Now that I have your attention, this post isn’t really about running buck naked with 1,500 of your closest friends down a street in residential USA. ?? Frankly, I’m really not sure if I want to run naked with my friends or anyone for that matter. There are flopping, wobbly bits, chafing and potentially sensitive parts that shouldn’t be exposed to the sun to worry about.
Running Naked is a term a lot of runners use to signify running without technology (gasp). There are actually people out there in the world who run… well, just because they like it. They are obviously not the kind of people who read this blog because our motto is “Running is Stupid.” ??I tried running without all technology… once. And I truly felt naked and sort of unsettled.
We are so into our Garmins, iTunes, cell phones (got to get that mile 10 selfie), GymBosses or TomToms that we sometimes do forget to enjoy the ride. ??Let’s face it, for most of us, if a run isn’t recorded someplace in the ‘cloud’ or on a watch, then technically the run didn’t happen. ??We feel we need to analyze and record every step of every run and download it onto Facebook so our friends and family can all comment on how awesome we did (you know who you all are). And there are others whose sole motivation to run is to get more miles than the other people on your Nike+ app (raise your hand people).
Some of us run on nature trails with ponds and wildlife all around us but we are so involved in the latest podcast that unless a bull moose blocks our path, we have no concept that he exists. There are others who run along vast beaches with fabulous sunrises or sunsets, but we are so focused on keeping up cadence rates and stride lengths that we never get to experience the beauty that is just to our left or right. ??And??then there are??those of you??who consistently run past seemingly dead and??rotting things.?? I’m??not really sure what they are thinking in taking that route??over and over, personally I’d prefer the distraction if I were them!
A couple of years ago I was running on vacation and ran the same three-mile course for three or four days before I noticed the goats in the vacant lot. ??I always had a watch on making sure I kept up my pace and of course my headphones in blasting a rocking tune from Grease. ??One morning I was stopped at the cross walk (Garmin paused) waiting for traffic to stop and one ear bud was out,??I suddenly heard something in the vacant lot move??the overgrowth.?? I jumped and screamed like, well, a girl only to turned to see two goats chomping away like it was their job. ??Actually it was their job! ??Apparently they had been there all week but I was too involved in my technology to ever notice.
During this most recent training cycle I have started running naked (without my iPod) and I’ve actually come to enjoy it. ??I live in the country and (who knew?) we have cows, horses, turkeys and more goats just up the street from my house. I’ve always been so focused on music and other noise in my ears that I’ve missed all of this in the past. ??Now don’t get me wrong, I still fully believe that if a run isn’t recorded on my watch that it technically never happened. ??And I still have a phone in case I get lost, hurt or bored my long runs. ??But I’ve now become so accustomed to not wearing headphones that I don’t even wear them for races. ??It’s kind of nice to be able to hear people cheering you on or to be able to encourage people on the course.
So fellow Shenaniganers, I challenge you to find a beautiful running spot and go running naked without headphones, and just with your thoughts and your feet. ?? Let me know in the comments how you did.