10 February 2010

Do I need music to run?

People have asked me repeatedly about if I listen to music when I run. "Not usually." They're shocked...I enjoy the thoughts in my head. Running is my practice, my form of meditation.

I am so distracted - at work, I have coworkers who are chatting in informal meetings, conference calls, to each other, so I'll try to block it out by listening to music or will even listen to NPR for background information while working. At home, while cooking, my cat will be meowing, NPR will be playing, and I might be on the phone. I'm always on the go, with too much technology (post to Twitter, catch up on email, what's the latest on Facebook) - so quiet running is one of the best times for me to clear my mind and relax. Music is great to motivate you and keep you going - but my mind is what gets me out there in the first place.

Some people on the ultra list have been talking abt headphones lately and I found these posts particularly poignant:
From Chris Owens:

"I can't believe you ran X miles, I don't even like driving a car that
far.  Do you listen to music while you run?"
"what do you think about while you're running?"
"same things I think about when I'm not running"

From John M:
(Things you can hear when NOT wearing headphones)

Owls from several directions as dusk settled in and hunting areas were
claimed for the evening.
Coyotes after a thunder storm in Palo Duro Canyon.
The waterfall whose presence slowly gained volume for forty minutes before
we rounded that last bend in the trail on the Olympic Peninsula.
The wailing of baby (?) cougars impatient for mom to return.
Those last snorts of a wild boar just before I grabbed a limb to swing into
the nearest tree.
Mockingbirds in the tall grass prairies of Oklahoma.
Footsteps padding along behind, so many many miles.
Wing beats of a Bald eagle lifting off just a few feet away.
Wind rising and falling in the bristlecones at Great Basin.
The silence of Death Valley.
A red-tail hawk startling me with obvious delight screeching on a winter
morn as I crossed "his" frosty field--reminding me I was only a visitor.
Soft voices, murmured greetings and encouragement way far dark in the night.
Seals barking mixed with the bells of the bouys as the waves of an incoming
tide rattled rocks along the beach.
The rumbles of thunder outside of Trinidad as thunderstorms chased us off
the trails of the Rockies and back into Kansas.
Frost breaking as I ran through the knee-high grasses of Chip Ross Park,
rustling loud enough I had to stop to see who was coming up behind me.
T'was just me.
Those many frogs in totally joyous disharmony that went to silence as I
left the woods and started along their pond's edge.
The Rufous hummingbirds: one?  Six?  Three?  I heard, but never saw.
A singly curious Winter wren, one note to play was all he had, but one note
was played again and again as he perched on a branch not three feet from
where I had paused on the way down Mary's Peak.

Run gently out there.

No comments: