Music or no music

This morning I overslept. Apparently 8 minutes to me is 30 minutes to the rest of the world. Oops :). Fortunately, there was an e-mail from my race next week waiting in my inbox this morning. Ah, yes I officially feel like a huge slacker now. (for the record I did do a stationary bike hill program for 30 minutes, so I’m really just being overly dramatic, but I still feel like a slacker). One of the things in the e-mail was a reminder of the waiver we all signed when we registered. In other words, no headsets. Oh well. I’ve never used headphones during a race (I’m assuming that’s what they mean with headsets?), but I had thought of it for this one. Now before I open this can of worms let me say that I get both sides of the argument. Race directors want to make sure runners get announcements, and runners want something fun to listen to when the going gets tough. I get it, really I do! All of the races I’ve done have been pretty big events. The streets have been lined with people cheering (if you’ve ever run the Peachtree Road Race you know what I”m talking about). Some races even have music provided on the course. The Tallahassee Marathon is the first truely “small” race I’ve ever done. And by small I mean only 700 of the 1200 available spots are currently filled. Yes, there is a max of 1200 racers. The last marathon I ran had 20,000 racers… It’s a bit of a difference. Now, you should also know that I usually run with other people. The only races I’ve ever truely done by myself have been a few 5k or 10ks. A bit of a difference from a marathon.

So, the question is now how to entertain myself? I have friends who play word games on long runs. I am not someone who is good with those. My teammate/friend that I ran with in San Antonio and myself decided we would play one of these games around mile 15 of the race. We choose an alphabet game and decided to name cities. It went from cities, to states, and then countries. I loose brain cells when I run. Or maybe the ones I have just stop working because I was awful at the game. I started counting footsteps over and over again, which worked much better for me. Maybe it’s the musician in me who is use to having a steady beat to play to. On the 20 miler for Nike we analyzed the houses we were running past. There are some interesting styles in Atlanta. It was highly entertaining. One problem, the Tallahassee Marathon will not be going past many houses. It goes out along the St. Mark’s trail, which is pretty, and has lots of trees, and well, no houses. I would like to say that I’m pretty good at staying mentally tough. Heck, I’m a musician who spends 2-3 months getting ready for auditions, second guessing myself, and stressing about every little detail for 2 minutes of sheer terror (maybe that’s not the best way to look at it). Some how I feel like I need a plan to keep myself entertained during the race. Maybe I should start a sing-a-long? (I do sing to myself sometimes) Then I can entertain myself and my fellow runners. I don’t know. They might might not find that amusing…

Are you a dire hard music listener? or do you go without? Got any fun ways to occupy your time while running long distances? I might need a few suggestions….

One thought on “Music or no music

  1. I would die if I had to run this race. I just cannot get in the groove without headphones and some great jams. But when I do run, I like to play counting games (kind of like you counting your step…) but I count trees … telephone poles … driveways … mailboxes. I don't know why but I do. I think the counting helps keep me from thinking about the 10+ miles left in front of me!! Good luck!!

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