My mp3 player has been a bit temperamental lately, and decided to quit permanently around 4 miles into a 14 mile run this morning. As I switched radio stations, her screen flashed the message “goodbye” and that was it. Sigh. Screen still reads “goodbye” but the mp3 player won’t do anything else – not even turn off. Sorry to see her go, but at least she left a note.
I have never run more than a 5K without music before, and had no intentions ever to do so, except in races that prohibit headphones. As far as my “recreational” runs go, though, my music is always with me. Love it.
Not wanting to miss out on a long run, I decided to keep going. At mile 5, I hit a point where I could turn right and be home in around 2 miles, or turn left and go for it. I went for it. If you had told me a year ago that I could run 10 miles without so much as a simple backbeat to distract me, I would have called you crazy. My, how times have changed.
I have to say, it wasn’t that bad! I did not get bored. I did not feel less energized. I was not thrown by hearing myself suck wind while running up hills.
I did have a harder time turning off my brain and just getting into a zone without having the music in the background, though. I tend to talk to myself too much while running (internally; I’m not one of those people who scares you on the street) when I don’t have some background noise to distract me. Nothing like tiring out your brain while you tire out your legs. Physically, though, it really made no difference to be music-less and I think I might even run a little bit faster without music than I do with music. And I definitely didn’t get bored, which was one of my big concerns about running long without music.
I always keep the volume on my headphones low enough to hear cars, but I did learn today that the bird chatter is nonstop in my neighborhood and a lot of dogs bark at me from behind big fences while I run. I kinda missed my morning radio shows, but definitely felt more aware of myself physically than when I tune out to music. All in all, a pretty nice change from the norm and one I will undoubtedly try again – on purpose.
I am, of course, off to buy a new mp3 player. It wasn’t that great.