Sunday, April 21, 2013

Extra Baggage

I went out on a long run the other day, and I noticed Shoreline Park was heavily populated, especially with overweight people wearing matching shirts and carrying water bottles, some with race belts.  At least half of them were walking.  Then I saw an aid station.  Curious, I asked what was going on, maybe there was a race in the park that I was unaware of.

It turned out to be some organization trying to help people run their first half-marathon (good for them!), and they were doing a training run today.  A mile later, I saw another aid station.  And mind you, they didn't just have water, they had a full spread of snacks.  This was not for an actual race or an official half-marathon, but just for a training run, presumably significantly shorter than 13 miles.  Meanwhile, here I am, on a 19.5-mile training run, carrying no food or water.

I know I'm in better shape than most people, and good for them for doing something to get in shape, but you don't need so much stuff!!!!  Honestly, you're not going to starve to death in the course of an hour or two.  Nor will you die of thirst.  I understand going through maybe a bottle of water every hour or so, but c'mon!!!!  You'll be a better runner if you get into a more self-sufficient mentality, where you can take on anything with or without any help.

I think this lesson applies outside of running too.  You don't need all those things you think you need.  It will really be OK if you're not 100% comfortable all the time.  Not every single convenience is necessary.  Turn the A/C down.  Turn your phone off.  Don't waste money on that bottle of water, wait until you get home.  It'll just make you have to stop and pee again anyway.  Don't carry something around "just in case" if you haven't used it in the last month.

Think again before buying something that's going to complicate your life rather than simplify it.  You'll probably be better off without it.

And don't carry so much stuff.  It just slows you down.