Saturday, March 5, 2011


I think that we have all heard this acronym as a plan of attack: keep it simple, stupid.
There are some things that are more simple to me than to other people.  For example, I find it easy to get dressed in the morning; I find fashion simply stupid, so I just cover up and set out.  However, there are other things in my life that should be simple, but they are not.  A good example is this blog.  I read the blogs of others who appear to just dump ideas on the page and post.  I feel the need to craft blog posts, which results in drafts simmering for weeks at a time, and long periods of time developing between posts.
Another thing in my life which should be simple, but I tend to complicate it, is running.  Honestly, is there a more simple sport than running?  It is a fundamental element of many other sports, but as a sport itself, even more so as a hobby, it is pretty darned simple.  Put on some shoes and get running.  Simple.
This simplicity yields simple joy in running along.  Yes, I can complicate it with race goals, training plans, electronic doohickeys, and expectations, but, in its simplest form, it is just perambulating, much like my primitive ancestors did.  Of course, they didn’t have fancy shoes, which brings me to one of the simple joys of being a marathoner: buying new shoes.
One of the ways that I complicate my training log, but simplify the decision of when to buy new shoes, is to keep track of the mileage on my shoes.  Simply, I needed new trainers, badly.  So I did a little research online, but headed to my local running specialty store to see what they had to offer before sending my money off to the Internet.
I love going to the local shop: they know me; I know them; we are kindred running spirits.  The process is simple: they bring me shoes; I try them on and trot around the building; and then I decide.  All the while, we are talking running.  Honestly, it is difficult to find people willing to talk about running, racing, goals, and, of course, footwear.  On this occasion, I bought two pairs of trainers.  I had run in one of the models before and the other was a new iteration of a shoe that I have had luck with in the past.  I left the store with two new shoe boxes feeling happy and motivated.  I spent some time with some running acquaintances and stimulated the local economy.  More importantly, I was simply happy to be a runner.


  1. Dumping ideas on a page and posting is simple. It takes a complicated mind to write a blog that flows and has a purpose. Just like a new pair of running shoes, a blog writer needs the proper equipment in order to accomplish a task.

  2. Well said Eric.
    I'm going through the same process of reminding myself to keep running simple and enjoyable too.
    I started February using a borrowed Garmin 205. At first, it was exhilarating being able to view my speed and distance in three different formats simultaneously - and later geeking out over the charts.
    But, after a few weeks I was constantly obsessing over my running pace - questioning whether I was putting out a true effort. This led to dead legs and a diminished joy in Running.
    So I started leaving the Garmin behind and just running totally based on how I felt at the moment (usually starting slower). I then started Bill Rodger's book and listened to a Sports Psychologist talk - they both say to be leary of getting too technical about your running, know why you like to run, and run the way that suits you.
    I'm now happily keeping it simple:-)