I don't know when it happened. I don't know when I stopped relying on it. I don't know why I like not using it. I'm talking about my iPod. I realized the other day that not only have I stopped using it but I've enjoyed not using it.
Someone asked me, "What do you DO when you run for over an hour?!" At one time, I may have said something about a playlist I'd created that had the perfect number of the right kind of songs...but instead, I answered, "I pray, I spend time talking to God. I think about my girls. I think about my ministry, what topics I may want to teach on, what series we may want to do next. Things like that."
I also try to spend some time not thinking. Let the day play over in my head, things I noticed or something a friend said. I look at my surroundings and notice how different the world looks in the summer compared to the spring compared to fall and winter. I wonder about what I'm going to have for dinner. :) There is so much to think about and not think about, I would just be too distracted wearing my iPod. (There is a safety benefit here too...when not using my iPod, I can hear bikers/cars/etc coming up behind me and can scoot close to the edge so as not to die.)
Last night as I went out for a run in a brand new neighborhood, I thought how great it was that I didn't have to rely on music anymore. I enjoyed the sights and sounds (and smells, pwww!) of a rural area; coming up over a hill and seeing fields and more hills stretching out before me just beyond an old stone wall, a warning sign for cow crossing (not kidding here), trees trees and more trees...I also saw a dead snake on the side of the road and hoped I would not see a real one! That's all the upside of running in a new place, seeing things you wouldn't normally see. The downside is, I didn't really know where I was going... I mapped out a 6.5mi run but missed a turn and got back to the house after only 4mi, whoops! Not to worry, dear reader, I realized I needed another 2mi and completed them after a few swigs of ice cold Gatorade. :)
Tonight I'm back on the Minuteman Path for 12mi. I have a good feeling about getting all 12 in since it's only 70deg today instead of 90deg! Wish me luck!