Interesting piece on the new generation of runners that can't seem to be able to run without tracking anymore... Hey, I'm guilty... ish. I've been running a long time, and for many years I used an offline digital watch (see, kids, once upon a time people wore those devices on their wrists to help them tell time and also the date - impressive, huh?) to track my runs. When I stopped doing this at some point for reasons that I now cannot recall, I was unable to stop at a red light without reaching for my wrist - even though there were no watch on said wrist.
Didn't make me feel particularly accomplished. But I kept running, untracked, for some time. Just because I enjoy running, and wasn't trying to reach any kind of fitness goal except enjoy running.
Then one day I got RunKeeper, and started tracking my runs again. Sure enough, my pace improved. A lot. Because when you track yourself, you run faster, even if nobody sees your stats. At least, I do.
Then sometime last year I decided to stop tracking my runs again and just enjoy running. And I think (???) I'm going to stay there awhile. Especially now that I've cranked up my martial arts training considerably. Running is for loosening up in the morning, keeping my dog in shape, and spending quality time with my eldest in the quiet morning. Mayyyyyybe one day I'll try to run a marathon, and then I'll need to start tracking again. But for now, my running is just for fun. Every now and again I take ye olde app along, just to help me measure a new run. I also take my phone and app when I jog in unknown areas (such as when I'm on the road), for security purposes. Knowing I can be tracked if something goes wrong in a neighbourhood I don't know is mildly reassuring, if a touch morbid. But otherwise, I just run for the fun of it.
But then, I also don't take selfies. So maybe I'm just an old stick in the mud. Well, so be it. At least I'm a less anxious stick.