13 Feb 2013


Running Naked into First Place!

On the weekend I ran my first ever race as a member of the local Warrnambool Athletics Club!
I've been meaning to join the club for a few years but it wasn't until recently, with all the interaction I've had with the online running community, that I realised how much I could enjoy such a surrounding. Yes, that's right Kate, social media is good for my running!
Warrnambool Beach baby! (source: dantaylor @ flickr)

So I fronted up for the 6km race which started on the beautiful Warrnambool Beach (be jealous my American friends, Winter sucks! ahahaha!) - a nominated handicap race - which means you actually state the time you plan to run and the winner is the person who finishes closest to their nominated time!

Simplest rule was that you couldn't have anything that could be used for timing (watches, mp3 players, phones, metronomes, police helicopters etc). OH MY GOD, RUN NAKED? I'm pretty sure this idea of not having your splits, heart rate, and mp3 playlist all recorded in detail would surely panic quite a few of my blogging and twitter friends :P Yes I mean you @PaulRunsLong and @MummyLovesToRun!

Since it was my long-run day, yet I still wanted to be competitive at the race, I decided I'd aim for a medium effort/pace, did some basic calculations, and plugged my time in at the registration desk as 31 minutes.

Being the slack bugger that I am, I was actually late to the race so I had to run from the registration desk to the start line. Just as I got to the start area I heard the starter yell GO so I just kept running!

I settled into my rhythm within 500m and just held an even effort of around 75-80% and trusted my internal pacing. I resisted the urge to race, to catch up, pass, or defend my place. I ran, I said hi to people, I looked out to the beautiful ocean views I have basically at my front door, I breathed and I turned the legs over just like clockwork. It was lovely and refreshing to get out and just run!

Low and behold, as I crossed the finish line and the race director made a wise-crack about the fact 6km wasn't a long enough challenge for me (he was right, I was planning 26 for the day!), I asked what time he had, to which he responded 31:01 !!

I was absolutely shocked, elated even! I thought I was 20-40 seconds off pace, but nope I was right on!
Fishtails 6km Handicap Results

Turns out I got first place and by my official results, I ran exactly 31 minutes!

Apparently there were whispers afterwards that some people believed I had some sort of timing device (I'm flattered, really) - nope, all my timing stuff was waiting patiently for me in my car!
So I collected my $50 prize money, went back to my car, put on my Garmin, HR monitor, SPIbelt, slotted my mobile phone into the SPIbelt pocket, and popped my $5 headphones into position. Off for a 20km long run, with a MASSIVE grin on my face all the way!


So do you run naked or are you a technorunner?
How do you gauge your effort or pace when you run?