Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Do You Ever Run Naked?

Dogs run naked in every sense of the word.  Or maybe I just used a picture of a cute dog to try to entice you to read my blog.  It worked?  Good.

By naked I mean free of technology, of course

I often wonder if I am starting to become too dependent on technology.  Dare I say addicted?  The other day I looked at all the gadgets charging on the counter, fighting for outlet space.

I asked my husband, "When did technology take over our lives?"
He responded, "It happened a long time ago, we are just now noticing."

Looking at the iPhones, the iPad, the Kindle Fire, the iPod, the laptop, the netbook, and the GPS watches (yes, plural) all tangled up on the counter, I became instantly aware that we have certainly lost control. I don't even want to talk about my addiction to casual interest in social media.

Last week-end, in the middle of my final training run before the San Antonio Rock 'n Roll half, my GPS watch battery died.  I was surprised by the sense of relief that I felt.  I knew my 12 mile route so I didn't need the GPS to mark the distance.  The freedom came in not knowing my pace.  Ignorance is bliss.  I just ran a speed that felt comfortable (or slower than comfortable), and I didn't feel any pressure to maintain a certain pace.  It was incredibly freeing.

This got me thinking.  What if I ran my next race naked, without GPS or music?  

Since I haven't been training for this race like I should have been, I have made peace with the fact that I will not achieve a new PR.  My only goal is to run it slow enough that I can run the entire distance without walking.  I want to run by how I feel, not by the numbers.

I can't even tell you how many times I have said that I was going to take it easy at a race but once I got there, all hopped up on adrenaline and caffeine, I suddenly changed my mind.  A prime example is my experience at the Huntington Beach Surf City Half Marathon. I ran the first half entirely too fast for the distance and ended up practically limping across the finish line in mental and physical misery.  I call it Crazy Brain.  It takes over in the early part of the race when my GPS is flaunting a 7:45 pace and I am feeling fantastic.  I start to imagine that I can maintain this unrealistic pace for the whole 13.1 miles.  I recalculate my new finish time.  I am throwing a PR party for myself in my head.  I pass the pacer and skip the water stops, "Look at all those suckers, losing time sipping on water!"  I go completely insane for about 8 or 9 miles until my body finally says no.  Then it all falls apart and I pay the consequences.  I think if I race without my GPS watch, it might help keep Crazy Brain at bay so that I can focus on running comfortably, instead of maintaining a crazy pace.

The race course will have mile markers, that would keep me mentally on track as far as the distance goes, and the clock at the end would give me a pretty good estimate of finish time.  I really think I can do this without my GPS watch, but could I do this without music?

The truth is, I only listen to music on long runs.  I usually hit the pavement for shorter runs with my just my thoughts.  I thoroughly enjoy this quiet time with me. It is a rare quiet time away from all that technology.

I think music goes a long way in motivating me on long runs, which is why I always race with music.  The upbeat tempos on my music playlist sometimes give me a boost of energy.  Sometimes I sing along (in my head, I am not really a crazy person) to help pass the time.  Sometimes I feel like the song lyrics are speaking to me directly, motivating me to run.

On the other hand, sometimes music gets in the way of my thoughts.  If I am trying to concentrate, I often get distracted and can't think clearly through the loud music.  Sometimes I want to dedicate a mile I am running to someone that I love or miss, but the music will get in the way and I will lose focus.

Could I do 13.1 without music or GPS? I've never done it before.

Maybe this race, the one I really didn't train for, when I don't have any expectations of a PR, would be the perfect race to experiment.

Do you think technology can sometimes be a detriment?

Do you run naked?  Have you ever raced naked?

I'm scared to hit publish on this post, because it will mean that I am committing to leaving my security blankets technology at home and running this one naked. 

Keep Running,


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photo credit: fanz via photopin cc


  1. #DoIt seriously. Love this post.

  2. Love the post and I totally think you could run the race no gps and no music. I don't have a gps yet because I know I will get to focused on pace and numbers etc and lose the fun of it. Music depends on my mood and if I am stuck on the treadmill at home music is a must. Can't wait to hear what you decide and how the race goes.

  3. Great post, and yes, I usually do the short runs "naked", especially if I'm not training for a specific race. Like yourself, I like to have music or someone along for the long ones or else my mind gets the better of me when the going gets tough. With saying that, I think I would run a race "naked" if I wasn't interested in my finishing time. At the moment though, my Garmin is my running BFF. LOL

  4. I've definitely run and raced naked - or at least partly. I never run w/ music, though I always seem to find a song that loops over and over again in my head.

    I bought a Garmin finally in April of this year, so had it for Boston '12 - which helped me ensure I kept it slow during the 90 degree temperatures. This past weekend, my Garmin died at just shy 10 hours and 44 miles of my 50 mile trail race. All I could think at the time was, "Good riddance!!!"

    1. Ha! It never even occurred to me to watch your pace to make sure I am going slow enough! I never said I wasn't a dummy! :) I enjoyed your race recap! Congrats on your achievement!


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