Look Ma, No Watch!

Next Saturday is the Cannonball Half Marathon. I'm toying with the idea of running the race without a watch.

I'll pause a moment to let the gravity of that last comment sink in.

Think about it. It's me. Anal-retentive running girl. No watch means not knowing my pace per mile. Am I going too fast and blowing my race? Am I running too slow and need to pick it up? Am I really considering running 13.1 miles as fast as I can based solely on how I feel? What sort of cockamamie-hippie-communist crap is that? 

I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it. 

I've got a few things working in my favor. One, I didn't train very hard this summer so, watch or no watch, I don't expect to go out there and kill it. If I was really trying to hit a time, I'd wear a watch. Two, not wearing a watch gives me a built-in excuse if I do terrible on the run. "Oh, you see it wasn't really MY fault. I wasn't wearing a watch and I misjudged my pace by, like, 2 minutes per mile. Oopsie!" And finally, I've had a couple of runs lately where I haven't looked at my watch until well into my run and I've surprised myself with my pace. 

That last part is what I'm hoping will happen at Cannonball. I ran a quick 6 miles when I was in Chicago. As I was running, I guessed I was around an 8:30 pace. When I looked at my watch at mile 4, I was at an 8:02. If you told me I had to go out and run an 8:02, I'd be exhausted. When I just ran and didn't worry about it, I felt great. 

Of course there's always the danger of feeling so good at the start that I go out too fast and ruin the latter part of the run, but I'm willing to chance it. I've heard a number of runners say that they ran some of their best times on days they forgot or didn't wear their watches. 

For this half-marathon, anything under one hour and fifty minutes is a win. A 1:45 would be incredible and if I run under 1:45, I will never wear a watch again. 

How 'bout it runners? Any of you ever run a race without a watch? What were the results?