Today I headed out for a 5 mile run. I didn’t really want to mess with headphones because lately they’ve been falling out of my tiny ears and have just been more trouble than they’re worth.
A few weeks ago, on my daily running calendar, it had talked about every now and then going out without music or GPS and just run. Do what your body wanted you to and be intentional about everything that goes into a run. I thought that I might try that one day, just for kicks.
Today was that day. I didn’t leave my GPS behind because I’ve been trying to do 2/1 intervals instead of 5/1 intervals this weekend and needed the beeping reminders, but I left the headphones in the car.
And then I experienced what I consider to be a 5 mile meditation.
At first it was frustrating because I have a hard time regulating my breathing, especially during the first mile. I think I was focusing too much on that to notice all the other sounds. But once I did… it was magical.
The tweeting of the birds and the chirping of the crickets.
The whirring of the bikes and the rhythmic pounding of other runners’ feet.
Erratic and loud breathing turned into smooth and quiet breathing, and the sound of my head pulsing that can normally be heard through the headphones was nonexistent.
The consistent sound of my Garmin telling me to run or walk was comforting.
My experiment with 2/1 intervals was successful. Since I went headphoneless, I decided not to look at my pace or distance and only at the walk/run times. Once I was finished, I realized that I was as slow and steady as I’ve ever been.
And sometimes that’s the best way to run… with just your thoughts and your body.