Saturday morning Mr JCR is up piu presto to go cycling and I snuggle down in the duvet, playing the usual mind games about when exactly would be a good time to run. Definitely after a mug of tea, and certainly not before I’ve skim-read The Times.
Catching up on the Health Unlocked Forum I see a fellow C25K graduate from last summer, is extolling the virtues of running naked. He lives in Czech Republic and shares similar weather to us in Italy. When I was suffering in Lucifer so was he. He has re-started the programme again and was reflecting on how last year he could run up this certain lane and now he is struggling to do so, but knows in time he will conquer it once more. I think the rule of thumb is that after 2 weeks rest, your fitness deteriorates, so it’s always tough re-starting after a break, and I take my hat off to him for giving it a go.
Having been a major player in the creation of playlists with me last year, I was interested to read that he now advocates running ‘naked’ and found it better than having music or podcasts to listen to. He found he was much more able to time his runs and get his pacing right. Okay, if it’s good enough for him, then I’ll give it a go too.
After the usual morning prevarication, I set off out for a short 5/6km run along the country lanes, totally naked. And I felt totally naked too. First of all without the music to listen to, I realise I am a serial counter of my steps. Except I do get distracted and then forget how many steps I’ve done, so the counting is punctuated by swear words. This must be one of the most bizarre things anyone could witness, a woman counting to herself occasionally stopping to say a swear word. I didn’t know I was a ‘counter’, because I’ve always run to music – oh and Mr Smooth giving me instructions.
I took the usual route up Mill Lane, to Lovers’ Lane and back again. I was early enough to see Anouska and Albino, but they were nowhere to be seen. Down the Hill that Kills, still quiet except for the incessant counting, and the Map My Run mechanical voice woman telling me my latest kilometre readings. Down onto the Slope of Hope and along the bendy, scary road towards Laundry Lane. At this point I hadn’t seen a soul, no dogs, no people, no lorries – nothing. I passed through Laundry Lane still counting and then saw signs of human life, but they didn’t see me huffing and puffing along. What was interesting is that clearly the music for me is a distraction from the job of running. Every km seemed to be a chore, and yet today was my ‘easy’ run. At 5km, having wimped out of climbing an incline, I realised I just wasn’t in the mood to continue and finished the run at 5.3km.
Now I am not so sure, is running naked a problem for me, or was it that I just wasn’t in the right state of mind to do the run? It is a coincidence that I saw no-one on the run, except for the back of some folk, who didn’t see me – when usually I see quite a few people and that gives me both impetus and interest to continue running.
I pressed ‘finish run’ and was delighted when Kate Bush came on singing ‘Cloudbusting’, as the sun was just starting to peek out of the clouds. Next run is back to my playlists, just in case no music = no running and that wouldn’t do at all.
Nothing, just Kate Bush at the end, although maybe this song would work if I changed the lyrics to ‘Take me running, naked in the lanes’
Average Pace 7:05
Elevation Gain 38metres
Steps – no idea kept losing count!
Kms Done 783.76
Kms To Do 1234.24