Running Experiment

A friend of mine had a great idea for a blog post. I’ve written about what I see while running, and she suggested I write about what I hear when running as well. She often runs without headphones just to take in her surroundings, so I did my own little experiment last week and went without headphones too. Here’s what I noticed.

Wind chimes. At 5:00 a.m. before work, it is so quiet. I pretty much only hear my own footfall UNTIL a random gust of wind rattles a wind chime. Let me just say I have a love-hate relationship with wind chimes. On a summer day in Oklahoma when I’m sipping iced tea lying on the trampoline in my parents’ back yard, wind chimes are the ideal sound to accompany that experience. But can we talk about how eerie wind chimes sound when you’re out running by yourself, they break a complete silenceand it’s pitch black and foggy outside?! The perfect remedy for urinary retention issues. I just may recommend that for my elderly male patients with prostate enlargement.

The sound of my own weirdness. I never realized how much I talk to myself when I’m alone for a while. I mean, I don’t have full-on conversations with myself, but I certainly do weird things. My longest run of the week takes about 1.5  – 2 hours, and last week I got weeeeeird. Without anything in my ears to entertain me I started singing dirty rap songs in an opera voice to make myself giggle. So thanks, M.B., for bringing that elegant frightening aspect out of me by suggesting I run without headphones. 🙂

Footfall. Depending on what surface we run on, our footfall makes different sounds. Which I always knew, but I never realized how peaceful and hypnotic that consistent, rhythmic sound can be. And how those different sounds bring me back to different places where I heard the same sound. Like how the sound of crunching snow brings me back to the Midwest. Or the sound of rubber on rubber – my shoes hitting the track oval brings me back to a particularly wet outdoor track meet in college.


Sometimes it’s nice to be without headphones and enjoy the sounds of where you are, ya know? This little experiment has made me want to do that more often. It’s also made me realize how much I enjoy running with people to keep me company rather than just my music. Running with Club Northwest teammates is the best, though. I would never need music again if I lived next door to all those girls and could run with them every day. They’re crazy awesome and super fast.


**Do you run/walk/workout with music? Or do you prefer silence?**

**Do you like to be active with people or go solo?**


2 thoughts on “Running Experiment

  1. Erin says:

    I love that you are adding questions to the blog!! I feel like I am interacting with you. I usually go no music. Generally I can entertain myself with my own thoughts, dreams, and singing. And I totally prefer running with other humans. Ideally, I would run with people 3/4 of the time and run solo the other 1/4. However, the real world drastically decreases how often I run with other people. So it’s just me and my crazy thoughts and dreams.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I usually prefer silence. That’s probably strange coming from a musical person, huh? But, lately, I have noticed that I talk to myself a lot more when it’s quiet, so maybe I need to turn on the music 🙂 And I totally relate to singing songs in weird voices. Cooper thinks I am really weird when I do that, so I guess I’ll keep it up 🙂

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