Sunday, September 25, 2011

Learning the Art of Empty Miling

Over the last few weeks I have really noticed my dependance on "the numbers" when I'm out running.  Especially over my last 2 long runs, both of which have been "crappy" by my standards.  In reality they weren't so bad once I actually mapped out my route and figured out that my shoe pod is way off.  The pissy little athlete in me stopped whining at that point but it got me to thinking about just how tied to technology I've become as a runner.  I never go out for a run without my heart rate monitor or shoe pod.  NEVER.  At least I can't remember the last time I did.  When my current heart rate monitor went in for service, I used an old one and diligently mapped out my routes and entered my workout in my training log. I understand doing that while training for a race but even when I'm not training?  Really?  What's the point?

The point is the numbers.  And sometimes, the numbers take the fun out of running.

So once my racing season is over, I'm going to practice the Art of Empty Miling.  I've been following this blog for the last little while and I have to say, I'm completely inspired to lose the technology and just run.  This fellow is an ultra runner who is all about running for the experience, not the results.  He's not a big fan of organized racing.  Our outlooks couldn't be more different but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate what he's all about.  This post is what got me thinking.  Don't get me wrong, I'm loving the year I'm having and I'm certainly not ready to throw in the towel and stop racing but I do believe there is a time and a place for some good old empty miling.  Racing forces you to be "on" and every run is supposed to have a purpose.  While enjoyable, it is also mentally and physically taxing, especially if you're seriously goal oriented like myself.   Sometimes you just need to unplug, give yourself a break from the numbers and enjoy the journey.

Path to the Brickworks
Copyright Phaedra Kennedy, 2011
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