Dear Mr. Diddy, AKA Sean Puffy Puff Daddy P. Colmbs,
I passed by your house this morning mid-way through my 9 mile run.
I guess you must have still been asleep because no one responded when I tried to hurl myself over your 20 foot tall gate.
Your long winding driveways are really lovely if I do say so myself.
Why don’t you come for a run with me sometime?
Michele @ paleorunningmomma
Sometimes the best runs are the ones where we don’t distract ourselves with music or audiobooks or podcasts. Believe me, there are runs when I really enjoy a relaxing pace and a good podcast but I hate feeling like I depend on headphones to run. Plus we all know they are not safe to run with in the first place. But how do you pass the time without them? Well, you can start with your brain. It’s quite a fascinating concept. A lot of times my own brain is far more entertaining than any playlist or podcast. And yours can be too. There are really no rules here. But I’ll give you 6 ways you can keep yourself entertained on any run.
1. Whine, complain, and just all around hate life for the entire first 2-3 miles. See I told you this wasn’t hard. Just kidding. Running is hard the first couple of miles before we get in our groove. So just go with it and tell yourself how much you suck as a runner, a person, and in life in general. Don’t hold anything back. The trick is that once you completely drive yourself insane by mile 3, you open your mind up for some really good creative energy to start flowing around mile 4. And let’s be honest – we all know anything really creative and fun is born out of being completely nuts. Even running itself, right?
2. Say hello to all the living and non living things you pass. Look around you. There are tons of little creatures running around you that you might not notice when you’re listening to music. Some of them aren’t so little either, so maybe don’t say hello to them out loud. Not only that but in the spring and summer you’ll probably see lots of “previously living” creatures (I’m hesitating on saying dead for fear of offending anyone.) For example, you can say: “Hello possum, I acknowledge that you were once alive and now that you’re not anymore, I feel sad for you. What a circle. The circle of life.” And then you feel the sadness and run-cry for 15 seconds. I once had a long run where I did a 15 second cry for every once-alive animal I passed roadside. Get in touch with your emotions. That’s what running’s all about.
3. Write a letter to someone in your head. The above letter to Mr. Sir P. Diddy entertained me for approximately 2.3 miles of my 9 mile run on Saturday. Believe me, things are way more entertaining in your mind while you’re running than they ever are at any other time. Now that your mind and heart are open (see #s 1&2) write a letter to someone or just put together something you want to say to someone. Again, no rules. It can be funny or it can be serious and from the heart. Point is the miles are passing and you’re engaged.
4. Confront someone you’re angry with. You are completely alone and have some time on your hands so now is a good time to “tell” someone you’re mad at exactly what you think and how you feel. Of course, you have to come up with all their responses as well which winds up really revealing how YOU feel about the situation and why you haven’t yet confronted it. You know how people say “running is my therapy?” Well, this is actual therapy you can do with yourself while you’re running. It really works, try it.
5. Remember the last time you ran a marathon. At the point where you find yourself struggling in a longer run, think about your last marathon or hard race. No, not the part where you crossed the finish line and your family greeted you with a cookie dough milkshake. I mean the part where spectators were gasping as you passed them dry heaving and dragging your achilles behind you at a steady 9:15 pace. No matter how much you think this run sucks at least THAT sh*t is over with. And you survived and even got a cookie dough milkshake and bragging rights. It’s really not that bad, remember this.
6. Fastasize about what you’ll eat when you get home. Are you still missing Jay Z and JT and the rest of your playlist in the last mile? Get a grip, you’ll be home in less than 10 minutes and now is the perfect time to plan what you’ll eat when you get there. Of course if it was a really long run and you happen to be dry heaving and dragging your achilles behind you then this won’t work. But for all other times it’s really fun. Whether you have plans to go out to brunch with friends or you’ll just be at home alone happily shoving food in your face, there’s lots to think about to get you through that last mile. Get down to the details: “scrambled or over easy? pancakes or waffles? honey or maple? bacon or sausage?” All of the above.
So clearly, if you can unlock your brain and access the crazy, funny, awesomeness in yourself you can have a good time running without headphones! And who knows, maybe Mr. Diddy will actually come out one day and run with you for a mile 😉
How do you entertain yourself sans headphones? Any tricks I should know about?