Okay, I admit it. I am a complete hypocrite and sell out. After years of taunting people who ran with headphones and Walkmans/disc mans/IP3players, I have now finally joined their ranks. I used to discriminate immediately upon seeing someone running with cords coming from their ears. Obviously they were not a REAL runner. The were not serious...they had to be running just to lose weight. I even talked my wife into leaving the music behind...slowing the pace and enjoying the surroundings more. This fortunately lead to running becoming something she really enjoys and not something done as a chore to stay fit. When running in the states I do 90% of my running in the woods on trails and never wanted to listen to music as music simply was all around me in the wild. I did not understand when someone had headphones on while out in nature. Why tune that out? I'm not sure I understand that still, but due to my current life situation I find my running very boring. I either run on a treadmill to avoid the desert sun and heat, or I run multiple boring loops around my small base staring off for miles in every direction with nothing but sand to be seen.
So I caved in and bought an IPOD Shuffle.....which is amazingly small and cool. I have 15 hours of music on it that will not repeat or run out of battery charge. Best of all, the whole thing weighs about the same as a piece of paper. I conveniently clipped it to my Montrail hat and coiled the headphone wire up and twist tied it to the tightening strap on the hat. I then ran the cords directly to my ears. NO JIGGLING CORDS! A beautiful thing for sure.
You know what? Music is pretty nice on the run. I think I am a bit faster while listening to my favorite upbeat tunes, and maybe a little less in tune to my surroundings, but living here I am not missing out on anything. The loop seemed to flow a bit quicker and the boredom was definitely reduced. Will I use the IPOD back in the states on trail? I doubt it, but at least now I have a new appreciation for those who do.