Friday, March 16, 2012

Tunes or No Tunes - That is the Question

Can't read my, can't read my, no he can't read my poker face/ So take your siren call and sing all you want, I will not hear what you have to say - cause I need freedom now and I want to know how to live my life as it's meant to be/ Strike a pose there's nothing to it... vogue/  Move b*tch, get out the way, get out the way b*tch, get out the way/ Party rockers in the house tonight, everybody just have a good time/ Shorty had them apple bottom jeans, boots with the fur - the whole club was looking at her. She hit the floor, next thing you know, shorty got low low low low...

Oh hi! Sorry - I was just trying to decide which of my favorite running anthems need to be on my iPod for the half marathon, which is now less than 48 hours away.

I've got music on the brain thanks to Skinny Runner's recent awesome post about how to run without music. It's like she was reading my mind because lately I've been really trying to wean myself off of the iPod with some level of success and now I'm really not sure whether I want to use one on Sunday or not. I'm torn.

When I first started to run I felt like I had to have music blaring in my ears if I was doing a solo run, whether it was around the Y track, on the treadmill, or outside. If I forgot my iPod or it died mid-run or was otherwise not working for whatever reason, I sometimes would just not run at all. The thought of having nothing to distract me from the fact that I felt like I was going to keel over any second seemed like torture.

Strangely, even though I was completely dependent on having music during solo runs, I did not use an iPod for my first races and I did not use one when I was running with my training group. It was really easy to not use an iPod at the Monument Avenue 10k. There are bands lined up every few hundred feet, thousands and thousands of spectators, and lots of other runners to chat with - so there are plenty of distractions.

But then I ran a few smaller races where there weren't bands, or spectators cheering, or friends running with me. Without those things, I did not enjoy the race as much so I started wearing my Shuffle again. Eventually I found myself once again dependent upon music to keep me motivated. And I started doing stupid things, like running in downtown Richmond by myself with headphones on.

After the Sherry Arnold incident, running safety became a hot topic on the running blogs that I read and I realized that I was really being stupid when it came to running outside with my music at full volume. So I started weaning myself off and now I can run with or without tunes, even though sometimes I need it. When I am in a funk and positively do not feel like running, I use music to get me going. For instance, when my arches hurt in February, the only thing that got me through was Gaga.  If I'm indoors at the track or on the treadmill, I still have to have the music.

So now I'm debating what to do for this weekend. I listened to music at the 14k in February and when I was really feeling tired, just the right song came on to pump me up again. But then again, I enjoy interacting with other runners and hearing spectators and just being nosy and over hearing the weird conversations people have when they are running races.

And I don't want to miss it if my husband actually cheers/yells for me at the finish line (for once).

Do you run with or without music?
Will my husband break his usual stoic attitude and actually cheer for me this weekend?
A big gold star to anyone who can identify the songs in the first paragraph.

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