Running Music

It has always been a common debate of whether running with music helps or hurts you as a runner. When I was training for my first Marathon in 2009, I had a running buddy that never ran with music. We would meet up for runs, and right before we started I would always turn on two things – my iPod and my Garmin, mean while he didn’t have either of these. I asked him why he didn’t enjoy running with music? He replied that running with music did not make him a consistently paced runner. A fast song made him run faster, when a slow song made him run slower.

There is also always the topic of safety. Why else are headphones banned from races? But who follows that rule anyway…

I have had a lot of non runners, scold me about running with music/headphones, because it alters my sense of hearing, making it dangerous. I guess this could be true, not being able to hear a cyclist behind me, on the trail. A car honking when I cross the street. A dog barking. A kid laughing. And because I am a female runner, the odds of a possible predator approaching me from behind is much greater than if I was a male runner. All of these scenarios are dangerous, but even more so with my sense of hearing impaired. (Oh and even even more dangerous if you are on a bike. If you are a cyclist, it is a whole different story.)

Although this is all true, I still love running with music and rarely go for a run with out my iPod. However, with that being said, I want to make one thing clear- I do not rely on my iPod to carry me through the miles. I am capable of running with out music, and actually during my first marathon, there were so many spectators with cool signs, that I didn’t pay much attention to my running playlist until the last 5k.

So being a female runner, running with music, I have to be even more aware of my surroundings – but believe me I am, because I use my eyes. I am constantly scanning, I don’t want to miss anything. Plus, now that I am running in a more minimalist shoe- I can feel the ground. By wearing a more minimalist shoe I am able to use my sense of touch, which allows me to be way more in tuned with my body, my running form, the run itself.

But back to the music… One of the top reasons I love running with music is not because it betters me as a runner, but rather because it is the one time during the day that I get the opportunity to totally engross myself with my favorite tunes.

Don’t get me wrong, I listen to music pretty much my whole day. I listen to the radio in the car, but I don’t choose the music. Pandora plays in the background, while I am at work, but I can’t really listen to it, because I am busy with clients. So while I am running my morning route, I am able to stop thinking, instead I run, and listen, listen to the newest music on my iPod.

Now because I run so much,  my playlist quickly become boring. So I am always on the search for new music. Lately, I am all about Lindsey Stirling. 


Lindsey is a violinist. In her album, Lindsey Stirling by Lindsey Stirling, she creates 12 instrumental songs, blending both classic violin with her signature¬†electronic violin style. I know this is a unique choice of music to suggest you to download, but aren’t you bored of the same old music? Aren’t you desperately searching for something new and different to listen to on your long runs? Well trust me Lindsey Stirling is your answer. Although, her music is instrumental violin, you will not be put to sleep. This music will get you pumped and make you run faster and faster.


So although, there are negative things about running with music, there are many positive things as well, including increasing your cadence. Lindsey Stirling is who I am listening to while I run. Who are you listening too?

Questions for You…

  1. Do you listen to music when you run?
  2. What is on your running playlist?

© 2013 sweatdaily

all photos were found on google

Running the A-10. A race in the rain!

I have been waiting to write this blog post because it just wouldn’t be as good with out photos. So here it goes…

Races around here fill up so fast. Marine Corps Marathon has a total of 30,000 entries and filled up this year in 2 hours and 45 minutes. Army 10 Miler has a total of 50,000 runners and filled up over night. The Color Run 5K filled up in 2 days. The Cherry Blossom 10 miler is now a lottery entry, just like the NYC Marathon, because it is that popular.

If you really want to run a popular race in the DC area, your best bet is to stay awake until midnight and register the minute the race opens. There is still that frantic feeling that your computer will freeze and the race will sell out. This was the feeling Lina (my running buddy) was having.

It all began in June, while I was on my vacation in Idaho. I received a phone call from my sister saying that Lina had contacted her through Facebook. She told me that Lina was trying to get a hold of me. We had just run the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and The Parkway Classic in April, but Lina was ready to sign up for her next race, and honestly I was too. She was debating between the Spartan Run or the Annapolis 10 Miler. Both of these races fill up fast so she wanted to sign up ASAP. So immediately the three of us got registered, for the A-10.

All summer, Lina and I ran.  However, this was the first summer in three years that I was NOT intensely training for a Marathon. So although I did run, I will admit,  it was a different type of running. It was shorter runs. It was faster runs. It was running experiments in my Newton shoes. It was runs focused on form.

Well after three months of this type of training it was finally the weekend of the Annapolis 10 miler. On Saturday, August 25th, around 1 pm, my sister and I left DC and headed to Annapolis. Unfortunately, the predicted forecast of Sunshine changed. And although, Hurricane Isaac, was swarming around the Florida Keys, winds and tropical storms were all over the Annapolis Harbor.

The expo was really small, but I accepted that because the race was organized by a local running group. It was also outside under a tent and it started to drizzle so people were getting their bibs and heading on out. My sister and I had to rush on through because we had reservations to go sailing.

Me at the Expo getting my Bib for the A-10. I got a cool hat too!

When my sister and I got down to the Harbor to catch our boat, we both were a little annoyed about the weather. Questions like, Should we go? Should we get our money back? It sucks that it is not sunny. It is horrible weather? But we sucked it up and got on the boat. And I am glad we did.

Sailing in Annapolis.

Me Sailing!

So let me tell you about this boat ride! ¬†It felt like we were on an amusement park ride. I felt like I was going to go over board several times. The sail boat tipped to one side and then the sailors would change the sail and it would aggressively tip to the other side. The sailors were loving it. They would yell, “Wohoo! This is the best wind we’ve had in months.” This was definitely not a peaceful boat ride, but it was fun, and actually the best boat ride I have ever been on.

We got off the boat looking like we had just came from Gilligan’s Island. We tried to clean up the best we could in the Marriot Hotel’s bathroom. And then we headed to an Italian restaurant for dinner. The food was amazing. We both ate¬†vegetarian dishes and they were delicious.

After dinner we walked around the harbor and checked out some of the boutiques. I of corse hit up one of the local tea shops, called The Spice and Tea Exchange.

Finally we arrived at the hotel. We prepared our running stuff for the morning and set our alarms for 5:30 am.

My running stuff! Newton shoes and Lululemon!


I woke up the morning of the race not to my alarm but rather thunder.

Thunder in the morning!

OMG, I thought the race would be canceled for sure. But we got ready and headed to the start. We were lucky because we had saved our ponchos from sail boat ride we took the day before, and we had umbrellas.

At 7:45 right on time, the race started and we began to run. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t have corrals, because I had seen Lina in the parking lot and told her to meet me at the 8-9 min corral. So we didn’t start together, but I did see her later in the race.

At the start we thought, maybe the rain would stop, but boy were we wrong. It just came down harder and harder. This rain was the type of rain that when you are driving your windshield wipers can’t keep up and you have to pull over to the side because you can’t see.

My sister and I running in the rain!



At mile 2 my iPod’s volume got really low and then it just shut down because it was that wet. My sister and I actually pulled over to the side of the race because she thought her iPod was dying too. I ended up moving my iPod to the outside of my shirt, in hope that the crazy hurricane like winds would dry it off. This actually worked and at mile 7 my iPod randomly started playing again.


All week I had been training without my garmin because it had a full memory and I needed a new USB plug. I purchased a new one on Amazon and received it that week. Well I went through all that trouble for nothing. When I started running, I looked at my garmin and noticed the numbers were all fucked up. It turns out that I am an idiot and didn’t realize until mile nine that my watch was programed for km and not miles. So I basically was clueless the whole race about my pace and milage.


As you may know from previous posts, I was using this race as the ultimate test for my Newton shoes, and I was expecting to run it super fast, however I did not PR.  I do want to say this though, my Newton shoes felt awesome, and in the end, I love them, and will continue training and racing in them. I was also very surprised to see so many others wearing Newton shoes.

No Regrets!

So although, this race was not a¬†PR for me, WOW what a race! ¬†Thunder, lightning, torrential downpour, hurricane like winds, iPod dying from being wet, and garmin programmed for km, not miles. I ran across the finish line soaked and muddy in 1:33:23.¬†I have come to the conclusion that you just might not PR in every race and I am totally fine with that. And like the above photo says, “I really regret that run. -Said no one. Ever.” I have no regrets.

Me with my game face on!

Let me hear your stories…¬†Questions for You…

  • Have you run through bad weather?
  • Have you had a race when all your electronics died on you?

© 2012