I do it, and I do it big. Here's to not forgetting about it.

Posts tagged ‘noise’

Never Silent – Noise v. Music: Race Report 

I have a confession to make. 

While I can honestly say I was proud of my performance in last week’s 5k, I wasn’t “satisfied,” and thus my quest for my next 5k before marathon training began hours after last week’s finish. I shared this with 3M, and naturally, she responded with suggestions. Though I was unsure if I could really make any gains in a week, I thought, ‘what the hell. I like to race. Let’s see what happens!’ 

I didn’t run at all this past week, as I was unusually tired and feeling in limbo before my marathon training is to start. I just tried to eat cleanly and show up rested. Last night, I was setting out my clothes/equipment for today and realized I did not see my wireless headphones. “Meh,” I thought. My phone on my arm felt heavy last week anyhow. “I’ll run without music!” 

Mind you, I have never run a running race without music. The last time I raced without music was at the end of my 70.3 almost 2 years ago. “Whatever. It’s ‘just’ a 5k. The silence won’t be a big deal.”  At the horn, I realized something quickly. 





I mean this both literally and figuratively. Of course, there were plenty of things to hear as I struggled in the heat and humidity. Parents encouraging their kids. The occasional cowbell. My feet. My clearing my throat. My feet. The ducks. My feet. 

My feet. They’re loud. Seriously. 

Soon after I began mile 2, I felt very tempted to slow down. “You can slow down. You’ll still probably beat your time from last week.” Then, “It’s hot. Why am I doing this.” This was followed by the inevitable, “I am whining about 3.1 miles. Am I really strong enough to complete 23.1 more?” 

Oh, dear. I wish that no music meant silence. Quite the opposite. The inside of my head is incredibly noisy. I often tell my classroom students that we are in a music room and not a noise room. Our music is intentional, our noise is scattered and rarely pleasant. The music that I play during races helps to distract me from the noise in my head. I became thankful for my loud, musical feet – the organized, steady beat of my progress toward the finish line. Keep making music. Keep moving forward. 

I crossed the finish line in 33:27 – 1:05 faster than the previous week. Music triumphed over noise once again. I know now that if I am to complete a marathon, I must become a better musician. 

Always multitasking.

Re: All Y’all, Noise, and Music

2014 is not ending at all like I thought it would, and for the most part, this is a fabulous thing. Since Augusta, I’ve had to continue dealing with this humanity business of mine and the fact that I need a break. I had signed up for Miami Man and didn’t do it. I had signed up for the Reggae Marathon and am doing the 10k tomorrow instead. My brain and body (especially my foot) say these choices are prudent but it is still difficult not to feel like a quitter. I strive to be a woman of integrity and want my word to have meaning, so it hurts me when I’ve said I will do something and do not, even when it is for the best.

Meanwhile, I am fat (relative to my fighting weight) and happy as hell. I’ve realized that where I messed up was not in choosing not to do something I said I would but simply refusing to accept not understanding that peaks and valleys of training and racing are natural and healthy. I’ve said since I started working full time that the academic calendar suits me because of its clear seasons and it helps my brain. Why wouldn’t running and triathlon be similar for me?

Alas. January 1 is coming. And quickly.

While I look forward to being lean (I’m always mean) again, it means I’m going to have to listen to a lot more noise. The noise comes from y’all. Don’t get it twisted – y’all are making plenty of noise now, but I’m keeping my distance because I can, hence my fat happiness.

So – what does Oxford have to say about noise?

A sound, especially one that is loud or unpleasant or that causes disturbance.

Das right. It comes in the form of insecure statements PROBABLY not meant to take down anyone else and usually about one’s self, but it is most definitely unpleasant and causes disturbance. My least favorite noise comes as unsolicited advice; I have a Coachie for a reason, I’m on it.

I’ll give y’all this, though – some of you aren’t making noise, but music. My favorite definition of music was given to me by one of my college professors: “Organized sound and silence.” We all have musical tastes and biases and what technically falls under this definition of music we can hear as noise. I am definitely guilty of this on occasion. Sometimes, one of you jokers is doing nothing but sharing and because of what’s going on inside of my head – my own doubts and fears, I hear noise and try to escape.

2014 has been a game changing year for me. I am finally starting to understand that excellence and imperfection must coexist. I have begun and hope to continue some amazing relationships. Finally, I have gotten better at assessing the difference between noise and music. And man, does this musician need music in her life – as encouraging words to inspire me to keep going and growing even when I think I can’t anymore. Even when I think everyone around me is so far ahead of me that I wonder how it’s possible that you respect me. Especially when I may behave like I resent you – but that’s just me making my own noise to attempt hiding my fear.

For now, I will put my feet up in this lounge chair and raise my glass (of water, there IS a race tomorrow) to all of you who have been music to my ears. I hope I have – and can – do the same for you!


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