Running With No Watch = A Win

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.

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?