Rain falling on the roof. Waves crashing down on the sandy shores. The wind rustling through the newly fallen autumn leaves. All are sounds that are known for being soothing and peaceful. Sounds that bring peace, tranquility, and the hope of a peaceful sleep. One such sound that more than likely will not make most people’s list of soothing sounds is the pitter patter of feet as runners move mile to mile throughout a marathon.
This past weekend as I ran another race, I found a pace group that I ran with for 24 out of the 26 miles. Throughout our journey together there was minimal conversation, the occasional “how are you feeling?” and one question asked every 5,280 feet, “how fast was that split?” However, in between those questions there were long periods of silence between runners. The cheers of the fans could be heard, but between runners there was nothing but silence. All that was heard was heavy breathing and the pitter-patter of feet hitting the ground.
Around mile 14 our pace group was hanging strong together and I found myself in the middle of the group. There was close to 20 runners and while in the middle of the pack the sounds of the crowd were drowned out. All I could hear was the pitter-patter, and it was the most relaxing sound. Every couple of steps I actually closed my eyes for a few seconds and simply listened to all of the feet running (thankfully I didn’t trip over any of them while my eyes were closed!) At one point I contemplated listening to music but actually found the sound of the feet to be more soothing, more relaxing and more inspiring. In those moments of listening to the pitter-patter, I kept thinking about why I love to run and how much fun it is for me to race. Additionally, while running in the group I once again felt as though I was a part of a team that was working together to accomplish a goal. We were using the same lingo, understanding the training and work it took to get to the start line. We shared in the pain as the miles added up, and joined in celebrating as the task was accomplished.
It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of relaxing sounds. But for me, the pitter-patter of runners was quite peaceful, rejuvenating, and exciting.