Run Naked: Why itís Okay to Strip it Off

By: Rachel Gibson

Wait, were you expecting this to be about a jog done completely in the nude?

As inspirational as Will Ferrell can be while streaking through the quad, I was thinking more along the lines of the wrist-ready equipment and tools that are accessible to runners these days. The ability to keep track of your mileage, your pace, and even your progress is a fantastic ability that we, in this day and age, are fortunate to have, but have we allowed these devices to rule our runs?

The Garmin Forerunner

*The Garmin Forerunner 910XT...drool....*

From the inception of the most basic stopwatch to the newest streamlined GPS (the new Nike model looks sleek!), it seems like users get quite attached to these gadgets very quickly.  And why wouldn't we? 

They show progress, the reward of every person who puts in effort to reach goals.  They allow us the freedom to change up routes, to challenge others via online communities and to keep track of splits during races that may not have the budgets to post clocks every mile.

Technology is fantastic! 

So fantastic, in fact, that many people feel bare without the comfort of their Garmin Forerunner 910XT wrapped snugly around their wrists each and every time they hit the pavement.  But how often do we focus on only the beeps of pace reminders instead of the scenery, the sounds of the environment around us, and the simple joy of the run?


I'm not advocating that you throw your Garmin in the trash (in fact, if you decide it is no longer needed, I will gladly supply you with my mailing address). However, I do want to remind everyone out there (myself very much included!) that it's nice every once in a while to run with no one keeping track of your time or your mileage. Just get out there to run for the sheer happiness of it, however long or fast it may be.

It's been 17 marathons for me and I still don't own a GPS (not because I'm against it... it's just that my bank account sure is).  I'm happy enough to have online tools to map routes in order to run my mileage. 

And, get this, for my last marathon, one I knew would have nothing more than sticks in the ground depicting mile markers and a clock at the halfway point, I didn't even wear a watch.  Not at all. 

I had no clue how fast I was running, I wasn't looking down to 'make sure' of anything. I was just giving it my all, enjoying the scenery…and getting a 6 minute PR to boot! It felt great to know that, for that race anyway, it was just me out there, stripped of the weight of the watch, running naked to my heart's content. 

 A PR at the Marshall University Marathon, without a GPS watch

*A 6-minute PR at the Marshall University marathon.  Notice the nakedness of my wrists.  Scandalous!*

Are you a naked runner (whoa there... fully clothed, just sans watch)? Let me know! 

For more immature running blather, follow me on Twitter: @nomad_runner!

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