Most runners I know listen to music while they're running. Not only is the quiet time really important for me, but headphones are so annoying. I feel like I should be able to take a few hours of my week and enjoy the silence. My other runner friends often ask me how I stay focused and what I think about. It's easy...I listen to the voices in my head.
Okay I guess I just hear one voice - my own. Today, for example, I was thinking of a work project I'm pulling together. I ran through my to do list for the week. I thought about how to strengthen the connection between Downtown and Old Town Lansing. It was sunny and warm, and I started thinking about how warm it'll likely be during the 10k I'm running in Nashville on the 4th of July. My thoughts meandered to how much I love warm weather (except when I'm running) and when I'll be able to go the pool with Will. I wonder when the new bathing suit I ordered will be arriving, and added checking on its status to my list of things to do.
Have you ever had an encounter with someone, and later you've thought "ugh I wish I'd said ____"? I work through those imaginary conversations in my head while I'm running. When I start to lose motivation I start thinking about why I run. I run to stay healthy. I run to be in shape. I run so the new bathing suit I just ordered looks awesome. Today I thought about walking, and the thought of how I want to look in that bathing suit kept me going.
Before we bought our current house I redecorated it in my mind while running. I've decompressed after an argument with my husband or a particularly tough day at work. It helped me through nearly six years of trying to have a baby. Now it helps me shake it out when I've been carrying around my 15-pound love bug all day.
In order to be sane, I have to listen to the voices in my head. It turns out they're pretty wise. I'd recommend leaving the music at home and trying it sometime.
(Also now this song has been in my head all day).