I just came back from a 7 mile run, which is the longest I have run since the marathon in June. If a run is going to be an hour or less, I don’t normally bring anything to drink or music to listen to. So today I brought both. I have to say I have missed the music. I don’t use it on shorter runs just so I don’t become dependent on it.
When I ran my first half marathon (Seattle, Nov. 05) I ran with music. I had fun setting up a playlist of music to run with. I started with some slower inspirational songs, made sure I had some high energy music for the hills, and ended with a few songs that meant something to me. It was interesting trying to match the songs to the terrain and point in the race. I had a song picked out to finish to, and was actually able to finish a song ahead of target. The music was kept low so I could hear my fellow runners and the supporters along the way. I think it would have been a very different experience without the music.
When it came time to attempt a full marathon, I expanded the playlist. It was an even tougher guess as to when I would finish, so I included some more songs beyond my “finishing” song just in case. The marathon was the Marine Corps Marathon, and I was running it with some friends from California. At some point I found out that headphones were not allowed at the marathon. I e-mailed my friends to let them know, and the silence was deafening. It seemed to say “Yeah Newbie, what were you thinking”. I have found many discussion groups with threads of anger toward people who run with headphones in these events. So now I knew. I am glad I didn’t bring music with me to D.C. as I ended up running with my friend Marci the whole way, and the crowds were about tenfold of what I had at Seattle. It was a beautiful day.
So I have this marathon playlist that will probably never get used at a marathon. I do use it for some training runs, especially the long ones since it is over 5 hours long. But I still need some music marathon morning. I have the habit of listening to a particular song, “Beautiful World” by Colin Hay, on the morning of any event I run or bike. I decided to make a playlist about 45 minutes long that I could play as I ate breakfast and got ready marathon morning. My friend Wendy had a great idea of slipping in snippets of movies and TV shows in between songs. So my playlist has some inspiring/funny quotes from Apollo 13, Forest Gump, The Simpsons, and a few others. These along with some personal/inspirational music get me ready for the miles ahead.
I listened to that mix today on my run. And it was beautiful.