Running without music and Run to Lose, week of 9.9

By | September 16, 2018

My TomTom has been having sporadic GPS issues of late that seem to be getting worse. The battery isn’t lasting as long as it used to either. It owes me nothing, it’s a hand me down that I’ve had for a year and a half, and its previous owner had it about a year. It’s time to start looking for a replacement: happy for any suggestions you have. In the mean time, I’m going to try running without music. One of the features I loved the most about the TomTom was the onboard playlist since I don’t have any music on my phone, nor do I have the data for a streaming service. Alas, TomTom is leaving the GPS watch space so I’m hesitant to invest in a new one. The Garmin with music is just way too expensive for my budget and reviews of the others don’t seem great. Since I don’t relish carrying old iPod for music along with my phone, one step might be to learn to run without music at least outdoors which I can apply to races. Indoor treadmill runs are less of an issue as I can always figure out something there. These are my current thoughts:

  • Garmin: I’m looking heavily at these. They seem to be the gold standard in the running industry for a reason
  • Fitbit with GPS: meh. They’re too big. I don’t wear my running watch daily for this very reason and I like my Alta for steps so don’t particularly feel the need to upgrade
  • Apple Watch: meh. I’m wholly an Apple person, but the first thing I do with fitbit and running watch is to turn off the messaging notifications because they drive me nuts, so I feel the benefits of this are mostly not of interest to me. Even before I was running, the Apple Watch held no interest to me.

The benefit is the TomTom isn’t totally dead and its battery seems to be holding long enough for my fall races, so I should hopefully be able to take advantage of holiday sales.

I finally got Runner’s World’s Run to Lose and taking a lot from it when it comes to fueling for runs and in general. Some of it is nutritional common sense, some isn’t. It’s well written and accessible. I especially like the Kindle edition since I can click through to some of the studies cited. I think I’m finally ready to break this ~ 7 month plateau, especially ahead of the holidays. I also need to figure out my fueling strategy ahead of a humid half marathon in February since gels and necessary water made me queasy last year. I can do 9 miles without fuel and probably won’t use anything for the Bronx 10 Miler, but those extra three need something.

[bctt tweet=”Run to lose, without music? #RunTheYear” username=”travellingcari”]

Weekly wrap with Holly and Wendy:

  • Sunday: I was less sore than I expected after Saturday’s long run. It was a cool, damp day and because of that, I didn’t tailgate. My steps suffered as a result, but I was OK with that because not tailgating meant better food choices. Sometimes it’s just impossible to avoid guacamole and the salt of tostitos. Weight Watchers had a tailgate and I was curious, but not enough to get more wet.
  • Monday: my right calf was sore. DOMS or just weirdness? Who knows. With the cool weather I’m back to sleeping in my bed so it’s not the futon related curling up. Oh bodies, you are so weird. I fully expected this to be an issue on the treadmill but it wasn’t because I could not get one! I was at the Times Square location of my gym earlier than normal because I wanted to get home for Monday Night Football, but apparently everyone else had the same idea. Odd too because the city otherwise seemed quite for Rosh Hashanah. So after a short row to warmup, I hit the LateralX for two miles/30M. I love it in a way I don’t care for the typical elliptical and feel it’s the closest to running in terms of getting my heart rate up.

Tribute in Light, 9/11 Memorial South Pool in foreground

  • Tuesday: September 11. I knew that a run today needed to be meaningful. Luckily, the weather held out as meaningful and treadmill don’t go hand in hand to me. For the past few years I’ve gone downtown to see the Tribute in Light and wondered whether it might work to run there from the office. After a short hop to the start of a construction detour that served as a warmup, I ran the rest of the way down to the Winter Garden from where I could cross over to the Memorial. The lights were beautiful in the fog. I contemplated running back to the office but had accidentally run without money and couldn’t refill my water, so hopped on the subway back. Sometimes there’s no right way to mark a day like this, but this felt right. Speaking of water refills, I wish the Lululemon vending machine had been open, although it’s unclear whether they have water to go with Nuun tabs.
  • Wednesday: super busy day, ton of steps between meetings. I was wavering on going to the gym, but decided to try. It was one of those rare exceptions to get going and you’ll be fine-I had nothing in the tank. Partially tired, partially food log related. So I turned it into a stretch and strengthen after bailing on the rower.

quack! Not on the run, later in the day between meetings

  • Thursday: note to self: if you’re going to run in the morning, watch what you eat at night. Pizza does not sit well even ~ 12 hours later. I knew though I couldn’t run after work due to an event so I went with short and sweet vs. not at all. Cool, humid morning. Nice start to the day. While I can’t get it together to be a solid morning runner, I love how it makes me feel the rest of the day, especially if I fuel well after and am not a hangry mess.

yeah that’s how i felt about running Friday night. Manhattan 7M shirt, can you tell I planned to run outdoors originally?

  • Friday: attempt at running without music? FAIL. That was more about bad food choices during the two days and feeling sluggish than the lack of music that stemmed from forgetting watch, headphones and headband. Even with the Yankee game I couldn’t stay on the treadmill or the elliptical bike so I had a very good stretch and plank session and called it a night.

I am grumpy, hear me roar. Actually more sneezy than grumpy. Failed workout, repeat shirt, less laundry. Winning.

well that’s a different kind of trail!


  • Saturday: wanted to run long and really didn’t want to run Central Park as I wanted the riverside breeze. Contemplated going to the west side but didn’t think I had enough time due to my cleaner coming at 5:30 (best. treat. ever). so I decided to check out Randalls Island, which I last explored back when I was doing the #GreatManhattanLoop. It was a run in two and a bit parts: potty break, and needed to find out where the FDR on ramp crossing was with all the construction and a run/walk around the lower part of Randall/Wards Island. It was about 80 and slightly humid but the real culprit was the freshly cut grass. My allergies were in full tilt and the grass didn’t help. Nor did no shade so I ran when I could, walked when I couldn’t and ended up cutting the loop short. There are some great paths to explore on RI maybe  in a couple of weeks. After walking up the bridge I tried to run again but I was feeling shaky so I opted to walk. Calling this a learning lesson, sneeze powered is a fun joke but not actually for runs. Besides food logs, I probably need to look more closely at allergy meds & runs’ timing.

Peanut Butter Warrior

  • Sunday: equal parts recovery / make up & get ahead mileage as this week’s schedule is brutal. Original plan was my typical NFL Sunday recovery, run down the river to the gym and stretch before heading home to be a couch slug. However I found out one of my/my nephew’s favorite vendors (Meece for Mayor!) would be at the Columbus Ave. street fair so I decided to head that way. I took the long way to the Fair and an odd for me route through Central Park to try to avoid both the chess tournament and the 18M race. I felt bad for those runners, this was not long run friendly weather. But I love knowing NYRR does this as if I decide to run NYC next year, organized long runs will be a godsend. The roads were just way too congested and as a side benefit, the paths had way more shade. After sorting out presents, I briefly wandered the rest of the street fair before heading home via the grocery store. And a smoothie stop. While that was 25% wanting to fuel early, it was mostly about having a sparkling clean kitchen and not wanting to mess it up via a smoothie. JustSalad’s Peanut Butter Warrior is one of my favorite commercial smoothies especially as it’s non dairy and I rarely carry Lactaid on the run.

And then I was a slug. That’s what football Sundays are for. I apologize for any heat waves in the NYC area, I took my AC out yesterday.

Bronx 10Mile Training Mileage (since July 31): 97.24 miles

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: Cross Train or Stretch & Strengthen
  • Tuesday: Run
  • Wednesday: Off, plans before and after work
  • Thursday: return of the office run group, hopefully
  • Friday: run
  • Saturday: TBD
  • Sunday: Bronx Tune Up: I’m feeling ambivalent about the Bronx 10 after the past two Saturdays. Success is likely going to be very weather dependent


37 thoughts on “Running without music and Run to Lose, week of 9.9

  1. Liz Dexter

    My sedate ladies have been experimenting with small packets of cheese biscuits but only 2 biscuits at a time, or a nakd bar but only an inch at a time, and that got them through 15 miles and 11 miles respectively, so it might be worth looking at those. I know I’m lucky to be able to use gels.

    And I am a Garmin girl, although I refuse to pair mine with my watch because no notifications, thank you very much!! But the Forerunner 35 has great battery life so far and doesn’t seem to have much less than the colour version at a lot cheaper.

    A good week, still. I managed to have a pizza last weekend that didn’t sit with me at all and offered me very little fuel – a slight nightmare there. It’s amazing how our fuel fuels us but how we have to think about that all the time!

    1. cari Post author

      Thank you!

      Yes. Every single run this week I was thinking about food. I picked up on the tie with my food log early thanks to some general food sensitivities, but it seems to get worse as I get better at running if that makes sense. Less margin for error. I need to try the gel blocks, those I can do. Something about the solid form and chewing didn’t cause the nausea as much as liquid gels. I wonder how much of the gels issue is summer heat though.

      I hate the notifications — nothing I get is that time sensitive, and I can’t text and run anyway so it will always wait until I’m done or walking a cool down. I had to pair my TomTom though because it otherwise quit syncing a couple months back. Old age, wanting some more love. I’m probably going to end up with a Garmin, hoping for Amazon Warehouse or Black Friday.

    1. cari Post author

      The lights are magic. It’s as if the Towers are still there, if that makes sense. It’s also usually such a wonderfully reflective evening among all there.

  2. Lesley

    Sounds like a good week. It’s hard to balance good eating and the heat with running. I rarely splurge during training because I’ll feel it on my next run.

    1. cari Post author

      I was pleasantly surprised that last night’s sushi wasn’t an issue this morning – but it was worth every bite. I try not to, but I’m not quite as good as “rarely”

  3. Chocolaterunsjudy

    I have a Garmin Vivoactive, and previously a Garmin 110, so I’m a Garmin girl. I actually don’t run with music. I started out that way, but then one race strongly discouraged it so I trained without music & haven’t gone back.

    My stomach is actually pretty strong. Pizza is my go-to before halfs for the last couple of years. I don’t start eating until about a 9 mile run, either. I use a combination of Honeystinger chews & some home made (very plain) chocolate chip cookies. Works for me. I’m always experimenting but so far that seems to work the best for me.

    Today was pretty brutal. But you gotta love supported long runs!

    1. cari Post author

      Avocado toast is my go to before long races. I was so pleased to find an open Le Pain in DC ahead of Cherry Blossom for the 10M. I couldn’t do two miles on pizza, half would never happen. Those stomach issues pre date running though.
      Thanks for the watch tips!

      1. Chocolaterunsjudy

        The pizza is the night before. 🙂 And it’s either veggie or just plain cheese.

        Avocado toast? Really? I’m surprised the fat doesn’t bother you.

        1. cari Post author

          Yeah me too — bodies are weird. It’s all the night before though so there’s some digestion. Tried it for my first Half (or maybe actually the 15K prior) and it worked do I’m riding it

  4. Wendy

    I love my Garmin 235–it’s got all the functions I need except for the HR feature. I think it’s pretty reasonable. I don’t need the music function.

    I’ve always struggled with food and running–I think I”ve got it figured out and then nope. Plus I have GI issues. I think keeping a food diary is a good idea. Then you can find stuff that works and what doesn’t.

    1. cari Post author

      Heart rate is definitely one I can do without. I rarely look at it except when a run feels particularly off.

      I’ve food logged very consistently since I started Weight Watchers ~9 years ago. It was amazing to me how many answers it provided especially when I was trying to identify a meds/food interaction issue.

      Friday I knew wasn’t going to work because even though I stayed out of Happy Time snacks, lunch was too heavy / late to settle ahead of a race

  5. Marcia

    Sorry to hear your TomTom is biting the dust. I didn’t know they were no longer making them. Garmin seems to be the “it” watch. I’ve got the Fenix5S and love it. But its $$$. Before I carried my phone I used a Shuffle. Loved how small it is. Pizza usually works for me as a night before meal but there’ve been a couple of instances when it cam back to haunt me. I think it’s the grease factor.

    1. cari Post author

      I agree re: Garmin, I think that’s why I’m leaning that way — even before everyone’s comments endorsed it. A friend just suggested I look for a cheap bluetooth-ready mp3 player, which is tempting and will definitely be a cheaper option if I can’t manage running without music. From what I gather re: TomTom, they just couldn’t compete in the market.
      Grease for me with the pizza for sure,

  6. kookyrunner

    Sorry to hear about your TomTom! I have used my Garmin watch (forerunner 620) for a few years but it doesn’t have the music feature, but it has a lot of other cool features. I use my ipod to play my music during my run.

    I usually eat pizza, pasta or shrimp before a long run or race. I try to avoid any vegetables because those tend to mess with my tummy.

    1. cari Post author

      Do you use wired headphones or does your iPod work with bluetooth? If the latter, which model? I’m researching that route now as music enabled watch isn’t going to happen at a reasonable price.
      I’m not a huge pasta person — I’m contemplating udon though for winter prep

  7. Katie Daughtrey

    Two things:
    1) I’ve been running without music for several years now. I first started it because of trail runs. I just started enjoying the sounds of nature more than the sounds of music when I was out there, so that just started stemming over into running in other places.
    2) I’ve always been a Garmin girl. I had a 405 for years, and when it started dying I got a 225. But, not long after, my husband bought an Apple Watch and I started using RunKeeper since it works with the integrated GPS. It isn’t as metric rich as my Garmin was, but I’m not doing a lot of analysis right now anyway, so that doesn’t matter quite as much. I like that all of my regular activity + my runs are integrated into the Apple Health app and I don’t have to use multiple devices. I have the series 2, so if I run without my phone, I don’t get all of the notifications. If I do run with my phone, I just turn the watch to “Do Not Disturb” mode and that addresses the issues with the notifications.

    1. cari Post author

      Thanks! Your #1 is exactly what carried me through two of my Halfs. In the third it was raining and while I don’t mind the rain, I needed something to take my mind off the drip drip drip and a less than scenic course. I’m more worried, I think, about long training runs than I am the races themselves.

      I need to look more closely at Apple Health – used it for a brief window when my Fitbit was broken but spend so much time with my phone in Airplane, I don’t think it works for me. Will look further into it though

  8. Deborah Brooks

    It’s funny how we are so personal with our foods and how they effect our runs. Pizza the night before works really well for me. I have gotten used to running without music bc I am usually running w my group. Lately I have had a few solo runs without it and I am ok. Also a garmin person but mine does not have music

    1. cari Post author

      Yes! I think it’s part of why there are a bazillion guides to eating & running. There’s one for everyone.
      Pizza for me in the last couple years has left me very bloated – I think that’s why it doesn’t work for me for running.

  9. therightfits

    I’m all about a thin crust neapolitan style pizza the night before a long run or race! But during the week, sometimes certain foods are no good and I never can quite figure out which ones and why…the mystery of running I guess!

    I have the Fenix5s which is awesome, but pricey. Garmin makes so many different models though, there’s something for everyone I think!

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  11. Kimberly Hatting

    I love that you did a meaningful run on Sept. 11. I do something significant (running-wise) on that day every year…because that day is not about me, but about remembrance. That Tribute in Light looks beautiful!

    1. cari Post author

      Yes, that nailed it. A common mantra here is live for those who can’t, and it applies too to so many other activities. It’s like the Achilles race I’ve done. Puts “can’t” in perspective

  12. Lisa @ Mile by Mile

    I’ve only used Garmin for running and they’ve been good. I’m sure you can find a version that works for you I dont know about the music thing though. I dont run with music outside and just use my phone when I run on the treadmill.

    1. cari Post author

      if I find myself without my watch or headset, I generally have to go outside. Treadmill and no distraction and I don’t get along

  13. Coco

    I run with my iPhone for music and to take photos — oh, yeah, and for safety 🙂 — and have a Garmin Fenix 5s that I scored a deal on last year. It’s way more watch than I need — it has more functions that I do — but I do wear it all the time.

    1. cari Post author

      I run with my phone too – but I don’t have data to stream music and haven’t wanted to put an ancient music collection on it.
      A friend has the Fenix – definitely seems like a great tool but info overload. Thank you!

  14. Debbie @ Deb Runs

    It sounds like you had a good training week! I have to be so careful with what I eat the night before I run because I can have major GI issues and the littlest thing can bother me. I have to stay away from fatty foods, but do okay with salads and veggies. Hope you can figure out what works best for you!

    1. cari Post author

      I have to time my salads already due to meds that don’t play nicely with them, so I’ve never tried them before a run. Tonight was a challenge because the route I’m running tomorrow is generally lacking in bathrooms so I’m over thinking it. Hoping smoothie works out well

  15. HoHo Runs

    That is a beautiful shot of the Tribute in Lights with the Memorial Pool in the foreground! I’m on my 2nd Garmin (a 225 with HR monitor) which now needs replacing due to decreasing battery life. I’ve always run with an iPod Shuffle for music because of it’s tiny size and weight. You can’t even tell the little tiny square is clipped on. They’ve stopped making those as well. I don’t like running with my heavy phone but I will in a race or if I’m in an unfamiliar (unsafe) setting. Thanks for linking!

    1. cari Post author

      I don’t mind running with my phone, mostly because it’s in my belt.
      Looks like Garmin plus some alternate music player is going to be the solution. Thank you!
      9/11 is spectacular. Did you go when you were here? It’s amazing. One of my favorite places to reflect

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