It is one of the hottest days of the year and I am stood in the burning sun with roughly 100 runners in Windsor Great Park overlooked by the Queen’s weekend home.
My skin is burning and sweat is dripping down my face as I survey the other participants.
This might be a good time to mention that “running naked” is a phrase used by runners to describe not having a GPS watch or app telling you how fast you’re running, not actually running in the buff so feel free to continue reading without being scarred for life.
The Runnymede Runners Relay is an alliterative and sweltering final farewell for a companion that has spent more time with me over the last three years than some of my friends.
This is the last time I will be running with a very dear friend – my Garmin 910XT GPS watch.
Through a conspiracy of events involving eBay and Amazon, these coming weeks I will be without GPS watch for the first sustained period since I took up running properly.
With a lingering glance down at my left wrist, I see that I have run just under 40 minutes for my 5.25 mile long leg – a fitting last moment together.
Part of me is looking forward to the freedom, part of me is dreading the unknown.
How will I know how far I run each week? How will I gauge my progress without a little virtual man running with me? Most importantly how am I going to get Strava segments?
A friend at work has yet to get onboard the GPS train and I have routinely thought he was the crazy one.
He wholly believes that it ruins the fun and purity of running to be looking at your watch every 30 seconds to check your cadence.
Having sent my Garmin off to a new home, I am worried that he was right.
I went down the rabbit hole chasing pace, average speed and elevation and haven’t made it back to the real world.
Maybe going cold turkey is the best thing for it but it doesn’t feel like it right now.
They say if you love something, let it go. I have and I am now watching Jurassic Park on my own eating a Gu Key Lime Pie for one.
In the words of great 21st century poets Mel C and Bryan Adams, “Days go on and on, and the nights just seem so long, even food don’t taste that good, drink ain’t doing what it should, things just feel so wrong…”