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Turning the music off....for now

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A friend of mine very recently told me about a song she said reminded her of me. It made me chuckle a bit because I thought about the music on my ipod. For a long time I listened to the same music over and over. Every run I did, I turned on the same tunes. Every.Single.Run. My boyfriend is the one who took the ipod one day and added many of his onto it and I realized what a musical box I had put myself into. So I strutted out there running around to new tunes, feeling like a whole new world had opened up for me.

Recently I started turning the music off though. At first it was to help me focus on not reinjuring myself with any improper running form. I took the time to really feel where the best foot strike is for me, if my shoulders were loose and comfortable or were they up around my ears? Were my hands in a fist or in proper form? Were was I looking? I figured once I found my proper form that felt good and was able to keep that form without injuries, then I would be good and bring the music back.

Instead of the music, I've grown accustomed to listening to my body during my runs. I recently discovered my 2 mile ick feeling because I wasn't distracted by anything, I just found a pattern going on. On yesterday's run, about 1/2 mile into it, I felt that pressing feeling in my chest that always makes me think "I can't do this, why do I keep trying? This feeling always shows up." And the lightbulb moment hit when the thought struck me that my body reacts to the beginning of my runs like this. Every.Time. For me, I do about 20 minutes of stretching before I start my runs. That's not including the many times throughout the day I stop and bend over to stretch the hamstrings that seem so reluctant to just not be tight. Maybe most people would have already known that this is a feeling related to your body trying to adapt to what you're doing to it, but I can be a bit slow sometimes...especially when I'm distracted. The feeling subsides after a minute or two, then it's more joyful running until it shows up again. And again my body is adapting to what I'm doing to it, and again it subsides and allows me to press on.

I always feel so grateful when I learn something about myself, especially when it's a realization that's been talking to me all along and has just been waiting for me to listen to it. My weekend runs are ran outside. Weeknight runs have to be on a treadmill because I'm too chicken to run in the dark and we don't have the best street lighting where I live. With the music off for now, running outside really makes you wake up to your world. There is so much going on out there! I will put the music back on for my long runs, but keeping it off for now seems to be teaching me some valuable lessons. Not to say I don't miss my Bon Jovi and Lady Gaga...

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    WOW! That is probably what you are saying right now. Why would she read back in my posts from years ago. May sound strange but I wanted to learn of your journey. Your positive comments and your history with running made me feel you would be a wonderful resource. I have already learned so much. I was telling my husband about you and realized, other than your few exchanges with me, I knew little of you. So I decided to do some back reading. This post caught my eye because I was just talking to my husband and told him that maybe I should run without music. His suggestion was to just turn it off. My concern; "was I going to get very tired of being in my own head." I like how you talked about putting the focus on your body. So do you mind if I use you as a sounding board of wisdom? Looks as if you have been through much of what I am going through. Right now I am like a big sponge. Soaking up knowledge.
    894 days ago
  • COOP9002
    So true. It's easy to miss out on so much when we put it into automatic on our runs. Hope you discover some hidden blessings along the way.
    1853 days ago
    I think that's a great idea - shorter distances we have less need of distraction, longer distances there is only so much paying attention to the body we can do.

    Enjoy the emoticon of your soul as your feet meet the road.
    1853 days ago
    Well put! I agree that it feels like a gift to get insight into my own self! Congratulations on discovering something about yourself. That's one of the things I love about running...through it I always find something unexpected (and I'm 51 years old!). Enjoy your journey!
    1853 days ago
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