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Shutting off the noise

Posted by Elizabeth Comeau  July 20, 2013 06:18 PM

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You already know I'm a hyper-connected kind of gal. I have a Fitbit to track my steps (admittedly, it needs to be charged), I tweet, post on facebook and instagram my workouts with the best of them.

Plus, I run with my phone so my RunKeeper app can sync to LoseIt and I can have all sorts of data to look at such as my pace, splits, calories, elevation I ran.... you get the picture. I'm a data nerd. A really well-connected data nerd.

But sometimes it gets to be, well, a lot.

Between the steady beep of tweets, texts, e-mails, alerts, push notifications... there's a lot of noise to my every day life (and that's just the 'net stuff, Sir Toddler is a whole other kind of noise).

So this weekend, I decided my long run was going to be just for me. I was going to shut off all the noise. I warned my training buddy, Mike (you met him last time) that he wouldn't see my long run in RunKeeper (which is where we keep tabs on if the other person is actually training for that marathon in October or just talking about training).

When I got to my favorite path I purposely shut everything off.

I brought my phone with me in case of emergency but didn't turn it on. No music. No mileage count. No tweets or texts. Nothing. Just me for 11 miles.

I've been running this path long enough now that I knew from previous runs just how far I'd gone -- the funky shaped rock just after the bridge marks 5 miles -- and the place where the downed tree just off the side of the trail marks 10. You know you've hit 11 when the route goes from gravel to pavement and then quickly back again.

Without the noise of technology I got back to what I love most about running: The fact that thoughts can marinate around in my head and have some room to breathe. Scraps of ideas turn into full-blown plans, and I get a chance to replay conversations I've had with people -- the kind where something they said sticks in your brain and you don't know why.

Pace didn't matter this weekend, and just because I want to keep track of things I'll likely log that 11 miles in RunKeeper (but I'll do it manually).

This run was less about training for a marathon and more about me.

Go ahead, call me selfish: I call it being able to see clearly.

Staying fit is an important part of staying healthy. This blog will offer exercise tips from experts as well as share the personal journeys of Globe staff members committed to fitness. No matter your age or energy level, we invite you to join in and share your own story. How do you find time to work out? What are your daily challenges? Let us know and read along -- and together, we can all get moving.


Elizabeth Comeau is a social media marketing manager at She will be blogging about her personal fitness journey and using a device called a FitBit to track her weekly goals and progress (see below). Follow her journey and share your own. Read more about Elizabeth and this blog.

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