Run Naked & My First Trail Run

I have a very different outlook on running since I have started training for the JFK 50. I know I am only on day 3, but I am confident that my running is going to change.

Let's take yesterday's run as an example. I decided that I was going to run naked. Well...I still wore clothing, but I ran without my watch.

I knew how far my route was, but I thought that knowing my speed was pointless.

For me, training for an ultra is not about speed. Finishing is the priority. That means letting my body intuitively run. It will ultimately decide how fast or how slow I need to go to finish the distance I set out for. I feel that a watch will only exhaust me if I try to maintain a specific pace. I already know that my times are going to be completely off from what I am used to.

I also ran without my iPod. I declared earlier this week that I will now be iPod-less through my training. The JFK 50 does not allow headphones so I may as well get used to it. In the end, it too is a distraction from listening to my body just like the watch.

I did pretty well without the technology. I knew when to slow down and I knew when I could speed up. Based on the clock in my car, I still finished 6 miles in about 50ish minutes. So who needs a watch!?

Now on to my favorite part of this week!

Today, I made my first appearance on the Appalachian Trail. It's official. I lost my trail running virginity!

Peter came with me to embark on this new journey with me. He lost his trail running virginity as well!

Trail running very physical, more so than road running. It also seems like it could cause some mental exhaustion as well since your mind is busy on prepping itself for the peril ahead. It's true when people say that you must keep your gaze to the ground just a few feet in front of you. You don't want to trip or twist an ankle!

I became breathless pretty quickly. Muscles that I never knew I had were waking up for the first time. They had to be prepared if I needed them for a quick step or sudden turn. Still, with trying to be very cautious, I still managed to roll on ankles every now and then. Nothing crazy, but for an inexperienced trail runner, I am sure that this is unavoidable. You learn by doing!

It may sound like it was difficult out there and I am not saying that it wasn't, but it was also really fun! There was not one moment during this adventure that I was not thrilled to be where I was. Peter also surprised me! At one point, he pulled ahead of me and got some distance. He seemed to adapt well. It looked pretty effortless for him.

Anyway, to make a long story short, we ran north on the trail for 25 minutes, then journeyed back to the car. When I later mapped out how far we went, it was only about 3 miles!!! We did do some walking in the more difficult areas or when we were fatigued, but I hope to improve on this number as I become more familiar with trail running.

We are already looking forward to the next time we head out!

Do you run without a watch? What about your iPod?

Do you or have you ever run trail before? How long did it take before you were comfortable with the terrain?

What is your preference: Road or trail?


  1. You're a real runner now. :) I prefer road running because I can zone out better on an even surface. I also usually train with music and some sort of GPS tracker, but I race shorter 5K races (mostly) music free (though I depend on my watch even more during those efforts). I admire the focus and discipline you must have to train with neither!

    1. Thanks, but it isn't easy! After training for a couple of years with these items, it is hard to drop them both. Still, it is a little freeing. :)

      As for ditching your music during a rae...You are so fast in your 5Ks that you could probably only get a couple of songs in anyway. ;-)


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