Since we're near the end of marathon training (who's this 'we' kemosabe), I had to get an 18 mile run in this past Sunday. As I was going to be running the Great Kilt 5k the same day, this meant a 15 mile run beforehand. I am not a morning person so the thought of getting up at 5:45am to run 15 miles was less than attractive, but I knew after enjoying the beer garden with friends I was unlikely to run it after the 5k. Plus it gave me the perfect excuse not to set a new 5k PR.
I drove to Magnuson Park and ran an out and back route along the Burke-Gilman trail. Even at 6:30am there were folks out running and biking, but compared to a normal summer afternoon it was practically deserted. It was surprisingly warm for that early in the morning (and season) so I was glad that the water fountain at the Logboom Park was finally on again.
I have been listening to podcasts almost exclusively during my runs the past few months. I have enjoyed laughing along with Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me and listening to running podcasts like Pheddipidations and Running With the Pack for inspiration. A few of the running podcasts will slip a song into the mix every so often, and I find that my pace picks up a bit each time. For my morning 15, I decided to listen to music for the last 45 minutes or so, and man what a difference.
Music can be powerful, and at mile 10 when you're still half asleep, it can hit you pretty hard. When the music started, I felt a tingly warmth travel down my neck and shoulders and spread through my body. One song in particular stirred the emotions enough that I struggled to catch my breath. The music was not background distraction to make me forget what I was doing, but something that grabbed me and added power to my run.
I had the same feeling of breathlessness a few miles earlier when I ran through a swarm of gnats, but it wasn't nearly as powerful or memorable.