No Music, No Problem

When I went to the gym today to do some work on the treadmill, I cued up my iPod to the Couch to 10K app and was ready to put my earphones in when I realized what I had were not my earphones. I had accidentally grabbed something else on a long black wire. I debated whether I should run back upstairs to grab my earphones but decided against it. I’d have to watch my iPod for my cues to switch between running and walking and I’d have to do it without music to motivate me. Thankfully I at least had my Kindle with me to read during the walking cycles.

I’ve run without music before. I’ve run all but one 5K without my iPod actually but I honestly I don’t love the sound of my wheezing. In my head, no music means all I have to concentrate on is how much longer I have to run. Then it dawned on me (yes, for the first time) that I won’t have my iPod with me when I’m doing the Tough Mudder so I might as well get used to running without it. Oddly, I found that my running cycles seemed to go by faster without the music. Maybe it’s because music only provides one more distraction. When I’m running, I often sing along with the lyrics in my head so I’m not focusing on how much I dislike running. I’ll get through a chorus and think “Gee, that must have killed 30 seconds right?” But when I look down at my iPod I’ve only made 10 seconds of progress.

When I had nothing else to focus on but the running, I did exactly that. I thought about my stride and my breathing. On more than one occasion I found myself saying that I make running out to be worse in my head than it is. I spent more time telling myself I was doing great and giving myself a pep talk than thinking about wanting to stop. Go figure!

On another note (no pun intended), I turned up the speed a bit today compared to Tuesday. Since I was running longer and had to do so many more running cycles on Tuesday, I turned the treadmill speed down from a 7 to a 6.5. I felt I wasn’t striding so much as bopping up and down a lot. (Joe has made me super aware of striding when you run. He’s told me more than once not to be like that guy at our gym who looks sort of like he’s skipping when he runs.) To improve my stride, I decided to turn the speed back up to 6.8 today and that felt a lot better (granted, I had two less running cycles today). Going a little faster actually felt better. No discomfort in my shins like I had on Tuesday. Today might be the first day I’ve felt “good” (relatively) running.

Finally, I’m being posed with a bit of a challenge this weekend. Joe and I are going to visit his family in Orlando. It’s a short trip (Friday night to Monday morning) but I’m sure there will be a lot of eating (Disney here we come!). I’m not sure if we’ll get any workouts in but maybe I can just bench press Joe’s niece and nephews!

Days to the Tough Mudder: 71 days.