by Charlene Ragsdale in Stories

Confessions of a Naked Runner

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I love the feeling of the sunshine on my face and the fresh breeze running through my hair.
I love running along the streets as a car passes by and waves at me or gives me that preverbal “thumbs up”.
I love paying attention to nothing but how much freedom I have in the run.
I love running naked. I admit it.

Let me put your imagination back to where it should be – I run naked, not nude.
I run without gadgets. Yes, I am a gadget-free runner and I love it.

I do accept the need for many of the gadgets available to runners. I believe that many serve a great purpose if the runner believes they are in need of them. At this time, I don’t have that need.

Pure economics

When I decided to train for my first Half Marathon (Vegas – this December) – I was astounded to see the cost of the average training and race day equipment. Before my training, I would be sweating if I paid $20 for a pair of tennis shoes… now; I have to buy shoes for over $100? Yikes!

In addition to the shoes, most runners will purchase a runners belt, blackberry’s, hydration bottles, a GPS-system, a heart-rate monitor, an MP3-player, …

When I run, I have a bottle of water/sport drink with me – that’s it.

Although I love music, I was actually enjoying running and enjoying the chatter of the local park, birds singing and people in the park. That became my music.

For example, the other night – I took off on a nightly run (I did have a small flashlight with me, so I would not be caught in the dark). As I turned the corner on mile 2 – what stood before me was an incredible view of the Red Rock Canyons (near Las Vegas, NV). I was awestruck on how beautiful the sun was behind those mountains. Although I have lived in Vegas for a long period of time, I really saw the mountains and twinkling of the first stars. I think I would have missed that moment, if I was grooving out to my latest tunes.

Now, I run in the evenings in my local neighborhood in silence. I have found out very quickly how much I enjoyed the solitude. I would spend that silence clearing my mind, processing business dealings of the day, thinking about family, concentrating on my form and focusing on my run.

When I was asked by a fellow runner how I could run without music or watches. My reply was the following:

“I spend my time concentrating on my form, enjoying the scenery and making my own ‘music’. As far as time, I am so tuned to my body, I know my times. Often though, by the time I get back to my car, I ran faster & better than I thought I did”

I believe by running naked, I am more focused to what my body is telling me – too tired, strain on back, arm swing and hydration.
I did not intend to be a naked runner; it was started out of pure economics. I refused to buy all the gadgets until I knew I wanted to pursue marathons. That decision has given me the ability to really enjoy the run and the experiences along the way.

When was the last time you ran naked?

Are we so prepared for the race, we forget to enjoy the journey and the experience of the day?

If you have never done so or not done so in awhile, I challenge you to try it. Enjoy the Fall weather and the scenery around you. Enjoy the mind-clearing time of running, again. After all, isn’t that why we keep running? We enjoy the challenge and the journey?

Just last night I ran by the fellow runner who asked me why I ran without gadgets. He stopped me to tell me, that he decided to run naked at least once a week– and he loves it. It was a nice change of pace for him and he enjoyed his run.
Maybe someday I will need a GPS or other gadget, but for now…I will run naked (legally). And yes, I am considering buying a Runners Belt for actually race day, but that is all that is on my race day shopping list.

How about you? I look forward to your comments and experiences if you have or do run naked.

Why do you choose to run naked or not to?

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