Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Music and Memories

I don't listen to music while I run. It's just something that I have never done, ever.

When we started the Couch-to-5K program, our runs were so short and alternated with walking that it wasn't really necessary to listen to music. Also, I have piercings inside of my ears (specifically my daith, you can look that up haha) which makes it impossible for me to wear earbuds without them falling out.

As we started working our way up in distance, from the half marathon to the marathon, I still never listened to music. I don't need it and it comes in handy that I am not dependent on it because of triathlons. It is against USAT rules to wear headphones of any kind during USAT-sanctioned events, including duathlons.

That doesn't mean that music doesn't have an impact on my life as an athlete. One benefit of not "being in my own world" during races is that I get to hear what is going on around me.

At the start of the Half at the Hamptons on Sunday, "Best Day of My Life" by American Authors was played. Whenever I hear this song from now on I will forever think of the race, and smile because I was there with so many friends.

I will always associate "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC with the Mount Desert Island Marathon because it was played at the start.

We wore these jackets on Sunday too

This isn't the only sport that I have done where it is almost impossible to listen to music. I was a swimmer growing up, from the time that I was 8 years old until I was a 20-year old college student.

I did listen to music while on the bus riding to swim meets and on the pool deck while waiting for my turn to swim for 19 minutes at the most (the 1,650). As I've already mentioned, rap was my genre of choice. You could usually catch me dancing behind the starting blocks before my race, unless it was States then I was all serious (maybe that's why I rarely did well at the end of the season, too serious).

One memory I have that includes music while swimming, is when I swam my fastest 500 free time of 5:31. Interestingly, it does not include a rap song. During the ENTIRE race, I had LeAnn Rimes' "Can't Fight the Moonlight" stuck in my head. Not even the entire song, maybe one or two lines over and over again. I can't hear that song and not think of that race.

There are other songs I hear that make me think of people, places, events and I can't help but smile when I hear them. 


  1. I listened to music almost every time when I started running! I still remember the song playing when I ran a mile for the first time or the song playing when I crossed the finish line of my first half. Those songs are still on my playlist! Just about every song on my running playlist has a special memory. :)

  2. "Thunderstuck" is a throwback of mine too! Isn't funny how we associate certain songs with specific events? There are songs I still recognize and listen to from my high school basketball warm-up mix simply because of the memories--and they pump me up too. :)

  3. That is a great picture! And I have actually started to listen to music on some of my longer runs this winter. Usually about once every couple of weeks. It can be a nice change of pace from thinking the whole run. But with music, I seem to run all crazy like and do random dance moves, and my pace is all over the place depending on the song...

  4. I'm with you! For the most part, I don't listen to music when I run. I really enjoyed the lakefront path in Chicago, and I did so much people-watching that the miles flew by. However, before my first half, I listened to "Bad" by U2 at the recommendation of a friend, and it totally fired me up!

  5. I am the same way there is one song I will still here and always think about my first full because it was playing all over the course.