I admit it, I am one of those guys. A guy who runs with music. I don’t know why there is such a stigma with running with tunes but I know two of my favorite running buddies openly mock me for going for the MP3 player on solo runs (I am looking at you Dave and Steve). My relationship with tunes and running go back to the Sony Sport Walkman in the early 90’s and have has included stops along the way with portable CD players that skipped every nine seconds, the original Ipod that was more valuable than anything else I owned and thus brought terror on every run, Ipod shuffles that broke once they got wet to now a little MP3 player I found on a running message board. Adding new songs on my running playlists is a delightful pleasure that is almost as enjoyable as picking up a new pair of shoes. On a run a few weeks ago I had one of those running moments that make my decision to run with music on solo runs so amazing and also verifies my belief that my friends that won’t run with music are in fact aliens.
I am once again attempting to run a fall marathon and am slowly building my base back up. On a rainy Wednesday I hit the road for an easy 5 mile run. I was feeling tired and sore from some of the recent miles I had put in and within a few minutes was in a crappy mood because I had managed to leave all my running caps at the house and I was leaving from the shop. It was also a very humid day so I was sweating and struggling to breath despite the rain and I had no hat to keep the rain out of my eyes. I did a loop around downtown and headed to the track to do a few boring laps around the track to help freshen up the legs a bit. I was pretty miserable and just was putting in the miles when that perfect song came on at that exact perfect moment. The second I hit the track On the Road to Find Out by Cat Stevens came on the headphones and I was instantaneously transformed.
There are so many great lines in that song that are so relatable to running and even though I have heard the song a thousand times it hit right when I needed it and before I knew it I was running hard. The soreness in my legs was gone and I found myself zipping around the track while smiling like an idiot. My millionth comeback attempt from my latest injury is essentially just leading me On a Road to Find Out. Find out if I still can do it, if I still want to do it, find out how hard I can push and find out what I will find on the journey. As the song came to an end and I thought about slowing down AC/DC Thunderstuck came on and I ended up pounding the last bit of the run with no intention of slowing down. Nothing could stop me at that point.
I am not saying you should race with tunes or even in areas you don’t know. I’m just saying that there are times that I think music can take you to a different mental state and maybe give you the kick in the butt when you need it, or even slow you down when you need it. If you are already a music runner you don’t need to be ashamed anymore. Listen loud and be proud!