Today the music stopped

Today the music stopped, before I had even started running. I must remember to re-charge my phone, or my Internet flat runs out doh!

Anyhow … the music stopped, but I didn’t want to turn back. I usually run with music and know I must work on getting rid of it, so I took it as a sign and set off.

It was also a great opportunity to test the first point on Saulbee’s ultimate mental hacks for long runs list! What he suggests sounded doable, before I tested it!

His first mental hack is: “Write in your head” and it all seems to be around “the opening”. It reminds me of the game “I pack my back”. I thought I can do that or at least try.

I quickly got the opening: “The day the music stopped …” – that was the simple part …

… and the part I kept repeating and this is how it went on in my head:

“The day the music stopped … I started to hear the waves crushing” … Hey that sounds good! I can make this a thing! Maybe I can write about hearing birds? *Listen for birds … no birds just waves* … oh birds … it’s just so cool how everybody out there is hunting for cool objects on their runs, like the birds … I remember Paula’s post about a wild bird … oh no I’m loosing the plot! Let’s remember … what was the opening? Oh yeah …

“The day the music stopped … I started to listen to my steps my cadence improved”. OK wait a second … that isn’t true. I can’t write that as I won’t know that my cadence improved till after my run! So I just try and make it a reality now and don’t write that paragraph. I try to run at a higher cadence. I’m trying to do 3 steps per second, but now have no idea how long a second is. I try to count and realize: I’ve lost the plot! Back to …

“The day the music stopped .. I hear the waves crushing … and ” do I hear something else? Where are the usual dogs I meet on the beach? I look out for them, but no one is in sight. I realize that I’ve been running for quite a while and am not missing the music. I start again and add:

“The day the music stopped I realized I can run an ultra one day.” One of the things that had bugged me about running with others is the running without music … music is like my crutch. It was on my plan to try and run without music … but it was like the last point on a multiple page list on the very bottom! Realizing I can just do it and enjoy it is a big one for me. If I can do this, I can figure out the rest.

“The day the music stopped I became aware of the sea. I heard the waves crushing and sloshing against the sand. I became more aware of myself, my rhythm and the rhythm of the wind.  I heard my footsteps and my breathing and it’s quiet. I’m surprised how quiet I can run, how normal this feels. The day the music stopped I realized I need a lot more mental training to not loose the plot.”

18 Comments

  1. I feel like saying welcome to my head. The stream of consciousness thing is so much what it is like and then dragging yourself back to where you started.
    I never run with music any more, when I started I could not do without music, then moved onto audio books and now nothing but my own thoughts rattling around in there.
    Love the final paragraph, keep practising.

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    1. Thanks! I will 🙂 so it’s also like on a looped course?! Dragging yourself back to the start as restarting … if I get better at it and possibly change my attitude it will help in a race and probably with doing my VAT returns!

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      1. You’ll get better, like everything it takes practise. VAT returns, aaaarrgghh sounds like a whole new level of challenge there.

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      2. Arghhhgh my old nemesis – The return that should not be named =( Some races dont allow music and the couple I’ve done I could have used it but much prefer the atmosphere and the chance to be able to talk to others.

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  2. I can now take or leave music. Depends how I’m feeling. Usually I’ll leave it off when I’m on the beach so I can just listen to the sounds. Like you I find it hard to keep a thread going in my head though …. actually I’m like that all the time anyway. I’ll only use it now when I get to stretches with people around as I don’t want to hear them and usually that means II’m at a distance when some music is good just to change things up.

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  3. Your post made me giggle!!!! its like déjà vu!!!

    *lol* Will and i had a chat about this the other day on one of his blogs i think… i write THE MOST EPIC blog posts while i am out running… i get home, shower, haul out the tech to put my thoughts into words… NOTHING, zilch, nada… blank…
    Same, i have listened to Pil Maffetones posd casts, 10x? i haven’t got a clue what he said!!! i think i just zone right out… which is just the BEST thing for me to do!

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    1. I can help with the Maffetone stuff. He says: slow down! 😀
      Funny that you say zone out! This is what I usually do and I wake up in the middle and have to figure out where I am.

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  4. Lol! I know what you mean about writing the great posts whilst you are out! Where do they go? ( mine)!!! I seldom listen to music. I’m saving it for my longer runs😉

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      1. Yup it’s all going on in my head!! Most if my life that is. Running is good sometimes just to mull over or more often I’m just counting my steps or listening to my breath until it eventually calms down. But most of the time there’s a little narration going on inside!

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  5. You did a great job composing in your head! The final outcome was beautiful! I often do that while I’m out too… however, I’m so ADD that my thoughts are all over the place and then I can never remember what I’ve thought about… it’s like I need to be able to record my brain thoughts so I don’t forget them! 😀
    And I’ll bet the run was enjoyable and over way too soon… 😀

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