About a month ago, I finally bought an iPod. I listen to it as I am lesson planning, or working outside and sometimes I will listen to a podcast as I am driving. Last week, I took it with me on a run in Percy Warner Park. I hated it. Now believe me, I love music – in fact, many of the east nasties make some darn good music – so it wasn’t my music selection. I just couldn’t stand not being able to listen to myself or my surroundings during a run.
It reminded me of a study I read a couple of years ago. This study surveyed two groups of runners : folks who ran for fitness, and those who ran to compete. When asked about thoughts during a run, the fitness runners responded that they tried to distract themselves as much as possible from what they were doing. The racers, on the other hand, were completely engaged with what they were doing and were constantly monitoring their bodies and their environment: “Am I running too fast? Too slow?” “Damn this pavement is hard.” “It’s windy, I should probably draft.” “My breathing is way too fast right now” “I think Bernard Lagat just lapped me for the third time…” You get the idea…
It made me think about how we take for granted the amazing physiological mechanisms that allow our bodies to run. We should revel in the mystery of respiration, but instead we drown out all noise with Bon Jovi. So take off the iPod and listen to the symphony produced by your lungs, heart, and muscles; and you’ll learn what the racers know: that there is almost something spiritual about not being able to hear anything over your breathing during the last 800 meters of a race!
This Week’s Run
This Wednesday when we will begin our 6 week cycle of routes. We will start at 3 miles, build up to almost 5, then repeat the cycle. Our runs will include treks through Lockeland Springs, forays into downtown, journeys around Shelby and even an assult on Riverside. And as always there will be a group of runners who add two miles onto the end of the run.
This week we will start with our 3 mile run. (Actually the starting point on the map is a bit off, so the run is almost exactly 5K.)
See you tomorrow!