Can’ts into Cans Wednesday: I Can’t Run without Music

Sorry for the fact that my title today sounds like a True Life episode.  🙂

For a long time in the beginning of my running/fitness life, I was a slave to the music.  In fact, music was an essential.  I’m sure there were times when I didn’t go out and run if my iPod was dead.

When I started running with a friend, it wasn’t polite to have music.  I found comfort in the fact that there would be someone to talk to.  At first, it totally messed with my head.  I could hear my breathing.  Hearing your breathing all the sudden made everything seem so much more difficult.

If I was alone, though, I kept on using music.  Then, I started half marathon training and my runs got longer.  Then, one weekend on a long run, my iPod battery died.

Enter panic mode.

I almost turned around and went home.  Almost.  Then I told myself that I only had four miles left, and that wasn’t much longer than a 5K, which I had done many times without music (although I had someone to talk to, but my self-talk left that out for the time being).

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So, I ran anyway.  And it was awesome.  Soon, I found myself doing all of my shorter training runs without music.

In retrospect, I think this really heightened my love of running.  Without music, my mind was free to sort through anything that was going on.  I made some of my biggest decisions while on a run, and I got a lot more in-tune with myself.

When the half marathon rolled around, I did run with music.  Same with my second.

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However, for my third half, the Indianapolis 500 Mini Marathon, I decided to go music-free.  There were a ton of bands on the course, and the race said that music was prohibited (although I knew many people would do it anyway).  And guess what?  I PR’d by about 8 minutes!

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Now, music has gone from an essential security blanket to a backup plan.  I had an audio book downloaded for the marathon, but only used it for a little while.  I’m at the point now that I prefer listening to podcasts and audiobooks over music, if I listen to anything at all.

What do you listen to while you work out?

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