Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Ohhhh yeah...THAT got your attention, didn't it??? Haha.
This past weekend, I was privileged to speak with one of SparkPeople's GREATS in the sport of running - ABSOLUTZER0. I am not gonna lie - one hour on the phone with this guy is probably the equivalent of several books' worth of race prep/running knowledge! What a great gift he gave me! We just geeked out about running and had a wonderful time doing it.
One of the subjects we talked about was "naked running", which is running without music or a Garmin or any other type of gadgetry. Runners vary in their preferences...some absolutely rely on an mp3 player and others don't.
ABSOLUTZER0 is a purist, if you will. He runs to the sound of his own heartbeat and his feet on the pavement - for a couple reasons. First, he enjoys interacting with people - other runners on the course and also the crowd. Second, without music to distract him or drown everything out, he is better able to focus on his body's cues and what is going on inside him and around him while he runs.
In light of a blog I recently read where WONDERWOMAN shared that she went to turn on her ipod at the Green Bay Cellcom Half Marathon this weekend and found that it was dead, I decided to give this naked running a try this morning. Call it a beginning runner's experiment.
Frankly, I LOOOOVE my music. I have determined that I don't necessarily use the beat of my music to pace my run...my pace stays pretty steady...but it does keep me moving and awake and helps me break the run up a bit. So, I really wondered if this would be awful. However, I refused to allow negative self-talk in and to be open-minded and give it everything I had.
The run started off well, but I will admit...I was tired today. My body was just worn out. So, I knew that would affect my overall performance. I had a decent interval at the start of the run, but walked most of the first half after that.
In addition, I had a pretty off day nutritionally yesterday. I definitely learned this morning that it is NOT good for me, personally, to try to run the day after I have had almost no vegetables. I didn't eat crap or anything...I mean, it was just all protein and complex carbs. Still stayed in my calorie range...but no leafy greens. What a lesson!!!
Oh, friends...let's just say this. There is one thing that I said I will NEVER EVER do...but this morning, I had to submit to the fact that I will need to handle this issue as I delve into longer runs. The dreaded and disgusting...port o potty. So disturbing for me! Halway through my run, I faced this fear. And, as any good runner knows, it's best to get these things out of the way during training and not have the first experience with it be during a real race. This is unpleasant, but it is the nature of our sport. At some point, we'll have to visit this dark chamber of putrid death.
I'm pretty sure I gagged for a quarter of a mile after that. BUT...any sadness I felt at a loss of music was FAR outweighed by my joy of running in the fresh, summer morning air.
In all seriousness, this naked running was not a terrible experience at all. I definitely did learn about my breathing patterns, which was interesting. And there were plenty of great sounds from nature itself to keep me entertained the entire 3 miles. I mean...have you heard these BIRDS??? They rock!
Final verdict: I'll probably stick with my tunes and my interval timer, because they give me pleasure but I've also decided to work some naked runs into my training schedule at regular intervals - if only to know how my body feels to not rely on interval times and Lady Gaga at varying distances. I feel versatility in training is important, because you just never know what's going to go down on race day.
On a side note, I had mentioned previously that there was a smiling lady about my age that I keep passing every time I run. We have that little "runners' connection" and are always happy to see each other...although we are always running in opposite directions and we've never met. This morning, before I left the house, I penned a quick note:
I don't know your story, but you should know that you're beautiful!
And I'm proud of you for running!
[Insert Leah contact info here]"
Well, as usual, we passed around the same spot that we always do and she said, "Good morning!" And I could actually hear her today because I didn't have my earbuds in! I proclaimed, "I have a note for you!" and passed it to her.
On the way back, we passed again and she introduced herself. Sarah. Yay! A new running friend!!! She said she usually runs alone, but if I wanted to run with her, we could go together sometime.
Which brings me to a future blog:
A Beginning Runner's Experiment: Running With A Partner.
Stay tuned, folks!!!