A running club with weekly Group Runs in Aurora, IL., Montgomery, IL. and Oswego, IL.
When I first started running, it was a big culture shock with how expensive it was. From the outside, a casual observer would say…”You just need a pair of shoes. How expensive can it be” But soon enough, I found out about all the accessories up the wazoo that come along with it. And when you are new, you want everything…The belt, the arm band, special running earbuds, hand-bottle carriers etc. And I got ‘em all. Yeah! I felt like a prepared runner now. And often enough, something would require an upgrade.. I need a spongier grip, room for a larger phone, look..sleeker water bottles… and so on.
It was the spring of 2013, the Get-Lucky half… It was cold day, high 20s and the blustery wind along the lakefront course made things miserable. And to make things worse, my phone wouldn’t co-operate, the playlist kept skipping and stopping and I spent just too much time trying to fix it when still running. My running buddy Lori said to me…”You have too many accessories and it’s affecting your running”…It struck me then. Could she be right?
I thought of trying to trim down as much as I could…The big decision was to cut the chord with music and the hydration belt.. These 2 were the bane of my running experience. More often than not, something wouldn’t sit right and I would forever have to keep adjusting (pulling the belt up, plugging earphones back in, adjusting device in belt or arm-band). And on long runs, these became a real bother.
Over the next few weeks, I weaned myself of both these dependencies…and felt liberated. For one, they were weighing me down. And two, I could get into a running rhythm quickly without worrying about making adjustments to stuff attached to me J. I can’t believe that there was a time when I couldn’t run a 5K without music and now I run my marathons with no music. For hydration, during training I take a break back after specific distances (shorter during the summers longer over the winters) and on race day, I depend entirely on the course water stops. My eats (gels), well, I just stick them in my pockets and get on with it.
So maybe not a true minimalist all the way (I still wear my watch J). Obviously, I dress appropriately for the weather, but have become very rational about what I need…Sometimes less is more. Run light, run strong!
– Harish Pai