Warrior Girl Dashing…T-11 and counting

friend or foe?

Today’s Training:

3-mile bike warm-up

Quick core work, 800 m run, obstacles, 800 m run, obstacles, 800 m run, walk & stretch cool down

That’s more like it. Only problem is that afterward I had the overwhelming urge to nap…not ideal in the middle of a workday.

Lyric of the Day: It is a toss-up, so let’s go for two:

 You are the only road I know
You show me where to go
Who will drive my soul?

Drive my Soul, Lights

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go, oh

Lose Yourself, Eminem

Taken together, these might be Ode to My IPod.

So here’s the thing: the IPod, the headphones, the music that almost drowns out my thoughts: is all this a crutch? A way to prop up my weak spirit and reluctant body? Is using music as motivation a bad thing? What`s the B-side here? (For those of you who post-date the album era, you’ll have to look that up. Hey I`m an 80s kid. I remember albums.)

For the ayes: I need a crutch at the moment, so I will take whatever help I can get to keep myself moving. No apologies. Besides, if music adds enjoyment to the moment, any moment, so what?

For the nays: like every other technology, this setup can backfire. If you aren’t set up just right, it can be a distraction. When I first started running, I had ear buds. Newsflash: these doesn’t work well when you are running, jumping and climbing. They have a habit of crawling out of your ears then flying about your head like rabid horseflies. Eventually, I invested in some neck-rest headphones that work great. I wedge them on top of my pony tail and under my baseball hat or bike helmet. Nothing moves, except me, of course.

Once you have the physical setup rigged, you have to have your playlist just so. Say your mood changes, mid-training, and you really just want to listen to that J-Lo song over and over and over again. Stopping to reshuffle your tunes can really interrupt the flow of your workout, especially if you are doing interval training with limited rest.

Another downside: when I go in the race, I am not going to wear my IPOD. So clearly I am going to have to do a few training runs sans music. Scary.

I realized this while I was out on the trail. I was running through the pine forest, having just high-stepped through 140 tires, and I was labouring. My thoughts dwelled on a stitch that had seized my abdomen. Is this the beginning of the end of my training for the day? No, no, no. Just slow down. Belly breathe! Belly breathe. This wasn’t the voice of calm. It was the voice of panic. I was not hearing the music. I was not focussed on a tree in the distance or a girl dancing happily in my head. I was losing the battle. Against my own thoughts, again, for pete’s sakes.

Then, I noticed a stinging sensation in the palm of my hand. A tiny shard of wood lodged just below my index finger. From the monkey bars, no doubt. I smiled, shook my head. The universe had just handed me something else to focus on, if I so chose. Keeps me from thinking about my gut anyway. I kept moving. Pink started in to sing. Irritated, I fiddled with my IPOD. I don’t want to listen to Pink right now, I want to listen to J-Lo. I slapped at the IPod, strapped to my bicep. The song re-started, re-started, re-started, but wouldn’t rewind to the song before. My hand stung.

Just work with what’s in front of you. I heard. Work with this.


I slowed my pace to what was comfortable in the moment, lifted my chin and picked a spruce tree at the end of the trail to focus on. I listened to the music:

Don’t be fancy, Just get dancey, Why so serious?

I breathed out, slowed my pace more. Smiled. In my mind, I saw myself dancing again, hands in the air.