Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Ran Acme loop this morning. The call felt right, but it also filled me with reluctance as on the wrong days the course can seem to go on forever.

As an antidote I took some podcasts with me. I've tried this on the treadmill a few years back and it didn't work well. But time to try it again, I figured, with visions of losing myself in the world streaming into my ears and and having the run be over before I knew it.

Instead I came to the conclusion, again, that podcasts don't work for me while running. The first, This American Life, just had an off episode when they explored music lessons. I gave up on that somewhere in Mantua and I switched to Radio Lab, which I heard for the first time and couldn't get into its jump-here-and-there approach to the topic of the day. Where I had hoped I could engage with this like I could with a good conversation on the run, it just put me out of sorts. At 52nd and Parkside I switched back to music. Blue Giant, a sort of alt-country band of the type I download occasionally hoping to find another Ryan Adams (this one wasn't) and then Calexico, more tried and true.

One thing mentioned in Radio Lab, which talked about making choices, was how different parts of the brain - rational, appetitive, emotional, etc. - competed with each other with different results in different situations. This might explain why spoken word stuff, which I can totally lose myself to in the car, does not do it when I'm on a run. Here I think the reason music works is because I tune into on a more primal level, sync my pace with the rhythm, channel my energy with that of the guitar or the voice or whatever. Stuff like that that is better felt than explained.

So it'll probably take a few more years before trying a podcast again, but as a consolation I do get some clearer insight as to why music works for me. And it all got me through the run. 10 miles, couldn't find my watch this morning.


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