Earlier this week, I made up my mind to run three times this week. The problem was (since I wouldn't be able to run on Friday or the weekend) that it was going to interfere with my usual run a day/wait a day/run a day routine. Still, at some point, this routine was going to have to go. For a race where I'm going to be running 3 times in 24 hours, training once every two days isn't going to be quite as intense as I need. So yesterday, I went for another run.
This run was different in a lot of ways. For one- no ipod. This was really helped by the fact that I had a good friend, Cesar, running with me. Despite not having any music to run to, having a buddy there with you makes you completely forget about running. It was a really nice break for me and, if nothing else, it gave me a lot of confidence that running without my ipod during the race won't be quite as terrible as I have been dreading. I didn't even notice that the ipod wasn't there until way after the run was over. I think the key to running without the ipod is going to be having a distraction, and while having a buddy there with you has to be the best possible distraction, having something to look at is second.
Today, there was definitely a lot to look at. We decided to run along the boardwalk at Pacific Beach which, if you've never seen it, is a lot like the Venice Boardwalk up in LA. Well, minus the guy with the guitar on roller skates. While Pacific Beach may not have the weirdness that Venice does, it has plenty of character and is a pretty good place to run. The run begins at the heavily populated Pacific Beach Pier and then moves to the far less populated Mission Beach Pier. Along the way, there are tons of people everywhere. Whether it's people walking their dogs, surfing, playing volleyball, etc., every step you take, there's a distraction. This means that it's the perfect place to run for me.
I know I've been a little preoccupied with the ipod thing since I got the news, but here's why I'm now convinced it won't be a problem. While the run around my house may not have the most breathtaking scenery, Oregon has it everywhere. So while it might be really boring running around here for the simple fact that you never see anything new (well, maybe besides the pissed off cat on a leash), every turn in Oregon is going to bring something new. In a way, I think it could be a good thing. Last year, I tended to tune out the scenery and use my music as my distraction. When the running got tough, I would put my head down and gut it out. This year, I'm going to be forced to look around me and really soak in every part of the experience. For better or for worse, I'm running without an ipod to distract me this year. And something tells me it's for the better.