It was a typical Wednesday morning. I woke up at 5:30 for my morning run, stretched, and was out the door. I put my headphones in and turned on my iPod…and that’s when I noticed…I was running dangerously low on power.
I panicked. What should I do? Go back inside and wait for it to charge? Throw in the towel and head back to bed? My options were limited and daunting. And then a little voice inside my head chimed in, “Why don’t you try running without it?”
In my opinion, there are two types of runners. Those who supposedly enjoy running while only listening to the natural sounds of their own breath and feet hitting the pavement. And the rest of us – who need every driving beat of motivation we can get just to make it around the block. There are days when I truly feel like the Black Eyed Peas are the only reason I finished my workout.
Yet here I was with a quickly dying iPod and very few choices. So I headed out – making excuses and telling myself that it had seemed low before but had never actually died, that maybe I would be so far in “the zone” by the time it happened I wouldn’t even notice…but 30 seconds later I was alone with my thoughts.
The first mile was torture. Right off the bat, I was totally disturbed my own breathing…which was more like gasping…or even panting. Not at all the perfectly even pace that I imagined. And the way I was running – what was with the stamping? In my mind’s eye, I practically floated along like a gazelle…this sounded like an elephant stumbling home late on a Friday night. I became so self-conscious that I almost turned around and headed home.
But I stuck it out. Three miles later my mind had relaxed and so had my body. I found myself thinking productively about work (even doing a little problem solving!) instead of mindlessly singing the lyrics to “Jessie’s Girl.” When I got home I felt like I had accomplished more than just my morning workout so that’s certainly significant.
I can’t say I ever found my “natural rhythm” and I probably won’t be heading out sans music much in the future – but it was an experience that certainly left an impression. If you’re a music runner like me, be brave! And let me know how it goes 🙂