I can hear it starting… Da, Da Da Da, Da Da Da, Da Da Daaaaaaaa… My playlist is set. Eye of the Tiger is first up. Who doesnt like to here one of the most iconic running songs. If there were stairs, I would be running up to the top, pumping my arms in triumph. The only thing is, Im not playing music.
Yup, my playlist is in my head. I run without music. I have my iPod on my shoe to track my time, but I have no headphones plugged in. So, as Eye of the Tiger starts, its all in my head. I usually get through the opening music before I get to the end of the block and then, my inner monologue kicks in… talking about the weather, or my soreness.
I choose to run in silence for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, your music sets your tempo. So, if you start strong, with a high tempo song, you spend your energy up front. If you start slow, then you may never get your energy up. You could literally spend more time creating a playlist than running. Then, you have this playlist and it plays over and over again during each jog. Thats just boring.
Another reason, running with earbuds in the city is actually pretty dangerous. I run during the day, so I can be seen, but that doesnt mean someone wont hop a curb, or not see me crossing the street. I would rather watch out for someone than have to depend on them to watch out for me. Plus, I want to be able to hear someone coming up from behind and I cant do that if I cant hear them. I have run by countless people who have earbuds in who jump a foot because they didnt hear my coming.
Lastly, I like my inner monologue. I can vent about the day. I can encourage myself to run farther or faster. I am my own coach. I find myself paying attention more to the structure of my run. I know where I am, what landmark Im near. I know to push myself for the next 5 minutes to make it through. It may not be a sick beat, but this is what gets me through.
Oh, and I don’t have to look for the next button when a slow song from Glee comes on… that would kill anyone’s stride.
So, Chicago is wet. The last 24 hours have consisted of 60 mph winds and 2 inches of rain. Its miserable out. I was hit in the head with a rain drop about the size of the quarter while getting in my car. And the rain that came down with it was thick. It was about 5 degrees shy of sleet. Winter is coming…
But, as I got off work yesterday, I was torn. I wanted to jog. However, running in 40ish degree weather while it rains seems like a bit of a crazy thing to do. Because I am new to the jogging thing, I am lacking the cold weather running gear. I can wear a thermal, but then it gets wet and heavy and that sounds like no fun. I have no pants that I can run in, other than jeans and who wants to run in that. I have those Nike iPod shoes, so I really want to try to keep those dry.
So, all of the above aside, I really thought about how to make it work. Then another thought hit me. If I am good and run today, under clothed and under prepared… how will my health fare? I mean, sure, I ran and I’m healthy and yay for me! But, I was always taught to stay out of the rain. If I run in the cold rain, do I end up sick for a week?
Sure, I want to stay healthy, but I dont want to attempt to stay healthy at the risk of my health. So, as sad as it was… I did not run yesterday either. I stretched. I stretched good. I stretched so good that my body was fighting to get a work out in. I did not, however, work out. I stretched and that was all. And I was ok with that. My body was aching for a good stretch.
I guess I have to get some cold weather running gear at some point. I need to keep up with this running and I apparently am lacking severely in the snugly running department. So, I guess I should start doing some shopping and seeing what I can come up with. And for the record, I do not see myself in Lycra and a head band… at least not while outside.
Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am easily distracted. I like shiny things and when they are dangled withing eye shot, I tend to forget what I am doing and wander off. This has been dubbed by my friend, and after the movie UP as Squirrel.
Yup, like a slobbering puppy, mid sentence, I will get completely distracted and veer off topic. While not hard to do, maintaining a conversation with me has to be like teaching a puppy to sit. While, they may be interested in what you have to say, chances are, they are going to wander away to do their own thing.
This is true for me and exercise as well. I can start the day with the best intentions but at some point, I veer off and forget that I ever intended on exercising. It has become something I do, and, that makes it a habit given the number of times I have done it. Im quickly trying to break myself of that.
Now, today is a perfect example of how I might squirrel out. I have several options at my disposal. It will probably start with the fact that it is 40 degrees, raining and supposedly there are wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour. Now, no one wants to run in that. So, add to that the fact that I picked up Arkham City yesterday and my mind starts to wander.
"I could play when I get home. That would be great, snuggle into the couch with a blanket, maybe grab a Mt Dew. I could focus on Riddler trophies." Now, here is where you can tell that I am starting to get serious about this whole exercising thing. My inner voice changes to a naggy mom voice “You can do all that AFTER you run. Except for the Mt Dew, you dont need that.”
I’m hoping that being easily distracted is a trait I can ween off of, at least when it comes to working out. I mean, having a squirrel moment, sometimes, leads to a hotel in Wisconsin and an afternoon playing wizard quest with friends.