Today, I ran without music. A big deal for me, because usually, if I don’t have music, I don’t run. It’s all linked to motivation — my playlist pumps me up, keeps me invigorated, pushes me through the tough spots. Well, I thought it did. Until today.
Inspired by a runner friend who turned off her tunes yesterday and remarked that the sounds of nature and her own breathing kept her moving, I decided to unplug. Well, to be honest, I run after I drop kids at school, and I’d forgotten to put the iShuffle in the car, so, really, my choices were (1) don’t run or (2) run without music. I went with (2), just because I’m sometimes open to a new challenge (but not one that involves camping or anything like that).
The run rocked! While it wasn’t so much birds chirping in my ears as it was traffic roaring by, I did find myself concentrating on my breathing. I liked that. And I think if you were watching me from your speeding-by car, you’d think I was swifter, faster, steadier in my pursuit of 3.2 miles. With music, I slow down and speed up according to my songs, and I know there’s value to that, but today’s quicker, more-focused pace was kinda cool, too. Other benefits of tuning out: I could actually hear myself greeting other runners on the road, no wrestling with earbuds that slip and slide, and the thoughts running through my head (like, “I really need to drink water when I get home”) were really great company.