"One of the interesting lessons I've learned from running extreme distances is that the more you can rely on the natural scenery around you for company - the mountains, the desert, your crew, the other runners - rather than distracting yourself from what you're doing by feeding artificial noise into your ears, the better. Instead of listening to someone else's disembodied, digitized voice, you make yourself listen to your own thoughts and reactions to what you see, and you pay attention to the other people who are with you in the present moment."
Most of the long mileage I log these days is solo. Me and nature often at odd hours early in the morning, late at night, or in the blazing heat of the day when even the reptiles seek respite in the shade. Sometimes I do run with my iPod on occasion, not very often though. The essence of this statement by Frank McKinney captures very well why I usually do not. Some people say it helps them to get lost in the miles and pass the time. If you are too busy creating a distraction trying to get lost how can you find yourself?
Running for me is not about running away from things. It is a journey without end or destination. The next is merely a continuation of the previous and so on.
This morning was a great example of why being present was so great. The last owl of the darkness. Breaking dawn. Deer in the field. The crunch of my feet on the gravel. The steady pounding of my heart and even breath of air in my lungs as the miles slipped away effortlessly. Bliss was found.