I got an armband for my iPod for Christmas. I also got a gift card for iTunes, which I quickly redeemed for author David Sedaris’s new audiobook, “Live for Your Listening Pleasure.” While I am deeply committed to the many benefits of running in silence and generally regard reliance on digital recordings as somehow unworthy of a woman who aspires to run like a Kenyan, the iPod with new toys was irresistible. Bad Bev.
In my own defense, I sometimes laughed so hard at Sedaris that I couldn’t breathe. I had to stop running and just stagger into the ditch beside the road, doubled over in hysterics. Laughing wasn’t running, but it was definitely anaerobic.
Anyhow, speaking as a grownup, I don’t advocate running with sound that engulfs you. It’s critical to stay attuned to your surroundings for your own safety. At the very least, you gotta keep one ear loose to hear vehicles, bikes, other runners, freaked out dogs, and ax murderers approaching. It’s equally important to learn to listen to your own thoughts and be comfortable with your own company. We’ll discuss running and the spiritual aspect of silence sometime in the future (when you’ve forgotten about this posting and that I have no credibility because I defy my own rules). But for today, let me just admit that I had a weak moment and shook up a routine with my iPod. It was really fun.
Is it possible that maybe Kenyans get bored and slap on iPods occasionally? Nah. I don’t think so. I really have to get my discipline to marathon-level. As Jim Wharton reminded me a couple of days ago, marathon training isn’t only about running. I’ve got a lot of work to do.