Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Don't stop the beat

Nothing gets me motivated to go for a run, run faster, or run longer, more than a good running playlist. The beat does something to me, motivates me to move. It's like that moment in a movie when the main character decided to really go for whatever thing they are after, the thing that makes the finale of the movie. Like 'Eye of The Tiger' is to Rocky, stuff like "Party in the USA" is to me. I blame my love of pop music on my past life as a cheerleader. Ok it was not a past life, it was this life, just in the past. Sometimes it feels like another life because of how much I have grown since that time, but I digress.

Through most of my first year of training I was musicless, and this worked great for solo long runs on saturday mornings. I would spend the time reflecting on my week, or enjoying the scenery around me. Sometimes I would even narrate the run in my head and when I got back I would sit down and write it all down (after a long stretching session of course) to inspire me later on. Of course I did not always enjoy running sans tunes. I did it because for most races it is against course rules to run with headphones, among other things (Rollerblades, baby strollers, etc.). I am a big advocate for practicing all your long runs exactly as you would a race, so when the big day arrives there are no surprises, nothing new to get in the way of your plan, the only variable is the weather. So knowing there would be no headphones on race day, I made it a rule to make headphones very sparse during training. It helped that most of my runs were done with Larry and so I had someone to chat with, I didn't even mind the occasional gaps of silence.

But of course at the beginning of every running season, sometime in late March, I would need an extra push. As the snow began to melt, when the days grew longer and the air calling me outside to breath spring into my lungs, I would turn to my trusty IPod to help motivate me out the door when I was used to sitting on the couch.

My very first running mix was born from cheerleading. Senior year when our new coach had us running the mile once a week at practice I knew I would need to bring along my trusty discman and an energizing mix CD to keep me going! I was 17 at the time, but that does't really explain for my choice in songs. Quite honestly now that I go back and look at them, because YES I still have that CD, I am not sure what I was thinking.
- Diana Ross and the Supremes - 'Love Child'
- Bobby Darin - 'Dream Lover'
- The Chiffons - 'One Fine Day'
- The Angels - 'My Boyfriend's Back'
- Kenny Loggins - 'Footloose'
- Rick Springfield - 'Jessie's Girl'
I think I had a thing for the oldies? Apparently I found it motivating. Well it worked. By the end of our 2002 football season I had been able to complete a mile in just about 10 minutes. I was pretty proud of this at the time.

And can we just please for one moment review my musical choices for a Mix CD entitled "April '04 Running Mix" ( I think I may just break this out for my next workout...) This list right here is proof that all I require is a repetative beat to get me going. These in no way reflect my
- Hillary Duff - 'Come Clean'
- The Darkness - 'I Believe in a Thing Called Love' (Really??)
- S Club 7 - 'S Club Party'
- Bon Jovi - 'Livin' on a Prayer'
- Beyonce - 'Naughty Boy'
- J Kwon - 'Tipsy'
- 'Final Fantasy X2 Theme' (where did I even FIND this song??)
- 'Heaven is a Place on Earth (Remixed)'
- Jay Z - 'Excuse me miss - Neptune's Remix'

My main problem with the discman was that I have MAJOR music ADD. For some reason no matter how catchy or how much I love a song or a playlist, after a week I want something new. I want to be caught by surprise. Same tracks in the same order day after day week after week and it's like running the same five mile workout at an even pace the whole time. Where was the challenge? The excitement? The stimulation!?

Enter into the days of the IPod and the Playlist - my saviors! Thankfully now I was able to mix and match my tunes as I pleased. My running playlist changes almost daily whether it be one or two new added songs, or a new compilation of older stuff. My music = anything from Brittany Spears to Coheed and Cambria, to Cascada, to 80's hits, oh the list can go on for days. It's my little bit of magic that makes the pain of ten miles seem to evaporate into the notes.

Recently Boyfriend has been running a few days a week, and I find it puzzling the tunes he chooses to run to. I guess I had never really thought that the upbeat music wouldn't pump up every one. I don't know why I didn't see this coming. Boyfriend and my musical tastes couldn't be at more opposite ends of the spectrum. There were places that we overlapped sure, but the majority of songs we did not share a common opinion on. Once he told me he liked running to Manson I about fainted on the spot. Say what? How does that motivate you at all? But of course I am not one to judge. And more so I am not one to judge what gets you on your feet as long as you get on your feet.

But now I just need to know - what is on YOUR running playlist that gets you pumped?

xx Sara

No comments: