I can’t imagine trying to walk an entire marathon without having some kind of distraction – someone to talk to (like dh) or some music…and sometimes both. I remember that during my first marathon, when I was starting to have trouble moving along, I put on my headphones (which I’d kept nearby but hadn’t deployed) and told dh that I just needed music to get my feet moving properly.
Music has always been a big part of my life. Growing up, I listened to a lot of late 70’s/early 80’s soft rock, then new wave, followed by punk & electronica, followed by grunge…and on and on and on. In other words, I have fairly eclectic tastes. The only music I just can’t deal with in quantity is country music, although I appreciate that it’s extremely popular. Growing up in the Washington DC area, rap and go-go music were staples while I was in high school, alongside all of the Bon Jovi, Guns’nRoses and various other late 80’s bands. Again – eclectic.
When I was lucky enough to win an iPod shuffle from MyKindaRain two years ago, I put that little pink cutie into circulation right away. I had gotten a new iPod (regular size) earlier in the year, but the shuffle has the distinction of being extremely compact and clippy: you can just clip it on whatever you’re wearing and it tends to stay put. Naturally, I loaded up the pink cutie with fun stuff and adjusted my playlist as I had the time and inclination. I actually have a bunch of new stuff that I need to put on there (including Passion Pit’s “Take a Walk”, which has the double-whammy of being a local band AND a song that’s totally thematic for a walking marathon).
On yesterday morning’s training walk – a brisk 5.1mi jaunt around the town’s lake – I got an interesting mix. And yes, there were several repeat artists, but that just speaks to the fact that the pink cutie knew that I was in the mood for some extra Muse. (lol)
- “Every Me, Every You” – Placebo
- “Help I’m Alive” – Metric
- “Believe What You’re Saying” – Sugar
- “Supermassive Black Hole” – Muse
- “Assassin” – Muse
- “This Time Is Ours” – The Bravery
- “Newborn” – Muse
- “Teeth” – Lady Gaga
- “Left To My Own Devices” – Pet Shop Boys
- “Boys Boys Boys” – Lady Gaga
- “Seattle” – Public Image Ltd
- “Get The Message” – Electronic
- “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” – Jeff Lynne/Eric Clapton (Concert for George Harrison)
- “A Forest” (Tree Mix) – The Cure
- “So Hard” – Pet Shop Boys
- “Pablo Picasso” – David Bowie
- “I’m Still Standing” – Elton John
- “Push It” – Garbage
- “Evil Woman” – ELO
- “Hollaback Girl” – Gwen Stefani
- “Don’t Bring Me Down” – ELO
Of course, not all of those songs have the perfect beat to walk to, in terms of setting a specific pace and keeping a beat. However, I have songs mixed throughout with that type of pace setting (like some of the Lady Gaga, Metric, etc.), and even songs like “Don’t Bring Me Down” have a strong beat that allow you to walk in time. This may seem a bit silly to a skeptic saying, “But that’s not a good walking song!” Well, I counter with: sure it is. The reason why is this: any song that allows you either to keep a good pace OR to distract you from how you’re not feeling so fantastic in those moments when your calves, hips or knees aren’t fully cooperating is TOTALLY doing its job. And, ultimately, any music you bring with you should match what you like to listen to.
So, that’s one sampling from my playlist. There’s tons of other stuff on there, and I have a bunch more that needs to get loaded up before September’s walk. If you have your own favorites, feel free to share! Or, if you’re looking for something specific (say, an electronic song with a strong beat that you can walk or run to), let me know and I’ll see what I can suggest from my catalog (or the inventory of music in my head) that might get you on the right track.
<pleading>Lastly, if you’re interested in sponsoring me for my walking marathon, you can donate via my Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk support page. All donations are tax-deductible and your donations support the cancer research and treatment provided at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. </pleading>