Happy Monday to ya! I trust y’all had a fabulous weekend and were able to get outside and play for a bit. We had to do most of our playing on Sunday since it rained again on Saturday. The rain has been insufferable this year but it came to a head when our roof started leaking. I seriously almost lost my shit. The rain and the roof coupled with having to cut my run short on Saturday almost sent me over the edge.
In case you’re wondering why it is that I had to cut my run short on Saturday, it wasn’t because I was running outside. I had to cut my run short because MacGyver was tinkering. We recently replaced the belt on my treadmill after I shredded the old one and MacGyver hasn’t quit messing with it since that time.
Do you know how hard it is to run on a treadmill while your husband is adjusting the belt directly behind you? No? Well, let me put it to you this way, IT SUCKS! Anyway, I did manage to get in 6 pretty slow and comfortable miles on Sunday so it was all good and the weekend wasn’t a wash.
I woke up this morning determined to get in the 5 miles that I had planned. I am trying to slowly build up my weekly mileage and I’m close to picking some races for the fall and winter, so I’m sucking it up and getting it done. No excuses. Of course what happened this morning the second I stepped on the treadmill? My iPod would not turn on! Dammit!
Bet you think I took a rest day, but I didn’t. I just ran with no music, no big deal. But it got me thinking about all the times when I wouldn’t run because I didn’t have music. Yep, that happened. Up until 3 or 4 years ago, if I didn’t have music, I just could not run. Wouldn’t do it, period.
A funny thing happens when you unplug, you realize that you like it. The sound of your breathing that used to irritate you becomes sort of soothing, sort of. Being able to hear everything going on around you is good too, especially if someone is yelling at you because you’re about to run in front of a car, that’s always nice to be able to hear. So are the wild animal warnings and the ‘coming up on your left’ warning of the bikers on the running path, actually most of the time, that’s the same warning….I kid, I kid.
I actually started running without music when I signed up for a marathon and headphones were strictly banned, meaning, if you wore them, you’d be disqualified. You may think that the rule is stupid, or you may not, but the reality of it is, it happens to be in the rules of a lot of marathon and half marathons.
It didn’t make sense to me to put in months of training only to risk disqualification so I decided to learn how to run without music. And if you think the rule is never enforced, you’d be wrong. The Napa Valley Marathon is one in which they WILL disqualify you if you wear headphones and they have done it. Just google dq’d for running with headphones and you’ll see.
There are my tips for running without music:
Brainstorm. When I run without music I like to think about ideas for blog post. I try to get into the moment of the run and notice everything that is happening around me which helps me come up with ideas for my posts. Where do you think this one came from?
Think of solutions to problems. I once spent 2 hours thinking of a solution to a certain issue I was having with a client. I had 6 miles on my agenda and I ended up running just over 12! I had absolutely no idea that I ran that far or that my pace was as good as it was. I will always remember that long run as one of my favorites and I came up with a solution to my problem.
Not the solitary type? Run with a friend. Running with someone else is fun and it’s always nice to have someone to talk to. And the benefit of going on a long run with a friend is that you’ll be forced to run at a conversation pace and that’s what you should do on a long run.
Focus on your running. I use the no music runs to work on my cadence and my form. It helps to have nothing to distract me and I find it extremely helpful.
Distract yourself. If focusing on your run or trying to solve problems doesn’t work for you, distract yourself. Think about your environment and all the things in it. I play games like ‘what does he do for a living’ where I try to guess a person’s job as I pass them, unless it’s a construction worker or a policeman because that would be cheating. I also play ‘how many people will I pass’ were I try to guess the amount of people I will pass in total during my run or the ‘how many dogs will I see’ guessing game. I’m sure you get the point, just have fun with it.
Well, that’s all I got for the day. I need to get to work. I’ve got myself an assistant today and he’s making it real easy to sit in my chair and get some work done, at least until he gets ready for another walk.
Do you like to run without music?
Do you have any tips for running without music?
Have you or someone you know ever been disqualified for running with headphones?