Last week I blogged about my plan to run Cannonball's half-marathon sans watch. I ran the race this morning and am happy to report the experiment was a success. I logged a PR of 1:46:47 and felt great the entire most of the way.
I didn't really have a plan. I maybe went out a little faster than I needed to but when I caught myself doing some speed work around mile 3, I reeled it in. (Mental lecture: "I'm glad you feel invincible but it's only mile three, lame brain. Conserve.") After that, when I felt good, I ran fast. When I was tired, I slowed down. I even walked once or twice. And contrary to the mental freak-out I thought might occur, I luh-uh--uved not knowing my pace. Since I didn't know, it didn't matter. Fast, slow... whatever. I was just out there running.
Now, in all fairness, the course is an out and back which means you get to see where people are on the field. I knew I was behind the people I was supposed to be behind and ahead of the people I expected to be ahead of, so I did have some idea that I was on target. I also felt like I was running a decent pace, but I knew I wasn't killing myself. I was thrilled when I came up the final hill (curses on Scott Bassett, race director, and his uphill finishes) and saw the clock read 1:47:something. I had my girls there, cheering me on... it was a great finish!
Will I run without a watch from now on? Not always, but more often, yes. Once marathon training begins, it's important to run on pace for tempo and long runs. But until then, I may show up for some long runs with a naked wrist.
p.s. Many thanks to fellow Blueliner Stan who did NOT follow through on his threat to run behind me the entire race and shout out split times.