Monday, August 19, 2013

To Jam or not to Jam?

For as long as I can remember, I've loved music.

Vinyl albums as a young child and cassette tapes in grade school. Then came along the dual cassette player (and the ability to create a mix tape). CDs in junior high and high school. CD burners and MP3's in college.

I remember bringing my cherry red GE walkman to elementary school. I'd received it as a Christmas gift from my aunt and uncle along with my first Madonna tape. When recess time came, I walked around listening to music instead of hanging out with other kids. It was handy on the bus throughout high school, too.

In college the no-skip Discman was a backpack utility as I walked to and from class. Not to mention a great aide as I labored for hours in the design and photo labs.


The digital music player invention changed the way many of us worked out. Being mobile with music was no longer any different than moving around the world without it. Your digital music player could be Velcro'd around your arm and provided an hour or two of music (and unlike it's predecessor, no skipping).

Today, the iPod (or iPhone) has become as much a part of the runners outfit as shorts and shoes. So the question of this post still remains - Do you run with music or without? And it's ok if you say both.

Throughout my training career, I've come and gone in waves with music. There's certain activities where you can't have music (cycling, yoga and swimming), some where you can (lifting, running) and others where it's a gray area (races).

My current habit is to run with music when I'm running alone and run without music when running with someone. I seem to get the best of both worlds this way. My latest playlist keeps me moving during those early morning weekday solo runs. Then I enjoy catching up with a friend or discussing our breakfast plans with the CARA training group.

If I ran with music all the time, I'd probably catch less of each conversation. There would be a lot of jokes and happenings I would have missed over the last eight or so years. Those moments created memories which created friendships.  I may have missed an important safety notice on the lakefront path like "bike back" or "group passing" which could have led to yet another avoidable injury.

 So, though music and I have had a lifetime love affair, I'm going to use it sparingly while running.

1 comment:

Declan Xavier said...

I meant to comment about music with company during a run, thanks for reminding me! I saw a couple (or at least friends) doing a morning run together, but had headphones on.. seemed odd.
Myself - I only run with music on if I'm on a treadmill. Otherwise, I like being free of the cord.
I like listening to my breathing, my cadence, bikes, etc. A little bit safer too!