One of the most popular questions runners ask each other is “do you run with music?”
And my typical response is “when I’m inside yes, when I’m outside no.” But that’s not entirely true.
I always have music in my head.
When I first started running I carried my MP3 player with me at all times. It was a crutch, a security blanket, a way to not get bored and to keep my mind occupied.
Then one day I read an article in Runners World magazine about running without music and decided to give it a try – outdoors only of course. On a treadmill I need all the distractions I can get!
And I discovered that I really enjoying running mp-free.
I notice more of my surroundings. Which is not only safer in this world of distracted driving, but lets me see things I might not have otherwise noticed.
Things like the stone walls in the woods, the hawk flying overhead, the deer standing in the field hoping I don’t notice him.
Nature starts to take on a song of its own – the chorus of the peepers, the wind through the trees, the stream rushing over the rocks.
And then – there are the songs in my head. From years of carefully cultivated playlists comes a memory full of favorite songs. Songs that I can recall at a moment’s notice to get me through a boring or rough patch of route.
And sometimes they pop unwilling in there. Yes, I did once find myself singing along to Rainbow Connection on a long run.
From Rainbow Connection to Rainbow’s Death Alley Driver – my songs run the gamut. But are always there when I need them.
So do I run with music? Yes, always. You might just not see it.