THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED
“Gotta Blame it on something. Blame it on the rain” –Milli Vanilli
This morning at the gym, my iPod shuffle stopped playing mid-workout. The battery had been failing over the past few weeks and even quit during the final two miles of the Atlanta Half Marathon. I thought maybe it was my damn fault for not charging it fully.
A quick trip to the Apple store today confirmed my fears. The diagnosis was terminal. My little shuffle had played “Ooh Eeh Ooh Ah Aah Ting Tang Walla Walla Bing Bang” for the final time.
As I stood in line at Best Buy tonight to purchase my replacement shuffle (okay, so my mourning period was brief), I realized this was the third iPod that running had claimed. It also made me think about the first time I killed an iPod.
Back in September 2009, I was visiting my family in Atlanta and my sister-in-law Bonnie and I were training for the Chicago Marathon. We had to do our longest training run (20 miles) on the upcoming Saturday, no ifs, ands or buts, as the whole family was driving down to Myrtle Beach the next day and we wouldn’t have the chance to do it then. The forecast called for heavy rains that Saturday.
We had to run. Like I said, no ifs, ands or buts.
Saturday morning came and things didn’t look so bad. The sky was a little threatening, but so far, no rain. We drove 30 minutes to the running route, a 5-mile loop next to a subdivision and a popular course for Atlanta runners. As we turned on our respective iPods and started to run, it ever so slightly began to drizzle. No big deal.
Bonnie is a bit of a speed demon, so even though we started together, she quickly pulled away from me. We planned to meet up after our second loop (mile 10) at the car for a quick break. So, I was running solo. Just me, my iPod and a light misty rain.
As I hit the first mile mark I thought the meteorologist had been overly dramatic about the storm. It looked like I was going to catch a break.
No sooner had I finished the thought, then the skies opened up. Three miles into the run I had the sinking feeling that Mother Nature was pissed and taking it out on me. Fortunately, the rain was warm and at least I’d have my tunes to see me through the deluge and the rest of the 20-mile run.
At mile 8, Def Lepard was in the rocking midst of “Armageddon It” when suddenly… silence. During my next walk break I attempted to perform some iPod CPR (basically switching it on and off a few times and hitting the play button). But the green light never came on again.
My iPod was a goner.
After the second loop, I ran (or rather backstroked) to the car. I saw Bonnie standing there and she did not look happy. I asked her what was wrong.
“The rain storm shorted out my iPod.”
So Mother Nature was guilty of multiple iPod homicides that morning. Bitch.
I looked at Bonnie. “Well, at least we can’t get any wetter.” Messed up logic, but when you’re running in a downpour of biblical proportions you’ll say anything.
Besides, we had ten miles to go.
So I carefully placed the corpse of my recently departed iPod on the car seat alongside Bonnie’s. And we took off for ten more glorious miles of running. Surely, it couldn’t rain for four hours straight. I mean the rain would have to let up at some point during this run. Right?
For the next two hours I had the pleasure of running in silence with raindrops falling non-stop on my head… check that, waves of water crashing down on my noggin. And it was augmented by the “squish squish” of my socks.
At about mile 15 I finally embraced the storm and started singing every song I could think of that had “rain” in the title. “Red Rain,” “Here Comes the Rain Again,” “Purple Rain” and even “Blame it on the Rain” (yup, channeling a little Milli Vanilli).
Finally, I finished my 20-mile “wade” through the streets of suburban Atlanta. As I got into the car (where Bonnie was waiting and had used the only dry towel) I simply turned to her, smiled and said “Well, that sucked.”
As it turned out, Bonnie’s iPod was, as “Miracle Max” would put it, only “mostly dead.” Two days in bowl of rice and it was “right as rain” (get it). I had put my iPod in the same magical bowl of rice, so of course it would certainly rise from the dead too.
I ended up having to buy a new iPod shuffle… just like I did today. Sometimes I think my iPods have the life expectancy of a drummer for Spinal Tap.
So as I write this blog, I sit here downloading music onto my new 2014 iPod (I’m going to call him “Skippy”). I hope Skippy and I run many a race together and he lasts me for years and years to come… or at least until it rains. Then all bets are off.
Blame it on the rain, indeed.
(Tell me about the worst rainstorm you’ve ever run in)