I took up running a couple of years, mostly for health and fitness. I started with the idea of just running for exercise, but when I talked to a buddy of mine he said it’s better to set a goal, like a 5k, which will make you stick to it more. So I did, I found a local 5k that was a few months away, signed up and began working toward it. On the day I went and ran it, struggled through, but finished and was happy. That led to wanting to do more, and I did, extending over the years to more races and longer distances. Last year I set myself a goal to run 365 miles in the year, which I completed on December 31st. Right now I am running about one race a month, of a variety of distances.

All this to say that this morning I ran a half marathon, my seventh in the last two years. Each has gotten easier and easier, as you would expect, although still not easy, and frankly I am not very fast. My son always tells me to win, and I have to tell him that a win for me is completing the race. I am generally near the bottom of my age group, let alone the entire race, but that’s okay for me, because like I said finishing the race is the goal.

I used to do different things to keep going for the three hours that I take to run a half, but I have never listened to music. I have certain timing tricks, counting my steps until I get to a certain point where I can take a rest walk. I also, depending on where I am in the race, let my mind wander here and there, thinking about anything from work problems to football to U2. And that is where I come to the point I am kind of thinking of tonight. As I ran today, I realized that I don’t listen to music like a lot of people do, I just run and think. But I have the idea that listening to music could be beneficial, it could help to pass the time and could help me with things like pacing. I have my phone which each quarter mile tells me distance and time, so I know how I’m doing on pace. But today while I was running I was asking myself if it would be better to listen to U2, and if so what to listen to.

I don’t want to run to anything too fast, but I don’t want to run to anything too slow either. I just don’t have a concept of what would be useful. As I ran today, and remembering that I am finishing in around three hours (today was 3:10, but my best was 2:50), I was wondering if I should just download a show and put it on my phone. I could get one that ran around that long, or maybe one that ran two and a half hours but fill it in with several other songs to make it three hours. Then, I could use that as a goal setting things, right? Like trying to finish a race before the show finishes, then at that point remove a song from the playlist and try and beat it again. That obviously wouldn’t work forever, because by the end I’d be down to one song and having to run 13.1 miles. But it is at least a concept.

And then bringing it all back full circle, I wonder about Bono’s exercise regimen. We know he rides bicycles. What else does he do? I have read about race car drivers losing several pounds during a race, is it the same for Bono? He is moving constantly, he used to run around the circle on the earlier tour, so just how fit does he have to be?