I’m doing something new on my next race again.

I have a 5k on Saturday and I have decided to run it without an ipod.

Running without music is something I have never done before, but it is starting to make more and more sense.

During my last half marathon, I reached a point where my music was really irritating me. I felt like trampling my playlist. Since then I have not quite been able to get back into the music I bring along during my runs.

When I started running, I believed that music would make the time go faster and distract me from the exhaustion of running those longer distances. Now I’m not sure it does either.

I also suspect that it might be preventing me from becoming more connected and aware of my body, my form, and my breathing. I need to pay more attention.

I’m nervous about a silent run because in some ways I think I use my ipod as a safety blanket and to shut out the world. It’s always with me and I’m not sure how I’d feel without it. Probably lost and confused. I have actually never experienced a race without music.

Scott Miles from irunnerblog.com wrote a great post about about running musicless, which is what inspired me to try this.

The whole concept of becoming more aware and connected with my body is something that I have been thinking a lot about. Most of us walk around completely clueless about the changes and symptoms and stages that our body experiences.

On Monday my trainer did an interesting thing. She made me do part of my plyometrics routine blindfolded. She had me jump up and off different levels of height and distances relying solely on my other senses and on memory. It was scary.

If I didn’t do it right, I would fall. If I was getting close to the edge, she would cue me verbally and I had to trust her completely. I was forced to focus and really THINK about the movements of my body. If I didn’t ground my mind, I would feel disoriented and dizzy.

When I finally took off my blindfold, my trainer told me that my form and performance had been better blindfolded than when I could see! She said that doing a blindfolded routine would strengthen my brain/body connection, allowing my body to respond more effectively with what I demanded of it. So I’m now ready to seriously start working on developing these neural connections.

Today: lose the ipod.

Tomorrow: blindfolded ninja.