Run with no devices? Not so bad

Thursday, October 11, 2018
YMCA Notes

Last weekend, I ran a half-marathon in North Platte.

Along with being under-trained, I also started the race under preparedÖor so I thought.

I didnít have a single piece of electronic equipment on me.

No iPod or headphones to pass the time with music.

No heart rate monitor to tell me Iím pushing it to hard or not hard enough.

No FitBit or GPS watch to tell me how far Iíve gone or how slow Iím going. It was like I was nakedÖbut with clothes on.

It should be noted that going sans-electronics wasít initially by choice. I simply hadnít had time to charge all my devices.

On the morning of the race, they were all dead.

Fortunately, at the YMCA, you donít have to be that prepared. One of the many benefits at the Y is having unlimited wi-fi, so you donít have to worry if you r favorite podcast is downloaded.

TVís are mounted across the entire area of the cardio equipment area so all you need are plug-in headphones.

Thereís even a radio in the corner to pump through traditional speakers if needed.

Plus, most of the pieces of equipment have built-in sensors to check your heart-rate simply by grasping the metal bars.

And the monitors tell how far youíve gone, so a watch isnít needed.

At the end of the day, the Y is here to meet your physical - and technological - needs.

But when you are outside, itís a different story.

And for me, being outside Sunday without electronics turned out to be a great - and educational - experience.

Having started without proper training, I knew I wasnít trying to finish fast.

So I didnít need my running watch to tell me my pace or my distance or any of the stats.

I would know I was done when I crossed the finish line and the watch wasnít going to make that happen any faster or slower.

I didnít need a heart rate monitor to tell me how my body was working, especially at the slow pace I was going.

But I benefited most from not having my headphones.

Without music to pass the miles, I was forced to do something I unfortunately donít regularly do in a raceÖtalk to other runners and walkers.

Barely a mile in, I came upon Dennis Fahrenbruch of Culbertson.

Now in his mid-70s, Dennis is an inspiration and is still out there putting in the miles.

We ran for a mile together before I went ahead and wished him good luck on the race.

Then I spotted a ďMarathon ManiacĒ jacket up ahead and sped up to ask the owner a couple questions.

Marathon Maniacís is a running club, which has requirements such as running at least two marathons within 16 days and three marathons with 90 daysÖat a minimum.

I discovered that the ďManiacĒ was from Saskatchewan and had run in Castle Rock, Colorado the day prior and in Scottsbluff the weekend before.

I am intrigued by the concept but am not crazy enough to do it.

By the end up of the race, I ran and chatted with several other McCook runners.

I reconnected with our North Platte friends including one who was spending his 61st birthday running the entire 26.2 miles.

And I actually ran the last six miles with my husbandÖthat was the most time we had spent together in weeks.

The 13.1 miles just few fly. Not really, but at least they were a bit more bearable.

All of my electronics are now charged up and back in regular rotation.

In fact, I used my watch to count laps Monday morning in the pool and watched an entire episode of Tiny House Hunters the next day on the stationary bike at the Y.

But I also took out my headphones to actually talk to the people walking the track. Ultimately, itís nice to have options.

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