Monday, April 4, 2011

To tune or not to tune?

Spring break is over... kids are back at school... Josh is back at work. Weather is still crappy but I did manage to run outside this morning. The roads were dry (no more ice skating rink) although the wind was the cold, strong kind that burns your face and makes your eyes water. "Whatever doesn't kill you  makes you stronger, blah blah blah". Bring on the sunshine please!

I only had four miles today and I only have four (maybe five....) tomorrow. I HATE TAPER. I know it is important and I know WHY we taper (and I am doing it... promise) but man I hate it. 

So, with race day less than 12 full days away I am thinking about all the little details and have some decisions to make (and therefore will probably be obsessing about them on this blog and asking you for input). Please play along, because most people in my life don't really care and don't have any solid advice to share! :)

The biggest question as of today (or the one I am the most unsure about) is if I want to run the Salt Lake City Marathon with my IPOD or go without.

I ran my first marathon in Dec. 2010 in Vegas and wore my IPOD and had it on the whole time. I concentrate a lot when I am racing though... I focus on my form, pace, surroundings, etc. so I noticed during Vegas that there were big chunks of music that I never "heard" during the race, even though it was being piped into my ears.

Then in Jan. 2011 I ran the Disney World Marathon and I decided not to wear my IPOD. I wanted to experience all of the entertainment and excitement that goes with running a Disney race. There was lots of fun stuff on the course and lots to see and look at, but over the course of 26.2 miles there was definitely plenty of time when there wasn't much going on too, and I never missed the music. In fact I found myself enjoying the crowds, listening to the conversations of other runners, etc.

Now Salt Lake City Marathon is going to be a MUCH smaller marathon than Disney. Disney had over 13,500 finishers in the marathon. Last year the SLC Marathon had just over 1,000 finishers (and just under 5,000 half marathon runners, who start at the same time). There obviously won't be the same entertainment, crowds, and Disney magic. I am totally ok with that and am actually looking forward to a smaller, more low-key race.

But do I want my music??

When I train by myself I use music about half the time. I enjoy it, but I don't "need" it. On the plus side, I know that music can be motivating and a good "distraction", and could come in handy during a smaller, less crowded marathon.

On the flip side, there is a part of me that really liked running without music. And, somewhere around mile 18, everything "on" me starts annoying me and I want to rip it off and leave it on the side of the road. With sunglasses and a hat, there is already a lot "on" my head/face, and adding headphones is just one more thing to have on me, and one more thing to fiddle with at the start.

I can make a really good argument either way and just can't decide. I think I am leaning towards running without the IPOD, but that is just this minute... ask me again in 5 minutes and I may say I am leaning towards the tunes. On one hand I really enjoyed racing without music last time and like the idea of having as little "stuff" on me as possible. On the flip side, I don't want to be somewhere around mile 16 and be tired on a quiet stretch of course, wishing I had some All- American Rejects to perk me up and kicking myself for leaving the IPOD at the hotel.

So what do you think?? Do you always race with music? Have you ever raced without? Do you think I am nuts to leave the IPOD or think it's a good idea? Help!


Penny said...

I dont run without my tunes. When I did my marathon their was times I didnt even notice it was on, but the other times when it started to get a little harder. I prayed the lord I had them. I wish I my tunes.

Tricia said...

I usually wear my walkman, just in case. Most of the time I dont want it/need it, but there have been times when music really helped.

Mallory said...

I would HAVE to run with my music. What I do during races though is wear one ear bud and wrap the other around my sports bra so I get the best of both worlds!!

misszippy said...

Well, I never run with music, so my vote would be without it. I just love taking in everything that a race has to offer, even in the tough moments. But do what you think will get you through happy ad comfortable!

Kerrie T. said...

I've never run without it. I'm like Linus with his blanket. Will there be someone you can pass it off to if you want to get rid of it?

Samantha said...

I ran my first 4 marathons without an iPod and my 5th one with it. Like you said, I didn't hear huge chunks of music and around mile 20 I was ready to toss it. I try to train 50/50 so that I don't become iPod dependent (I had one dye 2 miles into a 22 mile run). That said - I did an insanely tough half 2 weeks ago and around mile 8 need the music to perk me up! My advice - get a teeny, tiny shuffle that you can clip to your hat or bra strap that way you have it if you need it but it's pretty small if you don't. FYI- a lot of marathons now prohibit iPod use.

Run with Jess said...

I never run without tunes. I envy those who do, but I get so bored without music... and it definitely helps my pace.

Anonymous said...

Carol said... I have a Shuffle and love it!I would make sure that you have new music on it for the run. I find myself bored with my music and I fast forward through songs- which I annoy myself! I have been so bummed I hurt my hip flexor and have been dying to run! Love you blog!

Colleen said...

I always run with my iPod. I too get bored with out it.

Terzah said...

I ran none of my three marathons with music (they were all long enough ago, most recent in 05, that players were too cumbersome). Now that I have a Shuffle, I'm another half-and-halfer when I'm outside (I'm an *always music* person on the treadmill). In my recent half marathon, I didn't listen to music for the first half of the race, using it as a carrot to make the second half feel different and faster. This worked well for me--it's what I did on long runs too. I'm already thinking about the fall and the marathon. What will I do? Probably something similar. Save the music for when the going gets tough. I just can't imagine carrying something like that on my head for 26 miles. Like you, I'm usually ready to turn feral and throw everything off by about 20 miles.

Let us know what you decide! And remember, you might change your mind at the last minute. :^)

wendy said...

My most favorite race was the Halloween Half Marathon and interestingly enough, the only one in which I did not listen to music. I used to think I *had* to listen to music when I ran, but am starting to see that I don't. Unless I am on the treadmill. I cannot run w/o music on the treadmill.