I wrote a post a couple weeks back about the music I listen to when I run and I mentioned that I think people who run in only silence are rockstars (because you are). Yesterday at the suggestion of my running bloggy BFF Helly,I decided to try and be one too. A rockstar with no music.
I had 5 miles on the trail planned for my lunch break and it was really a perfect scenario. The run was short enough that if I started to go insane I wouldn’t be out there for very long. Also for safety reasons I like to be a little more aware when I’m on the trail. It’s not exactly secluded or anything but I do like to know when someone — a biker or a horse for instance — is coming up behind me. Or a bear or an axe murderer. I usually keep my volume low anyway for this reason.
To be sure that I wouldn’t be tempted to use them I left my yurbuds at the office, but obviously still planned to carry my phone in case of an emergency. As I started out the biggest difference right away would be my favorite difference of the whole experience…nothing in my ears to bother with and no wires to adjust. As much as I do love the yurbuds because they stay in my ears, it’s very obvious that they are there. Instead it was just me, my footsteps, the pleasant sounds of nature, and my obnoxious breathing. Yep. I discovered that I breathe really loudly when I run. I don’t know if it was just extra noticeable to me because it was my first time without the headphones in or if everyone who has ever gotten within 10 yards of me running thinks I’m about to keel over from lack of oxygen – which I’m not – but I’m super self-conscious about it now.
I creepy-heavy-breathed my way past some people walking their dog, but other than that there was no one else out there for first half of my run. It was a little unnerving at first, but mostly peaceful with mid-30’s temps, sunshiney, crisp blue skies, and a light breeze. The trail was a bit of a mess still in some spots with ice, mud, and deep bike tracks, but overall it was smooth sailing. I stopped for a minute at my halfway turn around point and took it all in. I love this spot because it makes you feel like you are the only person for miles and miles, but really there are some big houses up at the top of the hill to the right.
This is a really pretty day for winter in Maryland. ::shakes fist at anyone who lives amongst palm trees::
I feel like not having the headphones in made me much more able to appreciate everything else that was going on around me. I passed some other runners on the way back and took a tally of which ones were running with music and which were not. Survey says: Half and half.
I don’t know what I was expecting to happen with my time, but going music-less didn’t affect it negatively. To the contrary this is my fastest run on the trail to date.
Before going out there yesterday I was excited, but fully expected to be writing up another beer run for today. What I got instead was the very pleasant realization that I’m not nearly as dependent on my jams as I thought I was. I don’t think I’m ready to jump fully into the no-music Kool Aid yet, but I’m committing myself to at least two runs per month without being tethered to my iPod and see how that works out for me. If anything I’m hoping I can get my creepy breathing a little more under control.
Maybe one day I will join the ranks of you rockstars who prefer to run in silence after all.
My Bondi Band giveaway ends this Sunday, so if you haven’t already entered you can do it HERE!
I will be dedicating my long run to Meg tomorrow. Where are you running this weekend?