Last Long Run Before my Next Half Marathon, Running Au Naturel

Lest you were thinking something else by the title, I won’t disappoint you. I don’t mean sans clothing by au naturel. Let me explain.

When I headed out the door to go on my last scheduled long run from my training plan, before I even started running I found out there was something wrong with either my earbuds or my podcast app (or my phone). It sounded like there was a short in my headphones, so after a few minutes of trying various things, I just stashed the earbuds in my running belt and started my run.

Even though I always run my long runs listening to podcasts (but no other runs during the week), I thought it would be fine to not listen to anything except for the sounds of nature around me. Then maybe a mile and a half into my run, my running watch died. Yes, I usually check my battery and storage on my watch the night before I run, but for whatever reason I must not have this time.

I swear this road seemed a lot hillier when I was running up it than it looks here!

OK, I thought. I’ll just go the route I normally run for long runs. I know pretty much where each mile point is. But then I thought, no, I’ll do something a little differently. I’ll just go by time. I still had my phone with me in my armband, so I figured I’d just pull it out every so often and check how long I had been running.

Since the following weekend I would be running in a half marathon in a place I’ve never even done anything other than drive by in a car, I thought it might be good for me to run a route I don’t normally run for this last long run before the race. So, I was without my GPS running watch and without anything to listen to on my phone, hence “au naturel.” I was running the way people used to run, before watches with GPS and before people ran listening to podcasts or music.

I learned a couple of things along the way, too. 1). I learned that time seemed to go by slower than I estimated. I would think to myself, surely ten minutes has passed by now and check the time on my phone, only to find out it had only been 6 or maybe 7 minutes. It made me wonder if maybe I should run listening to music or podcasts during races. Normally I don’t listen to anything during races, but maybe it would make the time go by faster. 2). It’s a pain in the butt to keep pulling out your phone and putting it back into an armband. I don’t know how people stand to do that when they’re running. Maybe you get used to it over time, or maybe they have different armbands than I do.

So now with only a couple of days before my next half marathon, I’m left wondering how I’ll do since I wasn’t able to see my pace for my last run. I did have a fairly decent 12 mile run the weekend before this one. Based on that, I should finish somewhere around 2:05 or so, but who knows. The biggest factor for me is going to be how hilly the course is and how cold it is. Lately I’ve been dealing with some sort of sinus problems I can’t get under control and I’ve been coughing a lot as a result. Cold weather always aggravates any sinus issues I have. I’m pretty sure it’s just allergies so in theory I should feel at least partially better at the race since it’ll be in another state. I guess I’ll find out. Wish me luck for state number 41 in West Virginia!

If you don’t follow me on Insta @runningtotraveltheworld, you probably don’t know I got a puppy! She and my other dog are BFFs!

Also, if you follow this link, you can get $4 off any Nuun 4-pack on Amazon through 11/13/17:  Amazon link for Nuun

Happy running!




Author: runningtotravel

I'm a long distance runner with a goal of running a half marathon in all 50 states in the US. I also love to travel so I travel to other places when I'm not running races. Half the fun is planning where I'm going to go next!

18 thoughts on “Last Long Run Before my Next Half Marathon, Running Au Naturel”

  1. Good luck in West Virginia! I hope your sinus problem goes away.

    I used to run with music, but I slowly weaned myself off it. No real particular reason (it certainly wasn’t to become more attuned to my surroundings), but it’s nice because it’s one less thing I need to worry about. I do run with music when I’m on the treadmill. I really need it then because treadmill runs are so mentally taxing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally run races with podcasts and music! I’ve got wireless headphones so i can easily turn it off when i want to engage with the crowd or just take in the surroundings, but i need the pods and tunes for long distances for sure!! No shame in that one for me, lol, although i see more and more posts lately about how natural is better. To each their own, right?

    Enjoy this weekend lady, and good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m most likely going to get wireless headphones for my next pair. I need to join the hordes of runners who already have them and now is the perfect opportunity. You enjoy this weekend too! I can’t wait to read your race recap!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just a thought — do some reading on mindfulness. I am told it is the latest fad among corporate types, but I looked into it for reasons other than those usually given. It has helped. And now I practice it while walking; were I still running, I am sure I would practice it running.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have always wanted to go completely naked (you know what I mean!) on a long run, but I suffer from extreme “if it’s not on strava it doesn’t count”. Did you find it freeing not looking at your pace etc and just running?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d say it was different but not necessarily freeing. I’m not sure I would want to run like that all the time but every now and again it’s nice to just be out there running in nature with no electronics to distract you. I know what you mean about strava, though!

      Liked by 1 person

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