I’ve learned through ultra training that the time I spend running is no longer motivated by music. As a road runner (and as someone usually training for a shorter race…a 10k or 1/2 marathon), my ipod was my crutch. I could not fathom running without a meticulously planned out playlist, which refreshed and rotated on a weekly basis to ensure I did not get bored or loose my motivation for one mili-second.
That changed when I started ramping up the mileage for ultra training. One, I spend a lot of time on trails in the forest. I’m reasonably paranoid about bears, cougars, giraffes, and tigers (one never knows who might appear), so it’s best not to block your hearing in those situations. Two, once you pass the one-hour mark (even in a paved safe giraffe-free zone), my ears can’t handle the bass. And third, I get bored.
So, I’ve learned to ditch the wires and earphones and ipods and keep it simple. Just run.
Some people will say that running brings clarity of mind. A time to reflect and focus inward. To work through frustrations.
I agree. For the most part. But let’s review some of the not-so-introspective thoughts I’ve had lately.
1. After nearly 4 hours of running around a residential pathway system, I came up with an intricate plan and getaway scheme to steal some kid’s skateboard. I was so sick of running, the thought of a skateboard was driving me to madness. Obviously, I didn’t follow through. This occupied a good hour of my run.
2. Has anyone every picked anyone up on a run? There’s tons of healthy, fit, sweaty people in spandex. Has anyone ever stopped after passing someone cute? Turned around, and offered to buy them chocolate milk after their run? (Maybe this one could never happen – personally it would be creepy if someone did it to me. But in a fictional romantic comedy, with the right music in the background and some humourous editing techniques, it could work!) Don’t steal my movie idea. I have it in writing.
3. Very early one morning, I was running in the opposite direction of many commuter cyclists heading into work downtown. First let me say, commuter cyclists act as though they are five seconds from winning the Tour De France. A Mellow Johnny’s jersey does not a cyclist make. But here’s my thought. I saw a few commuters drafting behind other (unsuspecting, I’m assuming) bikes. Is this clarified in the unwritten pathway cycling laws? Are you allowed to do this? Do you arrange a time and place to meet up at 5pm so you can return the favour on the way home? I bet http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.ca/ knows.
There’s more of these, but I’d like to maintain the illusion that I’m relatively normal. Maybe they’ll come out in time.
I can’t be the only one. Because really. Doesn’t everyone let their mind wander when we’re out there solo?