August No iPod Challenge

no ipod

Well I did it y’all!  I have successfully ran/walked/crawled an entire month without the use of my iPod!

Barbie pose!  No…I don’t look like that:-/

Barbie pose

Runs #’s 9 – 11 were fairly uneventful.  I was getting a little worried because I wasn’t seeing as many beer cans or bottles on the side of the road, so I wasn’t sure to take this as a sign of the impending zombie apocalypse.  But DON’T WORRY friends. Run #12 on Saturday proved that the zombie apocalypse is a long way off.  I know what you’re thinking – yes they were light beer cans.  But wait, there’s more!  Someone apparently was trying to step it up a notch.  Bringing just a bit of class to the empty discarded side-of-the-road beer can repertoire.  That’s right…I saw…drumroll please…three bottles of Shock Top.  So here, here!  That’s stepping it up ol chum.  Humanity is saved!

I will admit running without music was very freeing and wasn’t as bad as it sounds.  I did it for two reasons.  One, I felt a little sloppy and I wanted to pay attention to my body and running form for improvement.  Sometimes when we listen to music while running we don’t concentrate on stride or breathing and become sloppy.  The most important thing I took away was that I’m heavy on my feet.  Meaning I tend to pound a bit.  I don’t hear the pounding when I’m jamming, but I would feel it afterwards.  I made a point to be lighter on my feet and that’s good.

Secondly, I just wanted to see if I could do it :).  Woot woot!

Shut You Down
Shut you down iPod!

My first week of Marathon training totaled 15.09.  10,608.91 miles happily remaining.

Total miles for August = 64.44.

Total miles for 2013 = 634.56

Total miles completed – 705.63

Training Recap:

Monday – 3.01

Tuesday – 1:15 Yoga

Wednesday – 3.05

Thursday – 4.00 with 45 minutes of kettle bells

Saturday – 5.03

Run hard, run happy.

#’s 9 – 12 – Recap without the iPod

The start of the week saw me in the Tempe Double Tree Hotel and my workout pretty much looked like this on Monday and Wednesday:

Gym Double Tree

Sigh…This is really when you need the iPod my friends.  iPod – take me away!!  I’m not whining….riiight.  I have to say this was probably one of the worst gyms for a Double Tree hotel.  The T.V. reception was bad and there was no place to stretch out.  When you go into a place like this…there’s no doubt about it ,it’s business only and get the heck out.  I would have run outside, but unfamiliarity with the area, moving my daughter into her dorm and the 117 degree heat kept me indoors and on the dreadmill (I stole this from a Facebook buddy – I love it!) both days.

On Wednesday I ate this:

See why I run?

On Thursday we were out tooling about and I stopped to take this:

This was a big cactus.

We were out in the middle of nowhere.  I’m thinking who is living out here?  I don’t even see any animals.  It was hot, hot, hot and then I saw two people RUNNING on the street below!  I felt like such a wimp:/  Excuses in 3…2…1…

Since the kid was doing A-Okay I took an early flight home and sat next to a lady who was taking her son to college – in St. Louis!  It was pretty neat to have someone to talk too and share similar feelings about leaving your kid “behind’ at school.

Rested on Thursday and went for a walk on Friday – pretty uneventful.

Saturday is my long run day – should have pulled 8 but I decided to do 5 because I’m starting something special tomorrow!  Yay…I’ll tell you tomorrow 😮

Was glad to be in familiar surroundings on Saturday’s run. Nothing like running on a beautiful Saturday morning.  I was especially lucky on this run because I witnessed a woodpecker in a tree.  No doubt I would have missed it listening to the iPod.  What a treat.

Running along and I noticed a large quantity of Nutri Grain Bar wrappers.  Hmmmm.  Odd. It’s always difficult when you’re running and you see trash.  I want to pick it up, but then how can I run with all this trash.  It’s also odd for trash to be strewn about in the neighborhood – who knows maybe it was the wind or maybe someone was leaving a trail to find their way home.

Passed a green and then I saw it!  Why is it when I run without the iPod I tend to zone in on all the discarded beer cans and liquor bottles?  I have no clue.  This was the mack-daddy.  The hugest bottle of SMIRNOFF I’d ever seen.  It had to have been a half-gallon or more.  Do they even make that size?

The golfer’s drink?

Can you imagine driving around in a golf cart drinking SMIRNOFF – ha!  That had to have been a sight.  Apparently is was all good because they left it on the 9th hole.

Total Mileage for the week = 15.92   10,673.35 remaining….

I leave you with some pictures I took while in Arizona…enjoy and happy miles to you.

DSCN0602DSCN0638   DSCN0640 DSCN0582

# 8 – Base Run

Still catching up from last week and still in Arizona. I flew on Friday so I opted for a quick run around the base track, of course no tunes. Honestly, I couldn’t have cared less. I had way to much to do and plan for my trip.

I changed at the gym and ran out.  I reminded myself more than a couple of times that I needed to take out my dangle earrings. Of course I got to the track and my earrings were still in. Took them out and laid them on the bench. Had a decent 3.1, bolted from the track a and realized I forgot the earrings. Well they weren’t Tiffany’s so I pretty much chalked those up as a loss

# 7 – Walking 13 August

The dorm room is completed and the kiddo  dropped off to begin her adventure. Not really sure how I’m feeling right now.  Happy and sad. It is a new chapter in her life and a new one in mine.

Wednesday I walked the neighborhood and completed 4.57 miles. No excitement and yes I did see a light beer can. This was a 16 oz Bud Lime. I think I will have to have a light beer when this is over.

# – 6


This week was a slow week of running. I write this sitting by the pool at the Double Tree Hotel in Tempe, AZ dropping off my only child for her freshman year at college. Needless to say the emotions are overwhelming from one hour to the next. If you have a daughter, you know what I mean.  So, I’ll slowly eek these next posts out with my mind being pulled in two different directions.

Monday – 12 August 3  miles on the elliptical machine.

Ahh, there’s nothing like the smell of an old crusty gym. No, really…I mean it – whew!  There are two main gyms on the base where I work.   One gym is a nicer gym and usually where the upper rank, retirees, the “look” at me’s and others who are not serious about working out frequent.  Sorry, had to get that dig in, and frankly its true. This place reminds me of one of the foo foo gyms.  Then there is the James Gym. Your typical Army type gym. People are seriously working out. Even though I’m working on an Air Force base this gym reminds me of the Army gyms I used to go to when I was in and I just feel more comfortable there.  You go, you work out – no niceties needed thank you.

Since I started running, I prefer to take it outside. Cold, hot, rain or snow I rather be outside. I have begun to switch things up a bit with some strength training and from time to time the elliptical or treadmill.

I walk into a small segmented room with about 6 elliptical machines lined up on the back wall and 6 treadmills divided on the remaining two walls. It’s a tight fit and hot. The walls are painted a dull beige yellow color (common military color) with four flat screen TVs on the back wall and various pictures of beaches from around the world. On more than one occasion I’ve wished I was at one of those locations. I opt for the machine in the middle so I can choose which screen I want to watch. Three are working and the one on the far left isn’t. My viewing choices consist of TMZ, ESPN,and FOX news.  Sigh. Directly ahead of me is one of those cheap clocks, you know with the white background and black numbers. I step up to the machine to begin my work out.

I start by watching the screen with TMZ. I’ve never watched TMZ. Quickly I realize it’s an entertainment type show. Entertainment, yeah. I’m plodding along and watching this crap. Why do we look up to some of these people. There was some gross stuff and remember I can’t hear anything.  I’m just watching the pictures. Not interested in ESPN or the news. Keep moving.

Halfway into the work out a gentleman gets on the machine next to me. I hear “hold on there I need to catch up”!  My sarcastic brain feels like saying “okie dokie let me slow down for you”;). I know he meant well, so I just smiled.

This is why I like to run outside. Being inside sometimes is mundane and uneventful, especially without tunes.

Running on…

no ipod

Run #5 – 10 August

The cats (yes cats…I have four – what?  That’s normal…) woke me up around 5:50 a.m. this morning ready to eat.  I’m starting to get back into longer runs on the weekend and I wanted to get the run in before it gets hot.  Trudged to the closet found the running gear walked over to the sock drawer and I sigh.  I’m not excited about this morning’s run.  I wanted to listen to music and check out for a while.  I have realized giving up listening to music for a month during runs is helping me get in tune with my body, pace, and breathing.  I pushed that small disappointment to the back of my head and went downstairs to prepare for this mornings run.

During the warm months I like to feed the cats and let them outside, enjoying a cup of coffee before this side of the world starts cranking.  I’m greeted with a warm hello…

sunsetI started to feel better and was thankful I could see this sunrise.  Take time for the little things…..on my way.

Started off slow, concentrating on foot placement and movement of my body as I leave my driveway and start down my street.  The street has a bend and as I round it another runner is coming out of the cross-section running in the same direction.  I’m behind her so she doesn’t see me.  She’s running merrily along, pink compression socks (awesome) blonde hair in a pony-tail (cute) and…and…her iPod touch.  It’s on her right arm.   

I find myself running a little faster

Hmmm…I wonder is that a 6th generation?  How much gig?  32?  64?  Like I always say…go big or stay home.  

Starting to catch up

Headphones draped over the back…good.  Oooooh the headphones are a mustardy color.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen that color before – interesting.

Catching up – behind her now 

Beginning to feel like I’m in a white windowless van – “so little girl…whatcha listening too?”

Now I’m even with her

She looks at me and I’m thinking…hey you can have the left ear bud and I can have the right one…what do you say!  Then I smiled and said good morning and politely passed.

Came up to Mascoutah Ave and things are pretty quiet.  Sprinklers are watering a common area of a subdivision on the left and the water always reaches to a part of the street.  I’ve been running this route for two years now and no matter how hard I try I never time it so I can get sprayed!  No, I’m not just going to stand there:/  Yes, I have stood there – I still didn’t get sprayed because…I looked funny standing there.  Not sure why that is….oh well.

Feeling really good

I’m concentrating deeply on my form.  I’m feeling great.  Every time I start to feel a pinch in the knee, back or hip I think about what I’m doing correct and I feel fine.  Wow… not bad, not bad.

Make the turn onto Green Mount and it’s all uphill.  This is a steady elevation for about two miles.  If you’re feeling weak in the body and the mind this can really be a stretch.  Taking the turn at the stoplight and looking forward, the elevation is such that you can’t see the stretch of road in its entirety, thus a hill.  It’s daunting and this is where the mental toughness needs to kick in.  It’s hard but you can’t stop now.  This is the first time I’m running this without music.  As you know a hard heart-pumping song will help you up that hill, right?

It was easy.  The mind chatter was to minimum and I felt great.  Traffic was light and the air was cool.  I’m a mile into the stretch and I start looking at the side of the road again…sigh.  A couple of beer cans and a…WHOA…a NASCAR cap!  Somebody’s upset!

Running on

You’ll be happy to hear…no road kill sightings on this run.

Running on

Reach the top of the stretch…cemeteries on the right and left of me…keep running.

Home stretch

Feeling strong and a very good run.  I felt like this was one of my most disciplined runs.  Is there such a thing?  I think so.  Finished 7.25 in 1:15.

Today's Run

Run #4 – 7 August

Nice lunch time run today.  The Garmin said it was in the 70s with 88% humidity.  I can’t believe that at all.  When I left the desk temp said 88 – but who knows.  It was hot – very hot.  I love having that break during the day to go for a run or a workout.  The only problem in August – working out, outside you get drenched in sweat.  Hit the showers then try to cool down before going back to the office.  Whew!  Not always pristine situation.

It was quiet on the track today – not a lot of people out.  When I started running I didn’t really think about the music or lack thereof.  I concentrated on the pace and loosening up the shoulders.

Ran 3.11 miles with core work out in between.  Workout consisted of planks, reverse planks, some yoga pose I forgot the name of and crunches and burned 310 calories.

Walk #3 – 5 August

Promptly left work at 3:45 today with the hopes of getting home, cooking dinner and lacing up.  Hopped in the car and immediately turned on the radio.  Ahhhh – sweet music.  I turned it up and started singing along.  Then I stared surfing as fast as I could – it was weird.  I went from one channel to the next, it didn’t matter if I liked the song or not, I was determined to get in as many genres as possible before I had to cut it off.  I didn’t even realize I was doing it until halfway home (my drive is only 10 minutes).  Way too funny.

Decided to walk this evening.  It was 70 (according to the Garmin) with 88% humidity.  I started off around dinner time and no one was outside.  The occasional car would speed by, but for the most part it was quiet.  When it’s quiet you can really hear the locusts now.  I focused on that sound and it was almost deafening.  It’s an amazing sound – a true sound of summer.  Breathing in the air – lovely.

As I made the turn home families were out teaching children how to catch, hit, and ride.  Lawns were getting watered and mowed.  Teens hanging out on cars, no doubt talking about school starting next week.  Nice end to the day – ended with 4.70 miles.

Run # 2 – 3 August

I am in to my second day of the no iPod challenge – so far so good.  Saturday I set out for 6 miles down Mascoutah Ave no tunes in hand.  Got going around 8 am, it was slightly hazy, a little muggy, but the weather in this part of Illinois has been extremely pleasant as of late.

The road out of the neighborhood has just been oiled (graveled) so this means I have to pay extra attention to my footing.  It’s a two lane road that has a curved embankment.  When cars pass, moving to the side can cause a problem with footing on the heavy gravel.  I have this footing for about 3/4 of a mile until I come to Mascoutah Ave, also a two lane road.

I hit Mascoutah Ave and I feel good, but a little on edge.  Not really sure why.  I’m not missing the music but I do feel like something’s missing.

I find it’s very interesting to see who gives you “room” to run, while others just buzz by you.  A lot of drivers gave me that courtesy today, but there were a few that buzzed me.  Thank you.

I’m running along and then it hits me to check my Garmin Forerunner 10 to gauge my progress.  It’s a small battle going on inside my brain…”It’s too early to check”…”no it’s not”….”yes it is, we just started”…”but we’re only doing six, so we need to check”…”no, don’t do it”….”do it, do it, do it”…..awwwww I’m checking – only 1.66.

Running on…it appears that lite beer seems to be the beer of choice around these parts.  I counted three lite beer cans on the side of the road.  Let’s see, Lite beer, Miller Lite, and Bud Lite ~  and a camouflage koozi!  Whoa, it looks in great shape – who threw that out?  After living in Germany for two years, uh, I’m not drinking Lite Beer!

Garmin check – 2.01.

Hmmm there seems to be an excessive amount of road kill on the road.  Welcome to running in the cornfields of Illinois!  Awww, raccoons, eww what is that? Frogs ~ is that a lizard?

Garmin check – 3.02 – yay, turning around.

Ewww, more road kill…what if I saw a dead body in the ditch..corn looks good…tail pipe…something stinks!

Garmin check – 3.66…dang!

Oh look there’s the little white farm house…I’m getting closer…I’ve got to go grocery shopping and drop off the clothes at the cleaners.

Garmin check – “stop checking – you know you have to run home – that will be 6 miles, dummy”….”I can’t help it” – 4.66.

I see the neighborhood – getting close and there is the yellow turn sign!

Garmin check – 4.91 – Crackers!

“I can’t believe you checked it again”…”Waaaaaaaa”!

Garmin check – 5.25.

“Really, really”…”Shut it”.

Back on the adjoining road to the neighborhood, feeling good but so ready for this run to be done.

Garmin check -“NO”…”YES”!

Run, run, run….

GARMIN CHECK – 6!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Run #1 – 1 August

I listen to all types of music.  Classical, Rock, Country, Gregorian Chants (I love it!) and yes some Hip Hop.  Sometimes I know the lyrics of a song well and sometimes I don’t ~  it depends.  I do try to be open to new styles of music.

Listening to my iPod while running has become normal and frankly a must for me.  There’s nothing better than going for a long run and listening to the music you love.  Perhaps you have a novel you’re listening to – that’s also a plus for some people.  The slow songs that make you think and the fast songs that get your heart pumping.  I turn it up – loud.  I even have some fancy earplugs so they won’t pop out of my ears when I really start pounding.  But, I tell you, if that iPod dies or I happen to forget to put it in my gym bag ~ something strange happens.  I start to get upset – it’s SO UPSETTING!  I forgot my iPod – what am I going to do now!  I don’t even want to work out now.  DANG!  Heck, I may get down right cranky!  The below image says it all:/


When I ran the Nippy Niner in the winter, my iPod died after the 1st or 2nd mile.  I was besides myself.  The ground was covered in snow and it was a trail/road run.  It died during the trail part of the run.  I didn’t want to stop so I fiddled ~ and fell.  I fell four times.  It was crazy!  I happened to be by myself at that moment on the trail.  You would have thought I had been lost in the woods for days the way I acted – what was I going to do?  Soon I would have to resort to living off the land – I was lost – I’m confused – how can I function?  No more snappy beats or listening to someone else’s thoughts.  I now had to – wait for it…. do my own thinking and listen to me.  It was just me, the environment and the occasional runner who asked me if I was alright when I fell – awww they were so nice to ask, “why no, I’m not alright – MY IPOD JUST DIED”!

When the shakes and cotton mouth subsided, I began to listen to all the sounds and really notice my surroundings.  It was actually quite beautiful.  The wind rustling through the trees and when the branches shook, the sun glistened off the snow.  Beautiful.  The crunching of the snow beneath my feet, the slow flow of the green river to my right, the old brown decaying dock, the fresh crisp winter air and me falling face first into the snow.  Beautiful.  Serene.  Intense.  I felt like I had to try harder and concentrate more, but it was a pleasant run.

This brings me to the August No iPod Challenge ~ I’ve decided to take myself and I present it to you as well.  That’s right – no music while running or any other activity for a month.  How bad can it be?  Well, I decided to start today!  My, what fun I had this morning!

I mentioned it to my husband “hey I’m going to run all month without my iPod”, I said cheerily.  “That sounds like it’s going to suck” he said.  No really it will be fun and enlightening.

So off I went this morning.  Such a lovely day.  I decided to start off in the neighborhood.  About 200 yards into it – the brain starts cranking – and it went something like this:

– I wonder what everyone is doing at work today?  (Today is my furlough day)

– That guy should cut his lawn.

– Waved to kid in two-toned car.

– Yes, I see you man in your pajama bottoms getting the paper.

– Hello retirees on the shuttle bus!

– Da, da da – starting to sing to myself.

– La, la, la “I’m waking up…ba ba ba de da da… I see – Kathi – ru un ning.  She’s ru u ning too ooh – ooo oo oo yeah yeah”.

– La, la, laaaa “I feel it in my bones… and someone di di n’t clean up after their dog – ooh ooh yeah yeah – I almost ste epped in it it – Thrift Shop down the road”.

– Ahh the Orchards outhouse – pit stop – Intermission.

– “I’m waking up…I’ve just sang this line  three ee ee times – I don’t know the re est ooh ooh yeah yeah – what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.

I said it was a challenge…didn’t I?

Up to the challenge?  I’d love to hear it!

Run on……..

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