Music is a funny thing. There is something for every occasion, every emotion, every need. Music can motivate. Music can soothe. Music can ease the weary soul. Yesterday while running in the Charlotte 10 Miler, my music made me laugh.
I created my running playlist last May when we first started running. I have added songs here and there along the way, but the first 45 minutes or so have stayed basically the same. The tempo is right for the pace I run. (I still walk and run to the beat of whatever music I am listening to...or hearing in my head...probably because of all of those years of marching band in junior high and high school!) Because I have run to the same playlist for so long, I know approximately how far I should be in a 5k run, or how many more songs I have left before the end of a run. When I have tried to shuffle my playlist or run to another album on my iTunes, it has been a disaster. So, I stick to the same thing...over...and over...and over again. No reason to change it up if it still works for me.
So, a peek at my playlist...and some of the thoughts that occurred to my while running yesterday...
The very first song on my list is Ordinary Miracle by Sarah McLachlan. I always hear this while I am at the starting line, waiting for the race to begin. Each day is a miracle, and this reminds me to keep my eyes and ears and mind open to the "ordinary miracles" that surround me during a run. Right before the start of the race, tiny snowflakes started drifting through the air. There was a gasp of disbelief among the runners, then giggles and smiles...we're about to run while it is snowing! It's a great day to be alive!
Oh wait...the next song on my list is just that...and it is a fantastic way to start every race. Whether the morning is a crazy hot and humid August one or a bitter cold January one, It's a Great Day to Be Alive! The first mile is always the hardest mile for me whether I'm running 3.1 miles or 13.2 miles or any other distance. So I need the reminder this song gives me. Yesterday was no exception. The mind games..."I can't do this..." "It's too cold..." "I haven't run much this month...why am I out here running a 10 miler this morning?" "Am I going to have an asthma issue today? The cold could trigger that" "I'm too tired...I can't do this..." Oh wait...it's a great day to be alive...embrace this, relax, and enjoy. Find your pace...you can do this!
Right around the end of the first mile, I hear This is How We Roll. Hey...I've rolled right through that first mile! Only nine miles to go! I can do this...I'm feeling good now! At this point I kick in to Automatic, along with Miranda Lambert.
Around 2.5 miles, which is usually close to the end of a 5k, I am "happy, happy, happy, happy." And how can you not run with a smile on your face when listening to Pharrell Williams sing Happy? And today? I'm so happy, happy, happy, happy...I'm outside after being cooped up inside thanks to the cold and ice. I'm not scrapping wallpaper off of my kitchen walls. I'm feeling good. Yep...happy, happy, happy, happy...
Mile four...Luke Bryan is singing "Rain makes corn. Corn makes whiskey..." Rain is a Good Thing! But wait...that's not rain...that's snow again. Let's see...if rain makes corn...what does snow make? Snowmen? Not enough snow for that. But it makes me smile as I run on down the greenway.
Next up...Bubbly by Colbie Caillet..."It starts in my toes and I crinkle my nose..." Ha! I can't feel my toes and I can't feel my nose...or my upper lip for that matter! She must be somewhere warm!
A little later, I am in total agreement with Cyndi Lauper while she sings Manic Monday...I wish it was Sunday because that's going to be my "I don't have to run" day! Especially after running 10 miles today!
Mile 5...half way there. I Gotta Feeling...I gotta feeling I can do this! But first another Cliff block or two, some water, and a reapplication of lip balm! Oh wait...I have lips? I can't feel them!
Mr. Mister...Kyrie...Yep. Lord have mercy! These hills! THAT hill! Right about that time, Lady Antebellum was belting out Compass... "When it's all said and done, you can walk instead of run..." Yeah...I'm walking up THAT hill (and a few others).
Mile nine...if I remember correctly...the course elevation map showed that this was pretty much a downhill mile...all the way to the finish line. My legs are tired. I'm tired! Have I mentioned I can't feel my lips? But if I can finish this last mile, this downhill mile, I will finish this race in under two hours...that's my goal, given that I haven't done much running over the last few weeks due to illness and ice and single digit temperatures...
As I round the final curve and see the finish line ahead of me, Kenny Chesney is belting out Feel Like a Rock Star. And oh my goodness...I'm going to finish this thing in under two hours...oh yeah, I feel like a rock star!
My music kept my brain busy and my feet going yesterday. There were two songs about an hour and a half into my playlist that were too slow and I need to delete them before the half marathon we are running in April...but I need to replace them with something...
So...what's on your playlist and why? I'd love to hear from you.