Photo courtesy of The Inspiration Network.
Ahhhh…Music. Quite easily one of the loves of my life. (Please note…..ONE, not THE).
Music is something I have always had a very strong connection to for so many reasons. It is my motivator, my therapist, my feel good friend, sometimes my enemy, but always omnipresent. I cannot function without it. I play it when I get ready for work…I rock out in my car to it….I stream it all day long while at work….I work out to it….I fall asleep to it. I love it so much I studied Communication in undergrad, ran my own slightly ridiculous and eclectic radio show throughout my college days, accepted an internship with Froggy, and upon graduation accepted a job offer to be on the air full time as a personality.
Enter into the equation another love of my life: Running (Again, please note…ANOTHER, not THE). I’ve spent many posts rambling on about the love affair I have with the sport, so it is no secret that I like to lace up and cruise around outside. Fortunately in my world, Music and Running have a very strong relationship and work well together. I run a lot of races but refrain as much as possible from those races where I can’t wear my headphones, such as mud runs, color themed runs, etc. I need my freaking music. When it comes to races (especially half marathons), one of my favorite things to do is create a new playlist. I know that the playlist is directly connected to my success…..at least that’s what I tell myself, and usually this really pumps me up the week of a race.
Well, except for this week.
Sunday is the Pittsburgh half marathon, which I HAD been looking forward to for a long time. I had signed up to run the full marathon and had been ecstatic to run the bridges of Pittsburgh once again. Pittsburgh means a lot to me for many reasons, but when it comes to running it is a reminder of how far I have come as a runner. Several years back Jodi and I made the decision to run our first half marathons ever together in Pittsburgh. We didn’t train or know the importance of Body Glide, and we just showed up the day before the race with matching shirts and no real expectation. It wasn’t the smartest decision we ever made, but we did it….we did it together…and we haven’t stopped running since.
Note to self: Reeboks are terrible running shoes.
When we both made the decision to run the full together, we were both excited. Then life happened…and by life I mean that illness that had me out of commission for almost two months. I was angry that I was sick, but I was even more upset that I knew I would most likely have to drop down to the half marathon. I knew I could run a half without proper training, but I felt confident that I absolutely could not complete a full without it. Making that call and completing the paperwork to drop down to the half was a sad day in my world, but I hoped my excitement would eventually grow and I would be pumped to run Pittsburgh again.
Ummmm…..yeah. It didn’t. The race is this weekend, and I am not even the slightest bit excited. I know I am hard on myself when it comes to running; I always have been. I also know that I won’t run as fast or as great as I want, and that will upset me. At this point I have no expectation for the race and all that matters to me is finishing, getting my medal, and going home.
The silver lining to this is that I had to create my new playlist for the race. As I mentioned, I love doing this, and every playlist is such an eclectic crazy mess. Earlier today I was talking to one of my friends about music we like to run to, and she asked if she could see my list for Pittsburgh. Her response: “That’s totally what I would expect. A hot mess”
I present to you my “hot mess” aka part of my Pittsburgh playlist.
1. O’Fortuna. I start every race to this song. It’s nostalgic for me. And seriously who doesn’t get pumped to an orchestra??!!!
2. MGMT “Kids.” Creepy music video. Good beat for me to start out to.
3. Krewella “Alive.” Could listen to this song on repeat for the entire 13.1 mile race.
4. NKOTB “Step by Step.” No judgement. Also, no shame.
5. Beastie Boys “Sabotage” This reminds me of our basketball warmup my senior year in HS.
6. Foo Fighters “Best of You” I just love Dave G’s voice.
7. Wicked Soundtrack “Defying Gravity.” Does not require explanation if you know me.
8. Drowning Pool “Bodies.” This comes on right when I realize I am ready to kick some serious ass.
9. Katy Perry and Juicy J “Dark Horse” I don’t like the song itself, but the beat is quite lovely.
10. The Alters “Every Good Thing” Randomly found this song after realizing I was listening to a Jesus station on the radio. Surprisingly, I really like this song to run to.
11. Bastille “Pompeii” Because Bastille is awesome.
12. Florence and the Machine “Shake it Out” Just one of those songs that I have a very strong emotional connection to.
13. Bob Seger ‘Wildfire”. We all know how I feel about Seger. This song (Now) is connected to something that pushes me to do better.
14. Fitz and the Tantrums “Out of my League” I like this song because I first heard it when I was trying on a dress 3 sizes smaller than I was wearing….and I just connect it to a happy place!
15. Janet Jackson “Escapade” Because the 90’s rocked and I am still living in them.
16. Michael Penn “No Myth” Romeo in Blue Jeans can never go wrong.
17. 30 Seconds to Mars ‘Kings and Queens” Neither can Jordan Catalano.
18. Mayday Parade “Kids in Love” This is one of those secret bands no one has ever heard of but I am obsessed with
19. Trapt “Echo”. Gets me angry and fired up if I have lost motivation
20. Big Country “In a Big Country” I love the 80’s…favorite song from that time period right here.
21. Jane’s Addiction “Jane Says”. Have you noticed I throw slower tempo songs in with my crazy ones? Helps keep me balanced.
22. Parade of Lights “Just like Falling in Love” Another secret band that I discovered while watching a Sunday marathon of “The Hills”
23. Cobra Starship “Good Girls Go Bad” I only have this in here because Gabe Saporata has one of my favorite male voices.
24. Gorillaz “Feel Good Inc” Hahahahahahahaahah.
25. Metallica “Enter Sandman” Every playlist needs at least ONE Metallica song.
26. Tegan and Sara “Closer” I finally omitted this as my cell phone ring tone, but I had to put it somewhere.
27. Rent Soundtrack “Another Day” Upbeat and fun!
28. Emblem3 “Chloe” I have no explanation for why this is here. It’s fun to run to I guess.
29. Journey “Don’t Stop Believin” Hello, have we met?
30. Wham! ‘Wake Me Up Before you Go” A special song between my love and I :)
31. Cher ” Strong Enough” If you don’t run to Cher you need smacked.
32. Jessie J “Domino” I just think Jessie has one of the strongest female voices ever.
33. Avril Lavigne “Smile” I am maybe a little ashamed of this….I wouldn’t be if she hadn’t married the guy from Nickelback.
34. Randy Houser “Runnin Outta Moonlight” Country music makes me smile.
35. Lil Wayne “Project Bitch” Just in case I need to break out my inner thug.
36. Cartel “Honestly” I’ve never run a single race without this song playing at some point.
37. Eminem and Rhianna “The Monster”. For some reason, this song makes me feel invincible.
38. WuTang Clan “Gravel Pit” Obsessed with Wu #sorrynotsorry
39. Coheed and Cambria “A Favor House Atlantic” Again, a strong beat that pushes me
40. Tegan and Sara “Alligator” Makes me want to punch people….and it fires me up.
Yes, it’s only a snippet, and yes, sometimes I like to just repeat songs if I’m in the groove. I love the craziness of this playlist because it really makes no sense to anyone else but me. If nothing else, I can’t wait to run listening to it Sunday.
Speaking of listening, THE love of my life (Yes the ONE and ONLY) got me a fun “Just Because” present to help me along the way Sunday: the Skullcandy Supreme Sound Hesh Headphones I have been wanting to maximize my listening abilities on the course. I have been after these bad boys for awhile, so I am super excited to now have my own pair and also have a little piece of my love with me since he can’t be there to cheer me on. This also means we now have matching headphones when we work out at the gym (kind of….his are green of course).
For all of you who are wishing me well and supporting me from both near and far, thank you! I may not be excited now, but I know that I will barely be able to sleep Saturday night because of the excitement that is awaiting me Sunday. And I will be even more excited when that medal is around my neck and I’m hugging my mom at the finish.
Good luck to all my fellow runners!