A few posts back I did a big rant job on race directors who were, for liability reasons and insurance issues, banning headphones at events.
I have not shifted position too much on how I feel about my tunes while jogging, but there was a sea change in my life a few weeks ago. I started running while in Greece without my beloved music and podcasts.
At first, I was terrified. A screaming silence rang in my ears, then the subtle sounds of my surroundings came to life. The birds, dirt crunching under my feet, my own breathing...all alien sounds I have barely heard over the past 25 years of running.
I ran throughout the trip without headphones and tunes. Was a very introspective time, more thoughts with a deeper complexity. Just me, my semi-efficient forward motion, and the natural sounds in my environment.
Headphones or not: that is the question. But I am no longer afraid of the silence that surrounds me.