Tunes or No Tunes?

Greetings from Minnesota! Cool day today with temps in the 50’s again. Perfect running weather. 🙂

Before I get to my big question (which is prominently written in the subject line), I have a photo for you. The past few days, I’m seeing all sorts of pictures on Facebook and twitter of “scary clouds” and “crazy looking sky.”

We have been having some unsettled weather lately, and even a tornado and hail in some parts of Minnesota the past few days. Luckily I don’t think there was serious damage, but it definitely can be scary.

Just because, I want to share my own “unique sky” photo.

There you have it. Now, on to my question.

Tunes or no tunes??

What I’m referring to is whether or not I should carry my iPod during the Fargo Marathon next weekend. If you’re a runner, I’m sure you may have strong feelings one way or the other on this issue.

If you’re not a runner, I’ll just say that most runners I know either feel like they “could never run without music” or “swear that music ruins the running experience.”

I’m in a camp somewhere in the middle. I listen to music or a podcast about half the time. Sometimes I like solitude, and sometimes I feel I need to focus without the added distraction of earbuds. And I always leave the iPod at home if I’m running with Calvin the dog.

I’ve done up to 15 miles without that little gadget, so I know I can run long without it. On my 20 mile, I brought it with in case I needed it. I popped in some music for 10-20 minutes when I was feeling a bit sluggish mid-race, however I finished the last 10 miles without it.

But… I also feel like music is a powerful tool. If you’ve hit a rough patch, hearing Pink belt out “Raise Your Glass” or Bruce Springsteen say you’re “Born to Run” really can perk a person up.

In an effort to organize my thoughts, I thought I would make some lists.

Bring it because:

  • If music can help me through a rough patch, why not bring it?
  • Even if I don’t use it, I’ll have a sense of secuirty knowing it’s there.
  • I can listen to my favorite song, right when I want it or need it.
  • Everybody else is doing it! (It seems like lots of people race with one.)

Leave it at home because:

  • It’s better to take in the marathon experience, chat with other runners, and enjoy the crowd.
  • Fargo Rocks this year (a band at every mile) so why bring the iPod?
  • It’s a pain dealing with those wires, taking the earbuds in and out, or having them fall out.
  • Leaving it home means I have more flexibility in clothing choice because I won’t need a pocket. (I refuse to wear an armband for 26.2)

What do you think?? Share some of your own pros and cons, or just tell me what you would do.

About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
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10 Responses to Tunes or No Tunes?

  1. Rebecca says:

    I say leave it at home and enjoy the race experience! It sounds like between the bands every mile and the crowd support, you should have a great experience without headphones!

    Good luck on your race!

  2. Bree says:

    One week! I am going to wear my ipod. I am intrigued about the bands of my friends is actually playing! I think if I decide I don’t need music I can turn it down. I usually need a boost at the end of any tough run.

  3. sweatykid says:

    I’d say bring it. Between the bands and the excitement of the experience, you may not even use it, but it might be nice to have “just in case.” I usually don’t run with music, but sometimes I’ll bring my iPod with me “just in case” I get bored or need a little motivation — 9 out of 10 times, I won’t even bust it out, but it’s nice to know it’s there if I don’t get into a groove on my own.

  4. Bring it. If you don’t use it, it is not like it is going to weigh you down or anything. I find that music for the last 6 miles really helps to distract me from some of the negative thoughts that start to creep into my brain.

  5. Heidi Nicole says:

    I would say bring it…and have it available if you end up needing it, but don’t start out with it. Soak in as much of the race as you can before you need to really zone out.

    Whatever you do – GOOD LUCK! I am so excited for you (and all the other bloggy friends I know running it!)

  6. bearrunner says:

    I train with music religiously, yet I have not raced with it ever… I always bring my MP3 player just in case, in my hydration belt. Usually at 18 – 19 miles I am so exhausted anyways, I am too lazy to use it. I ran one of my 20s without it so like you, I know I can go the distance and not need it…


  7. Kathy Kluthe says:

    I did one half marathon last year without tunes and one with – I definitely felt more motivated with music, especially since there were long stretches during the race without people cheering. The Fargo marathon might have more people lined up along the streets though.

  8. Brit says:

    I say bring it! If the crowd support is great, you may not need it, but during both of my marathons there were times when the crowd support was a bit thin and I was thankful to have my iPod.

  9. Jena says:

    I think I’m a little late on this but oh well. I say bring it. I think 26 miles is a long way to want music and not be able to have it bc you didn’t bring your ipod. I get that there are bands every mile, but I would want something that I could zone out to.

    Good Luck this weekend!!

  10. lauren says:

    I took my ipod on my marathon & honestly, only used it during miles 13-15 and then 19-22. That was when the crowds were the thinnest & a few glee tunes helped me through!

    I would take it and decide to use/not to use during the race depending on how you feel.

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