Magical runs happen every so often. They are the runs that make all the un-magical ones worth it. Saturday brought in our first inclement weather of the year. It almost even felt like winter, but may have been mistaken for a summer squall. Never the less, the ground was dampened by the overnight, early morning rain, and the wind howled in swirling circles, blowing palm fronds and leaves into my path. The air was still moist and had a bit of a bite, but the sun began to peak through as the cloud broke. On the surface it didn't look like a day for a magical run, but one never knows how these things develop.
On Friday John and I woke up early, deathly early for me (5:00 am) so that we could attend the Strength for Running class. I had no idea how much pain could be inflicted upon the body without the use of external weights. All of our moves were done using body weight and gravity and by the end of the hour I thought I might have to crawl out because my gluts were left quivering on my pink mat. It was awesome. I have no doubt that my strength was built because by evening time I could pinpoint exactly which muscles were worked. I decided, since I was half asleep from a lack of morning sleep, and sore in places I didn't know existed, to not go to the pool for my planned swim. I slept instead. I hoped my Saturday run would make up for the laziness.
So Saturday brought less than ideal weather, but lots of energy from a day of recovery. Saturday also brought the birth of a new play list for my little iPod Shuffle. For years, as in four years, I have had the same songs on my Shuffle. They were great songs, but after hearing them two hundred and fifty times they had gotten a bit flat. They became noise in my head that helped only to take my mind off the pain. What they lacked was the ability to put a spring in my step and a jolt in my heart. They were decaffeinated and lukewarm. And lets face it, even at his best, Jack Johnson isn't exactly energizing. So despite the technical difficulty of figuring out how to strip and reload my Shuffle, I spent an hour and a half doing just that.
I am a new Iphone user. Traditionally very late with new technology, I recently bought a 3G Iphone (I'm always one model behind every one else) for one penny, and now have a smart phone that essentially makes life easier and more fun. I began building a small play list of inspiring songs. When I listen to the tunes I can't help but beat my foot to the rhythm and groove with the melody. Granted I have only compiled about 13 songs but it is the beginning of hours of running music.
I loaded my thirteen songs, almost an hour's worth of music, onto my Shuffle. Enough to get me through most of my 10 mile run. I can say with conviction that although I went into my run rested and ready, it was the music that made the magic. My first clue was in the first mile. Whereas I typically take my time warming up with a 7:30 to 7:45 mile, my watch beeped out a 6:59 first mile. Oops. That wasn't a very disciplined warm up. From there I headed straight into the wind for a two mile stretch, and although my face was flapping in contorted arrangements, like a high powered leaf blower was attacking me, I was rocking out and my magical run continued.
Onward went the run and the tunes, into the wind, with the wind, wind swirling all around me, pushing against me, pushing me forward, knocking me off my path, wet, slippery dirt threatened my footing, and finally that home stretch. It wasn't the fastest run, but it was fun. My final overall pace flashed across my watch in a 7:06, and I had to smile when I checked my final mile time. It was a 6:41. I had to run that last one hard because Bon Jovi told me to "live while I'm alive." So I did. Doubled over from the final effort, I walked the pain out of my legs and watched the palm trees give way to the strong gusts.
I wanted to share with you the songs on my new play list, and ask anyone who might be willing, to leave a comment with a few examples of your favorite running songs. I'm sure everyone has their favorites, and clearly my play list needs help to be built up just a bit.
Cindy's Running Play list:
In the category of sappy and inspiring:
The Climb by Miley Cyrus
One Moment in Time by Whitney Houston
In the category of slowish but meaningful:
Bad Day by Daniel Powter
Because of You by Kelly Clarkson
Superman by Five for Fighting
In the category of old school upbeat:
It's My Life by Bon Jovi
Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi
American Girl by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
In the category of edgy upbeat modern:
The Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga
Raise Your Glass by Pink
Viva La Vida by Coldplay
In the category of mellow inspiration:
Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson
Drops of Jupiter by Train
Please share your favorites.