I need to apologise to anyone who has stumbled across this page while, well, looking for something a bit niche. There is no actual nudity in this post. There aren't even any pictures, because I'm in an essaying mood. In fact, for the whole of this run I was extremely wrapped up against the elements, jacket and everything. Sorry to disappoint. No, this is a post about running free of tech - no watch, no GPS, no iPod, on wires in the way, nothing to check except how your body feels and moves.
Last Wednesday night I didn't plan on running naked, I was forced to because I left my watch on my desk. In retrospect I think it was one of the best ideas I have had recently - I never knew that leaving tech behind would teach me so much.
I am a competitive person, I want to do the best I can and see an improvement in every run, development and progress mean a lot to me. While in some respects this drive is a great thin, in others it can be destructive. I have been known to hold myself to impossibly high standards and can find myself a churned up mess when I fail my own expectations.
When you are limited to running 5k at a time it is inevitable that any expectations you have will be all about time. You just want to push that little bit faster, just to see a teeny improvement, to feel like it was worth getting your ass off the sofa. Unfortunately, all of this can mean I end up pushing myself just that little harder than I should. Given that I don't want any more injuries, this isn't the smartest move.
Forgetting my watch turned out to be the solution. Don't get me wrong, I am still gagging to know how long my (mostly) uphill 5k took me, but because I don't have a time I can't hold myself to anything. I know I worked hard, that my bum hurt, that I could barely say a couple of words. The experience made me realise that the time it takes to do a training run doesn't matter all the time, it is putting in the effort that counts.
Normally on a run I will check my watch every few minutes, seeing how far I have gone, working out my pace, thinking about how far there is to go if it is a bad day. I couldn't do any of that, and it gave me so much freedom. I found I enjoyed the process of running so much more, I could focus on my form, I could clear my head, I could earmark cafes along the route to go back to...I owned that run, time didn't own me. It was pretty awesome.
Taking time out of the equation have helped take the edge off of recovery, I'm not holding myself to previous performance, I'm focusing on moving forwards.
Have you run naked? How did you find it?