Wednesday, February 07, 2007


I've been thinking about unplugging. My ipod. I hate that it is such a crutch for me. I don't like addiction of any sort. I like to know I am in control.

Don't get me wrong, I love my little pod but if anything happened to it--I just don't even want to think about it. I would be devastated for sure. And knowing me, something is bound to happen. I actually have nightmares about it. Really. And this is not unreasonable of my psyche. I went through 3 RIO MP3 players in less than a year. I am so destructive when it comes to all things electronic or mechanical--no matter how careful I try to be. And for the record, you probably should never lend me your clothes either.

I need to know I can be a runner without my ipod. Certainly I have run without tunes. But I am so much slower. So I would not give up the pod for my long runs or probably even long races. Music heavily motivates me and lifts my spirits. Those long runs and marathons are incredibly emotional. 3 hours is a good chunk of time to spend alone with your thoughts and some endorphins. There is a welling. There is a flood. There is a flow--of thoughts, emotions, and sensations. Music cushions the blow. At least for me it does.

But oddly, I have noticed that lately when I've done a 10k race I am not really even hearing the music because I am so focused on my pace. I really don't think I have the mental stamina to stay that focused for a marathon--possibly a half marathon but I think I definitely do for a 10k. At the very least I don't think my lack of tunes will hinder my performance in a shorter race. I may be wrong but I have pretty much decided that I will put this to the test in the 10K race I am doing this Saturday.

My ultimate 10k goal is to run a sub 42. I know that right now I am just not physically capable of cranking out 6 sub 7 minute miles. I could do 2 probably 3 and maybe even 4 miles but I just know I don't have the endurance for a whole 10k. I do think I will get there but I am definitely not there yet.

The reason behind doing a sub 42 for a 10k means I get sub-seeded for thePeachtree. Why this is important to me is a little silly but I do think it represents a superior level in running. Anything over 42 minutes and under 55 minutes gets you in the same place--Time group 1A or B and I'm already there. Basically this means you get a chip and get to be towards the front of 50,000 or so runners. But under 42 minutes? I am standing right there behind the elites and well, to me, that is something. For this 35 year old mother of 2 who came late to running that is pretty big. Some people dream big. But me? I look for the little accomplishments that can lift me up. I'll take success anyway I can get it.

I would love to hear from any previous plugheads (not hair club members) that have unplugged for a race and how it went.

In other running related news I bought new shoes. I've only been in my last pair since Christmas but they are completely shot. So are the 7 other pairs I have laying around. I got another pair of Brooks Adrenaline but these babies have MoGo and I love them. I bought them yesterday afternoon and have already run twice in them and put 14 miles on them. Both runs were great--one speed workout on the mill and one mid length outside. Of course the weather today was just amazing so that definitely helped. I hope to get 18 miles in tomorrow morning but we'll see. In the past 2 days I've put in 22 miles so my legs may prove less than cooperative. Shrug, I don't want to ruin myself for Saturday's tune out.


  1. I've run lately both with and without tunes (mainly because I forgot some part of the i-pod setup when leaving for the park) and found no appreciable difference in speed. On a boring route, the tunes make it better, but for speed work or a fun race like the Peachtree, they might be surplusage.

    See you on Sat.

  2. I think in a race it won't make an appreciable diff, but plus for you a 10k is a breeze. I would not be surprised if it makes you focus more and you get your best time yet. Kick ass, baby. We all know you can do it.

    Yes, I am drinking.

  3. Thanks guys! I appreciate your advice/experience. And hey Anne, btw, I'm a huge fan of drinking and blogging myself.

    I sure do hope I kick ass. Good luck to you Steph and Anne you should come join us. It isn't too late to sign up. . . Come to cult Anne. Join join join! (I am not drinking)

  4. I wanted to add that I probably won't kick ass if how I've felt lately on my runs is any sort of indicator. I don't even start to feel good most days until I've already run 6 miles. I am thinking Sat might prove a little painful.

  5. Hey Ms Natalie,

    I have never used music during races or training runs...but...I did get a Verizon Chocolate to take with me on my long runs...but...I haven't been able to run since getting it, so I haven't use it for that purpose yet. Actually I got it primarily so I could carry it with me on long runs so I could call for help if for some reason I needed to...and the bonus was it can play music via headphones or just from the cheap built in speaker. But I hadn't planned on using it during a race...short or long. I usually have more fun chatting with fellow runners...that seems to make the miles go by faster.

    Sub-42 10K...I really think you can do it. You have the endurance and it looks like you have been doing your speed work on the's a matter of race strategy and self have to Want to keep the pace up when you're feeling like cutting it back...even just a bit. Get with a couple of runners that are doing your target pace.

    Here's hoping you do very well on your race this Saturday!

    You.CAN.Do.It Ms Natalie!

    ;o) Charlie

  6. Wow Charlie--no tunes? Ever? I just can't imagine. I've done it for a handful of long runs and it was hell. I hate hearing myself breathe but I will try on Sat.

    And gosh thanks for the vote of confidence but I seriously think it will be around 44 minutes. But I will try. I do have a tendancy not to push as hard as I think I could. I definitely hold back, always. So we'll see. My left Achilles was bothering me today (only did 9miles of the planned 18) so a lot will depend on how that is feeling.

  7. Good luck this Saturday!I'm so jealous as we have so few 10k races here in Vegas! I hope you reach your goal as your fitness is a little better than mine, but still gives me a fair idea of what I could accomplish!

    I'll listen to music on the treadmill, but can't listen when I'm doing any speedwork, much too distracting and sometimes annoying. Maybe I should listen to something with a livier beat, my Lawrence Welk CD's are getting old.

  8. Bruce I love the Lawrence Welk show when I was kid. That and Captin Kangaroo were my favorites! But definitely something more upbeat might help. Sometimes music that is good to run to isn't always your favorite to listen to.

  9. Why fight the addiction? It's not like it's crack or something. Zorba the Greek is fun to run with or "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo.

    I've been listening to audio books lately when I run. I don't think I could do it during a race, but it's fine for boring, getting in some mileage runs. I'm trying to figure out which one to read next. I'm kind of waffling between "The Year of Magical Thinking," (Joan Didion) or Michael Moore's new book "You Suck." I'm afraid I'll either be running down the road laughing crazily to myself or have tears streaming down my face (the Didion book looks really sad).

  10. Well I didn't get to unplug since I had to miss my race because my son is sick. Next 10k though.
    But yes, I love the music. Makes me feel like there is a soundtrack to my life or like I am in a movie--probably a really boring movie where all the main character does is run . .

    Never thought about audio books but I have a hard time listening to audion books since my wanders too much. They say something and then I am off and no longer hear them reading. But I can see how that would work for someone with a stronger attention span.