Monday, August 1, 2016

Running Playlists

I can't run without music.

Okay, I take that back. I can run without music, I just really prefer not to.

I have only ever participated in one running event where headphones were prohibited (and I found out day of the event no one was really there enforcing it, but I followed the rule anyway.) If it hadn't been an amazing opportunity to run across the Mackinac Bridge at dawn, I might have reconsidered.

I've read about people who listen to audio books while they run, or use the time to think without noise distractions, or meditate, or pray.  While that all sounds good in theory - it just doesn't work for me.  Most of the rewards I get from running are at or near the end. That feeling of accomplishment when I've gone a little further or run a little longer. The burst of energy after I've finished a work out.  The weight loss and health benefits that come when I train consistently.  Most of the challenges that come with running are before or during the run.  For example, getting out of bed early to get in a run before work, convincing myself that I have the energy to run after work, and not talking myself out of stopping partway through.

Music distracts me from all the reasons not to run or to stop running. It provides motivation when I feel myself slowing down. 

During a recent run, I realized that every song that came up on my playlist had a memory associated with it. After I was finished I thought about how I not only felt great from having run, but also from the memories that came up with the music.

So below, find some of my favorite running songs - the good, bad, and embarrassing - and why they bring a smile to my face. I'm always looking for playlist suggestions, so leave your favorites in the comments so I can keep refreshing my list!

"Sexy Back" Justin Timberlake - This song will always remind me of my friend Erin's fabulous bachelorette party in Chicago. I think everywhere we went that evening we heard it played at least one. I lost track of the number of times we danced to it!

"Poker Face" Lady Gaga - I can recall many evenings of dancing to this song while out at one of the few bars in Oneonta, NY with the rest of my Baseball Hall of Fame Intern colleagues.  Okay, some of us may have done more dancing than others... 

"The Middle" Jimmy Eat World - Running is one of those things that has helped me feel better about myself and learn to accept who I am. This song helps to remind me of that.

"Call Me Maybe" Carly Rae Jepsen - PHGP dance break.    :)

"No Fear" Terri Clark - One of the few country and slower songs on my running list, this song reminds me not to let fear stand in the way of my goals.

"Krazy" Pitbull ft Lil Jon - There are many songs on my running playlist that come from Zumba classes I have taken. Inevitably, they make me think of all the fun times I had with Allie trying not to make fools of ourselves....

"Waka Waka" Shakira - I don't know why I like this song. It makes me smile, it's catchy, and I have it in my head for days after I hear it. I'll probably be singing it for rest of the day just because I read the title. You're welcome.

"All Day" Girl Talk - This is my absolute favorite track for longer runs. It's a mix of songs, all with good running beat, that runs for over an hour. Free to download, I like this ones for races because I can just start it and let it go.

"Boogie Shoes" K.C. and The Sunshine Band - This song always reminds me of dancing with my mother-in-law Debbie and sister-in-law Jenn.  It's a regular in the playlist of my father-in-law Chuck's band.