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).
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.
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!
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?