Running in Peace and Quiet

I’ve always been that girl holding her somewhat large and heavy cell phone connected to her large, dinosaur-like headphones (because the “normal” looking small headphones will not stay in my infant sized ears) while she runs.

The truth is…I didn’t know how to run without music blaring into my ears. I thought that in order to just get through my runs…finish, live, not give up…that I needed to forget the discomfort and become mindless. That’s one thing that music does.

Music also has always done wonders for my pace. When I am running low on fuel and need a pick me up, what do I do? I put on Willow Smith’s Whip My Hair and I feel on top of the world and like it’s normal to run eight minutes miles (which unfortunately is not normal for me)!

What else could you find on my half marathon playlist? Spit Your Game by the Notorious B.I.G. featuring Twista, Bone Thugs ‘n’ Harmony, 8ball and MJG…which is totally not my style of music, but it kind of made me feel like a bad-booty (insert actual “bad” word there or use your imagination to figure out what I really meant! 😉 ) And then I couldn’t forget, near the end of my playlist when I knew I’d be short on gas, Fall by Clay Walker…my wedding song.

Aside from it’s mind-numbing and motivating music playing abilities, my phone also played a role in tracking my mileage and pace…somewhat accurately.

But then, my amazing mom bought me the most amazing early birthday present a couple weeks ago…

A Garmin Forerunner 305!

I strap that baby on my wrist and I feel like a professional runner! Obviously I am not, and I know I still have quite a lot to learn about the sport, but one can pretend. I am loving being able to look down at any time and see my pace and mileage…it is so motivating!

However, this has eliminated my functional need to be running with my cell phone. My first few tries with the Garmin I decided to go sans music since they were just short runs and I knew I’d be okay for thirty minutes listening to myself breath. The excitement of looking at the watch every mile tenth of a mile kept my mind busy.

And then I went for a little bit longer run sans music.

And then a little longer…

…and then even longer. Today I completed a fourteen mile run with no music. That is a little over two hours filled with my own thoughts and the sound of me inhaling to four steps, then exhaling to four steps…over and over and over.

Surprisingly enough, I completely love it!

While I thought I needed music to keep me going, the sound of my breath does the same trick. And becoming mindless…well, I’ve realized that it sort of really helps to be thinking about what I’m doing. I can focus on how my body feels, how my knee feels, my form, how I’m landing each step…I can use it as a time to meditate, to sort out my feelings, to pray. I truly have noticed that there are times I feel close to God when I’m running. It really is wonderful!

What’s your take on running with music vs. running in peace and quiet? I like both…I guess it just depends on my mood!

What are some of your favorite songs to exercise to?



2 thoughts on “Running in Peace and Quiet

  1. I always run sans music – I love just being one with my thoughts, listening to the nature sounds around me, the way my feet sound hitting the pavement, the occasional chatter with my running partner and husband. Music distracts me from the run, and not in a good distraction way, know what I mean?

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