Monday, December 28, 2009

Is It the Song or the Artist(s)?

2.88 mi. in 41:28 min.
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Weather: 23°F. wind chill

It was a beautiful run outdoors today! The sun shone; the breeze brisk. I moved at a pace that was challenging but not too fast. The music inspiring—wait, music? Me listen to music when I run? What's up with that?

I am a podcast junkie and listen to a lot of podcasts. I have about 150 episodes on my iPod right now. And until very recently I listened to a podcast when I ran outside. What a great use of time, right? At the gym I usually listen to the news on the TVs. But a couple of days ago the news just wasn't helping me out. So I switched to one of the music channels. It was not the kind of music I would ever choose to listen to for enjoyment, but the beat of the rock music helped me keep my pace and energy. So yesterday at the gym I listened to music the entire time.

Before I headed out today, I synched a couple of Shape playlists over to my iPhone, combined them so I would have about an hours worth of music, and headed out. I have to say it was pretty awesome. The music was uplifting. And, my favorite song from the playlist, Footloose, began just as I started my 5th circuit. I love that song! I can never decide if it is the actual music or Kenny Loggins singing, or the memory of Kevin Bacon dancing in the movie, but that song just totally ignites me. And the timing was perfect. The 5th circuit is usually the toughest for me and this song really helped me get through it on pace.

I have discovered that running affects my disposition in a good way! I've always heard that "exercise" is a great way to relieve stress, helps lessen depression, etc. ad nauseum. The doctor I see for my migraine headaches promotes walking 30 min. a day as one of the ways to manage my headaches. Honestly I've never felt that any kind of exercise had an overwhelming influence on how I felt. But I am quickly learning that running does affect my outlook in a very positive way.

Today was a very stressful morning at work. It's the end of the month, the end of the year which always brings extra work. Plus, it has been a challenging year in our business. It kind of overwhelmed me this morning. But I had scheduled my run for 11:00 o'clock and out the door I headed. As noted earlier, the sun was shining brilliantly. The air cool, the breeze brisk. I have to focus on my form, my pace, my breathing, my time. So it is usually into the 4th circuit before I feel like I've got it all together and can relax a little and enjoy the actual act of running. And it is usually about there that my mind clears itself of the cobwebs, the bad thoughts, the worry. I am able to "see" beyond the challenges and difficulties. Today was no different. I was well into my 4th circuit when I realized that worrying doesn't accomplish anything. God already has tomorrow figured out if only I will trust Him. He will not fail me. He will provide what I need. I returned home tired but happy and relaxed. If I never run any better than today, that will be o.k. Because I got what I needed from just the 40 minutes I was out there.

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