Running: Unplugged

In today’s world it’s easy to be surrounded by and consumed by technology. We’re constantly checking our phones and email, listing to our Ipods, having to sit at a computer all day long for work, and ending the night with a little TV time with the family. It’s easy to get sucked in with the demands of society, everyone expecting a response within minutes. With the weather finally acting like spring, I decided to end my winter hibernation, get back into my running routine outside, and do so unplugged. Normally I would never go for a run unless I had my Ipod with me, but something about it being one of the first nice days made me want to fully experience the glory of the outdoors. Running: unplugged.

I expected, with this being my first run in a LONG time, that it would be more of a walk-run exercise with emphasis on the walk. My plan was a brisk walk to warm up, run just a little, take a long recovery walk, and repeat. Instead, after doing my brisk walk, running just a little, and my long walk recovery, I found myself running not needing or wanting to stop. I found myself listening to my feet hitting the pavement, the sounds of my trusty four-legged running campaign, Coco, trotting beside me, the rustling of the leaves, and the distant barks of dogs from houses we had passed and were soon to come to. As I was soaking in all of these sounds my thoughts were whirling around in my head about how I could convey the amazing sensation of being unplugged from the world if only for a brief 30 minutes moment in time.

My pace may not have been very fast, especially being the first run of the season, and without the likes of Beyoncé and Michael Jackson blaring in my ears to encourage me on, but honestly, it didn’t matter. I was out there enjoying the day, the moment, and the sounds. I’m not sure if was the fact that it was my first run of the season and I felt motivated to see how much running I could do. Or if it was being unplugged and consumed with my thoughts and the sounds surrounding me, that made this such a great first run of the season. Whatever the case, as I plan a running schedule to follow this summer, I plan to incorporate a run once a week where I unplug and just run.

What about you? What is your preferred method of running? Plugged in with the tunes blaring in your ear? Or unplugged, focusing on everything around you and within you? What drives your motivation; your pace?

If nothing else, I’m daring you to try it, just once. To unplug your run and listen to all the sounds you’ve been missing and listen to your own thoughts instead of the words someone else is singing into your ear. You might just find it as inspiring as I did.

Coco, tired from first run of the season.

Coco, tired from first run of the season.

2 thoughts on “Running: Unplugged

  1. I had exactly this conversation with my girlfriend last night. We are running a half marathon in a few weeks and her take is that the music will get her to the finish line, while mine was that she may well get there quicker, but she would miss out on the experience while wrapped up in her own bubble.

    • It’s so true! The experience is so different running without music. I never thought I’d run without music, almost like I couldn’t run without it. Now, however, I know that I can run without it and actually really enjoy the run. I really do think everyone should at least try it once 🙂 Thanks so much for your comment, and good luck to you both in your half marathon!

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