The first question my wife and my mother asked me was why I ran the race with a watch. I am sure some of you are wondering the exact same thing. The main reason, this was my first race and I had no idea how the chip timers work. I was not sure if the my time would be adjusted or not for when I crossed the starting line.
Running without a watch was a technique I have used to keep running fun and motivating each day. I found when I wore my watch, I would focus too much on the time and speed and not on finishing my run. For 99% of my runs, it did not matter if I ran 8 minute miles or 10 minute miles.
Since I have not worn a watch in months when I was running, it has become second nature to me to not look at it even when I was wearing it in the race. I didn’t even take a glance until the halfway point just to see where I stood. I listened to my body the entire time. I went fast when I felt like it, I slowed down when I needed to. I was careful on the downhill and made sure to maintain form on the uphill.
It worked, I ran the fastest time I have ever run especially over that long of a distance. I do not think I would have achieved this success if I would I have kept wearing a watch. I also owe my injury free running this year to the same reason.
Try it. Give up the watch for a few weeks and see how your running goes.