Yesterday, I had plans to run with my girl, Paula (affectionately known as "PJ" for short). We try to run together every Tuesday afternoon. It's nice. We get a chance to catch up with each other since life often takes us in different directions. The past few weeks had been filled with work obligations and vacation days on both our ends, which prevented us from meeting up. So when July 26th came up on the calendar, we were both psyched and happy to resume our weekly running date. I had a new route for us to try and everything.
We usually end up running around 3:30 p.m. I was actually ready to get out the door by 3:00 (my PT client had cancelled), so I left word with the front desk to let PJ know I'd be back for her. It was such a nice day and I figured I could go out and jog around for a while. A couple extra miles never hurt anyone (knock on wood). I put my Garmin outside to locate satellites, grabbed my badge and sunglasses. I hesitated momentarily, contemplating whether or not to bring my iPod. I opted not to, since I'd only be alone for about 30 minutes. I'd only have to take it off to run with her anyway (we talk a LOT), so I ended up going without it.
Three miles later I came back to meet PJ. Shortly after I returned, she comes in with disappointing news: she forgot to pack her running shoes. We typically have a supply of running/fitness shoes in varying sizes for people to borrow in circumstances such as these, but she has special orthotics in hers. So, it looked like we would have to wait another week for social endorphin time. I ended up walking out with her and put my Garmin back on my wrist. After exchanging goodbyes, I took off running.
About two minutes into it, I realized I didn't have the iPod on. Well, screw it, I thought. I really don't feel like going back for it. I'll just go out for a couple miles. If I get bored, I'll just walk it in or cut it short.
I ran in very comfortable temps. It was probably in the mid to upper 70's, but after the 90+ degree weather I've been slogging through, it felt like spring. The skies were mostly sunny, and it warmed my skin, but when there was shade, there was also a cool breeze. I enjoyed the sound of my feet hitting the pavement and focused on long, slow breaths in and out of my nose. I looked around at the beautiful homes in Lexington (of which there are many) and took in the beauty of the landscape. One mile turned into two, then three, then four. I turned right on to Wood Street; which is about one more mile from the lab. I realized I was thoroughly enjoying my iPod free jaunt. I felt so light and unencumbered. I didn't have to focus on the skipping-that-song-that-is-still-on-my-iPod-that-I-really-should-delete-from-my-library-because-it's-really-not-doing-it-for-me stuff. I didn't have to periodically shove the earbuds back in whenever they threatened to pop out.
I just...ran. Unplugged. And I LIKED it.
Am I going to do it this way all the time now? I wouldn't go that far. In fact, I ran 10.5 miles this morning with the tunes. I had some intervals to do and I figured it'd give me a little oomph. And it did.
But, it was nice to know that I could bang out eight miles, albeit slightly broken up, iPod free, and it didn't suck. In fact, it was pretty awesome.
I just might try it again tomorrow.