Running to the Beat Within

Let me start this by saying…I love music. All kinds…all the time. Music wakes me up in the am and lulls me to bed at night. Naturally when I began running, I would bring music with me and get into a zone. I’ve had runs where the music dictates my pace – sometimes this was a complete success, and other times it was a little frustrating. Nevertheless, my little iPod shuffle goes with me as I make my way out of the door to do my runs.

But I know I will have to eventually wean myself off of the music. Why? Because there are at least two races I plan on running this year that don’t allow mp3 players on the course. Now, I’ve contemplated sneaking the iPod onto the course. But that just made me feel like I was a music junkie…and while…I AM, I don’t want to feel as though I am dependent upon music in order to run.

I’ve tried to run parts of my weekly runs without music, and it’s been aight. Not bad at all actually. One day I even started to recite some US Marine Corp and Navy running cadences because I thought it would help me keep pace and stay motivated – it did! But earlier this week after reading a post by my favorite bloggers FatGirl2FitGirl where she went running without her iPod, I figured I’d give it a shot.

Loves…it was great! I just let my mind wander and thought about a variety of things that I’d kept putting off thinking about. I…just…ran. It was that simple. And you know what? Because of the fact that I love music so much, at certain points in the run some of my favorite songs that help me keep a good pace began to play in my head. Or when I felt myself slowing down, I could call upon my favorite parts of songs to get me through. It was a good run. I felt fast and strong. And wouldn’t you know it…I had a great run! Great time, great pace, and I did at least one mile under 14 minutes. Woot!

Sometimes, you know you can do something, but you need to actually do it to make it seem even more real. I’m good with knowing that I can do a 5k without music. The next step is to hit 5 miles without music. Then after that…10 miles. And eventually 13.1.

As always, any journey begins with a step. Soundtrack optional. 😉


One thought on “Running to the Beat Within

  1. If you have any parks/forests nearby (or near driving distance) trail running with out music can be an incredible experience! Just hearing all of the life, water trickling (if there are streams/waterfalls) and the noises of nature can be so incredible.

    Even running through a city – you learn the different ‘sounds’ and feels of different areas. Running with or without music – can take the same course and make it different!

    If I am running on roads in town (or sidewalks) I like music – but races, I prefer to run without. In addition to letting you run to the music in your head, you are more aware of the people around you. As you pass someone, you might say something encouraging and hear their thanks.. As you get passed, you might find that person who just went by is trying to help push you through to a faster pace, or just encouraging you to keep putting one foot in front of the other! Its great how we can change our sport in little ways – and have them make a big difference.

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