there is an age-old debate about running: should you or should you not run with music?  

as a non-runner, i've always preferred to run with music.  however, as of lately, i've been running to a different tune (nice pun, eh?).   with the stresses of work, the daily banter, music and phone calls, i've found myself craving the quiet.  i have enough ramblings in my head to write a novel (or a blog) and thought i would opt to listen to myself for a while.  and so far, so good.  

for the past couple months, my runs have been music free.  i wish i could say the transition was easy.  i used music to get in the zone and distract myself when i was mentally ready to shut down.  but the music also dictated my speed and energy.  as the music increased, so did my speed.  But in another regard, when the song stunk, so did my performance.  now, i'm not saying the minute i dropped the tunes i qualified for the olympic trials, but i think my running has improved.     

i find the rhythm of my foot falls and breathing somewhat meditative.  i also play games with myself (and have learned new ones thanks to some other running purists) during my runs.  for example, i ran the veterans day three miler without music, and found myself for the last mile and a half counting in odd numbers to 100 (or 101 if you want to get technical).  if i made a mistake, i had to start from the beginning.  these brain teasers help distract me and i find i focus more on the quality of my run rather than just going through the motions.  i'm running because i want to, not just to get in the miles.

i'm sure there will be days when i want to run with bon jovi or tom petty, and i will.  i'm not a die-hard purist.  after all, running's supposed to be fun enjoyable.  so, i'll keep running sans-tunes for now and hope that as my dependency on music decreases, my running continues to improve.

*ps. did you notice the new bling on my sidebar?  as you probably know, i'm always up for a challenge- especially one that claims to keep you in shape over the holidays!  check it out and sign up for a bootie busting season!

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