Both my runs this week were without music, which I do from time to time. Having music is great, especially when I match my pace to the beat without realizing it, or when I need to switch off the thoughts in my head and it's there as a convenient subject change. Most of the time, though, it's just background and I'm not really hearing it.
|July 4, 2009. Coming into the home|
stretch, so I'm either listening to
"Wonderwall" or "Scotland the Brave."
I'm not sure if it makes me feel
better or worse about myself to look at
pics from when I was faster and skinnier
and happier. Either way, I set a 10-mile
PR that day that still stands.
I wish I were joking about that. There has to be some kind of short-circuit happening up there. Surely not everyone has this problem--I mean, I know my coworker didn't. Is this a binary thing, like you can either do it successfully or you veer off the path, with no in between?
Anyway, to avoid laying down and dying in despair or dying from inadvertently running out into traffic, I decided it was best if I just let my brain work through whatever it needed to, and some background music was there on standby if needed. I've gotten through some amazing thoughts while running. I've written entire chapters of whatever novel I'm working on, only to promptly forget them when I get home (but usually the general idea remains). I've had whole arguments with people I'm feeling angsty towards so that I come home ready to let the angst go. I think of really kind things I want to be sure to say to friends, most of which are also immediately forgotten. (I've pondered the merits of taking along a dictaphone for these kinds of moments.) And what's really cool is when I'm deep in thought, thinking I'm not hearing the song that's playing, only to pass that spot a couple days later and think of the song. My brain is grabbing hold of something, after all.
I know when I go without running all those thoughts have no good outlet, but I don't really have a way to measure just how much benefit I'm getting from having that time to let my mind run wild. I just know that it's critical to keep my mind--and therefore myself--on an even keel. No matter what's happening in the background.
What keeps you balanced?