I had a revelation during a run recently realizing that except for my runners ID card, my pockets were empty.
I now stash my keys so there was no need for the arm sleeve I bought specifically to carry them.
I gave up my beloved headphones some two months ago so there was no mp3 player, or spare battery.
Running without music, I realized a month ago that having gum in my mouth altered my breathing rhythm, so I did not have my usual two pieces of gum or the Sports Beans I sometimes carry.
Despite a temperature of 45 crisp degrees, all I had on was a loose fitting tank top and shorts. An irony in that there was a time when I would wear two shirts and running pants to run in 50-degree weather! I have since come to realize how perfect 45 degrees is to run in.
My fitness background is in weight lifting, where post-workout protein shakes are gospel. That virtue carried over into my running life where I often had a post-run shake regardless of the distance I ran. Well, there are now times when I have no shake at all.
Yes, I know about the anabolic window, and the benefits of a 4 to 1 carb to protein ratio drink within an hour after an activity has ceased. But I also know the body uses fat during this window, and that works just as well. No it is not as efficient, but excess sugars and calories are stored as fat exactly for this reason.
In my 16 months of running, so much about how I run and what I do when I run has changed. Looking forward, it is possible that more change is coming.
There are those who run ultra-marathons or trail races, some who run with a dog or late at night, and others who run 90 miles in one week or twice a day. These are things that I cannot see myself doing.
During my run however, I thought about how empty my pockets were and how despite running the exact same routes I have always run, I am a completely different runner.
As I ran to the sound of my feet and the consistent exhale of my breaths, I chuckled at the thought of how I spent hours upon hours downloading music to run to, only to now realize the best music to run to, was with me all along.
I am not here to now say that you should run without music, abstain from post-run protein shakes or toss your running jacket when the mercury dips below 50.
No, I am simply sharing with you one runners astonishing transformation.
Will I ever run an ultra-marathon, run in the moon light, or twice in one day? While those things are unlikely, I have come to understand that with running as with life itself, anything is possible.