When I run, there's two things I need.
My running shoes and my music.
I must have both. Without one? Running is a bit difficult. Seriously. Running barefoot? Not so fun. And the music? It keeps me going and makes the time go by quicker.
Today I was given a reminder of just how important that music is. As in, I ran today WITHOUT my iPod. Not on purpose of course. It was more along the lines of, I got to the locker room at the YMCA and had one of those "Oh crap" moments when I realized that my iPod was still packed away in my work bag, which was sitting in my car. And I was just too darn lazy to go back to get it.
So I decided to run without the tunes.
And it was hard. And I didn't like it.
But the triathlon didn't allow me to use my iPod on the run and I survived that, right? Yes. But see, there were people to talk to. Fellow athletes to cheer on. People standing along the course giving you high fives and words of encouragement. In other words, there were distractions and other things that kept me running.
At the YMCA? People are all plugged into their headphones. It's silent except for the whirring of the cardio machines. The only thing that distracts me? The red numbers on the machine display that tell you how much longer you've got or how far you've gone. And those distractions? Not very motivating since the time seems to crawl by and the miles go by even slower.
Today's run? It was tough. I needed the tunes.
I needed Kanye West to tell me, "That don't kill me / Can only make me stronger" or even Eminem to give me advice about seizing the moment, "You better lose yourself in the music / The moment you own it you better never let it go, oh / You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow / Cuz opportunity comes once in a lifetime."
And while not all of the music I listen to while running has inspirational lyrics, they all have one thing in common. A decent beat. One that makes me put one foot in front of the other. One that keeps me running. And it helps that the lyrics and music distract me. Takes my mind away from thinking about how long the run is or how painful it is.
That's about all I thought about today. How long it seemed the run was taking. How it seemed like I was running eight miles instead of just two. And how it seemed like the little red numbers on the machine were never going to hit 22 minutes.
One thing is for sure, next time? The iPod will definitely be in the gym bag.