- No chimes. Vibrating feature. I have trained myself not to look at my watch during runs (unless it’s a race) and at this point I only have it signal me at mile markers to let me know when to fuel, or stop. I am told by Jason – Rocky didn’t wear a Garmin – He just runs.

Clothing – Originally I had a small drawer for running clothes. Now I have three drawers, and an area in the laundry room for more clothes.. I am NOT addicted to running clothes, but I like to have options for my mood.  I can’t grab a top and go, i need to find the blue shirt because it will make me run better today. Again – I am one of those runners – thankfully my sweet husband doesn’t say a word about the random piles of clothes or overflowing drawers.

Accessories – I have my share of fuel belts. There is one that holds just fuel and race number. This lasted one race when all my fuel popped out of the little elastic strips. Another belt had a pouch – I used this on my marathon and was not skilled enough to run, unzip and grab and almost fell, and lost several items on the ground.  I have a water/fuel belt – this lasted less than 3 minutes. Bounce bounce bounce – out.  I have found a belt I like, IF I need it, that will carry my gear, and when the weather gets hot I carry a handheld. I would actually prefer Jason set up water fuel stations for me during my long runs but I am not holding my breath on that one.

Buzzkill items – Keys bouncing in pocket- I could go nuts. Stray dogs – nothing like getting a spike in your heart rate from seeing a large dog coming your way, or a smaller dog with a killer bark.  Crazy drivers… Yes I live where the roads are like the autobahn – they drive like madmen here and don’t care if you are out there – they have someplace to be and they will run your arse over. Of course the top buzzkill on my list – I gotta POOP!  (you can relate Beth)  – once I am finally out of the house and moving – AUUGHH– gotta go now!!

Over the years – I have found what works and what doesn’t for me on runs, and also let go of what I can’t control. When I start a run, for the first few miles I feel like I am ready to stop, then it kicks in and I am in the zone, on autopilot and it feels great. I do have days that nothing feels right, and I push through it and keep moving. Nothing feels better than finishing a run and knowing I moved today.

How Do You Keep Running Simple?

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  1. misszippy says:

    I am as simple as simple gets with running. Just my old-fashioned Timex IM watch and I’m out the door. No music, no Garmin, etc. I’m quite content this way!
    misszippy recently posted..Off to play in the mud!My Profile

    • Karen says:

      I wish I was like that.. but of course the Timex IM wouldnt be the right fit or color for my run.
      Happy Friday to you!

  2. BDD says:

    I like to keep it simple myself, maybe music
    BDD recently posted..11 Things x 4My Profile

  3. I go back and forth, but the one way I’m sure to keep it simple is when I run barefoot. I have no Garmin, no watch, no music. Nothing but me and listening to my feet and paying close attention to what my body is doing.
    Mamarunsbarefoot recently posted..Five For FridayMy Profile

  4. katie says:

    I mostly just use the Garmin, sometimes music, sometimes not.
    katie recently posted..random friday factsMy Profile

  5. Christina says:

    I’m simple due to budget. I am saving up for a Garmin as the numbers totally appeal to me. I have a super cheap MP3 player I bought years ago that can play about 45 min of music which is usually long enough for me. I have been doing this training stuff less than a year and only have a few clothes appropriate for it, but dream of having more. :) Don’t even have a 2nd pair of shoes to rotate yet.
    Christina recently posted..BonusMy Profile

  6. Jeff Irvin says:

    Karen, you and Annie sound like two peas in a pod here! Wow.

    She makes this running stuff real difficult sometimes with all the gear and head bands and clothing options and nutrition and gels and ipod holders and ipods and earbuds ….etc.

    If we are planning a run together it usually starts with me taking a nap sitting on the stairs waiting for her to get it together. Always.

    I usually have a garmin and if the run is longer a hand held water bottle – very simple!
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Stuff I Have Enjoyed this Week …My Profile

  7. Jen says:

    LOVE this – I can so relate. My runs are NEVER simple… Especially long runs – it seems like I need four hundred things in place before I can get out the door! LOL.
    Jen recently posted..Happy Running Birthday to Me!My Profile

  8. Patrick says:

    Need the Garmin. Usually music. Cant stand jingling or loose items. Must wear fuel beltl bottles on the front only. As far as clothes, as long as i have compression shorts and a dudeband, everything else is secondary.
    Patrick recently posted..How I Got HereMy Profile

  9. Laura says:

    I have gotten away from using music for my running. The only time I bust it out is if I am really struggling on a long run.
    I always have my Garmin. I feel like it keeps me honest for some nutty reason…
    Laura recently posted..Four for Friday – the Crazy Town editionMy Profile

  10. lindsay says:

    i’m a simplistic runner. i dont run with music cause i dont want to deal with all that hassle you described above! plus i’m too lazy to even put music on an i-device. haha. :)
    lindsay recently posted..january 2012My Profile

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