Simplifying Things

At the end of my post Becoming a Barbarian Again, I described that I would be writing about how I am simplifying my life as a part of moving forward. I have looked at what I want to accomplish and the things that I need for me to be happy versus how complicated I have let things get in my life. This post focuses on running related stuff, but I am doing other things as well that might be or are even more important.

Online

Blogging – It started with creating A Runnah’s Story and retiring A Veteran Runnah – there was too much water under the bridge with AVR to keep it as a personal blog. I am more comfortable now, my writing feels more personal, less “forced” and I am not filtering everything I write from how others will see it, but how I want to write it – which is what a blog should be in my opinion – my thoughts.

Computer – I have gone through and gotten rid of all the extra browsers and kept two, cleaned out other programs that I will never use and chose the Office suite/operating system that I am going to use for a while. I am going to put my MacBook Pro up for sale, get rid of my Chromebook carcass and learn how to use the Kindle Fire that my wife doesn’t like very much and I have inherited.

Something I am thinking about doing is going to a single email account versus the 3 special use and 2 primary ones that I am using now. This is a major decision, not one to take lightly and one that I will put off until the dust settles a little more before making it. For now everything is being forwarded to one account.

If I do this it means that I will be choosing a particular technology silo, since the major computer tech companies do not play well together.

Social Media – I kept Twitter, Facebook and Google+ as ways to stay connected to the online running community and friends/family, but at the same time I am not going to worry if I miss things either. If it is that important someone will contact me and tell me what is going on. I will be going through and deleting most of my other online accounts and I am going to delete the old AVR blog pages in Facebook and Google + within the next week – I just do not need them.

I changed my Twitter handle to @ARunnah, for the same reasons that I retired A Veteran Runnah, there were too many connections to social media marketing and I want Twitter to be something personal again. Also I will be going through my followers, friends and circles and do some housekeeping – looking at the quality of the conversations over the quantity.

Smart Phone – This is the one thing that I am/have changed the most. I have either deleted or de-activated (logged out of those I can’t delete) most of the social media apps and browsers that I had used and turned off almost all the notifications from my apps. I have even been seriously thinking about getting rid of my eMail apps too, just because there is nothing that important now, that cannot wait until I get back to my laptop. If someone really needs to get a hold of me immediately – well they can call me.

Imagine that, actually speaking with someone on your phone.

Yes, I love all the other functions that a smart phone can do in place of a camera, video camera, book, music player, recorder, etc., but I do not really need it to be my computer too or even a social media connection device – I have a laptop for that purpose.

Running

Training – The biggest thing I am doing differently is not worrying about running longer distances for now.

I am focusing on running the 5K for the rest of this year. Sometimes I think we get too caught up in the idea and worry that we “have” to run a half or full marathon to be seen as “real” runners, with all the focus on those distances in the media. I don’t agree with that philosophy and just running longer distances or more mileage does not make someone more of a runner.

GPS Device – Decreasing my reliance on my Garmin. Do I really need to stop and look down at my wrist for 2-10 minutes before a run every time? I do not need to know my splits/pace for every mile, the distance down to the nearest hundredth or all the other data points that a GPS device, gives you for routine runs? If I am doing a run where I don’t know the distance or doing a specific workout like a tempo run, then I will use my Garmin, otherwise I will just use my Timex watch.

Running Log – I am going to use my Spreadsheet and blog as my primary running logs. I will continue to use Garmin Connect for those times when I use my Garmin, so I can add the data to my blog post. Other online running log accounts are going to be deleted, I don’t need more than those.

It comes down to a how I felt after a quick conversation on Twitter this morning.

There are too many times that tech gets in the way of the magic of running for me and I want to re-capture the magic.

The reality is that

Sometimes you have to get off your ass and actually do the work and not worry about all those data points that technology allows you to collect so easily.

I am turning in my techno geek running card.

Instead of looking for reason or ways to use more technology, to complicate my life or running. I am going to reduce the noise that having too much technology artificially added on brings.

I will continue to use technology that is useful to what I am doing, but not just to add it in for the sake of saying that I am using tech.

This is from a guy that loves tech, been involved in tech most of his life, but also knows that tech is not the answer to everything.

It seems that a lot of my simplifying my running and life includes decreasing the amount of data and technology, that I need or use.

I guess that I am not a digital native :-).

8 thoughts on “Simplifying Things

  1. So … what are you using as your computer? You’re not going to try to blog, etc from the Kindle Fire, are you? THAT would be a challenge! I had bought the Fire HD, sold it after getting the iPad Mini, then recently bought one again (they had an awesome deal). I love it, but mainly use it for reading and watching movies.

    Also thanks for noting your Twitter handle change (I probably missed it before) – now I can stalk you there (I am @txa1265, not terribly active)!

    And ultimate the joy of running is what matters! I remember my wife was totally into scrapbooking several years ago as a hobby, then a friend who was selling supplies got her involved with that end of things … and suddenly it became a business and the joy disappeared. She finally can enjoy scrapbooking again, but not as much as before and it took time. It is a story I hear again and again – be careful of making a business out of your passion!

    1. Mike – I am using a 15″ Sony Vaio PC as my primary computer, the Kindle is just something to consume media, not create, I can’t imagine creating much with it even if I added a keyboard :-).

      I agree with your last paragraph, be careful of making a business out of your passion, because it no longer remains a passion, but part of your job and the joy you feel when doing it comes from a different perspective, which for some it is even better and for others the reasons become more cynical and the joy goes away. Unfortunately, I fell in the latter category.

      However, I am back to loving what I am doing, much more relaxed and smiling so much more.

      1. Ah – for some reason I thought you had gotten rid of the Sony when you got the Chromebook. I recently picked up a Chromebook, and am seeing if I can make that work for most of my stuff. I still need my Mac for music stuff and PC for gaming, but those systems are beasts.

        Glad you are back to enjoying things and that this move allowed for that – I know some bloggers / writers who got burned out and just stopped.

      2. No – I got the Sony when I face-planted the Chromebook into the fireplace :-). Now to get rid of the MacBook Pro and carcass of the Chromebook. I liked the Chromebook, but felt limited to what I could do with it at times. Great experience using it and will be interested to see where they are with it 2 years from now. No, I have been using Windows since 1.0 and just feel comfortable there. Win8 is just a different shell, the guts that I have always used are there and it is familiar.

        It is nice to just relax when I write now and not worry about who I am writing for. I enjoy the writing too much and even if not too many read this blog, I plan to just keep plugging away and having fun here.

      3. Ah – I had it backwards …

        I am finding the CHromebook interesting as someone who has had both Mac & PC for more than 30 years (I still have my HP Omnibook 300 laptop from 1993 … runs on 4 AA batteries and is just awesome still!). I have loved watching the progression of technology, but really want to minimize more and more (says the guy with 4 laptops, 3 tablets and 2 phones in regular use … )

        Being a late comer I don’t see a huge change, but here is the thing – I think that what drew me to follow your site is exactly what drove you to switch away to this blog!

      4. Yeah, I am simplifying things quite a bit and actually feeling a lot better about doing it. I finally realized that I don’t need nearly as much “stuffage” as I used to think was necessary. Now to get to all the yard work that I put off, while “working” 😉

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