While I was running the other day, I broke down exactly what I usually use when I head up to the gym after work. It’s fairly ridiculous.

I run on the treadmill in an air-conditioned gym while reading on my Kindle, tracking my mileage with my Nike+ app, listening to music, and checking in on the A’s game on the wall-mounted TVs above me.

I may be getting my cardio in, but this seems so unhealthy. The only parts of this equation that aren’t electronic, plugged in, rechargeable, or backlit are my running shoes. And my legs.

And it doesn’t take a whole lot to recognize that those are the only things I really need on a run. I’ve always loved that it is an inexpensive hobby in comparison to others, especially considering my brother’s rotation of million-dollar mountain bikes. I paid a one-time price of $100 for my shoes, and they’re perfect for me. I’ve logged 200+ miles in them, and they don’t need to replaced any time soon.

With that in mind, the way I’ve been running seems crazy-lady excessive. Take a chill pill. Get some fresh air. Rest your strained, bloodshot, screen-obsessed eyes. UNPLUG. People are always talking about the need to unplug after work, but I need to do it on my runs too. We have to be able to recognize these digital habits, or soon enough we’ll have power strips surging in our forearms or just drop dead on an overdose of technology and electricity.

Yesterday I headed over to Lake Merritt for my run instead. I had honestly only ever been there once or twice, but my dad used to kill that route when he ran cross-country in high school. It’s a perfect 5K loop around the lake and the scenery is surprisingly beautiful. Oakland has such a bad reputation (warranted in some areas) that its pretty spots so often go underrated or written off as dangerous.

And it was so nice to just RUN. Getting stuck inside my own head isn’t a bad thing when I’m running. Recently I’ve had so much trouble getting a good run in at any place that isn’t Bidwell Park, so it’s good to know I just need to get out more. I ran two laps around for a solid 10K. While I still listened to music and tracked my pace with Nike+, I was able to soak in the people, the architecture, the water, the trail, the smell, the sun, the pillars, the picnics, the fountains.

I seriously need to kick my own ass out of the office building at 5 p.m. The gym will be convenient once it gets colder out, but I really need to take advantage of what’s left of the summer weather so I can actually train for my upcoming half-marathon and focus on one thing at a time.


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