Running Playlist

It’s been a stoppy-starty sort of year for running. It’s been a particularly odd year in general… are there any other kinds of year? There have been back problems, there has been drunkenness, there’s been a trip to the Big Apple, there has been some house moving, a holiday full of trappist beer and comic books, there have been good times, bad times, a lot of stress and some all round recuperation. Basically, it’s just been like life, but for some reason I’ve managed to let it get in the way of my exercise routine more than usual.

Still, sciatica withstanding, I seem to be managing the odd eight miler. But it isn’t enough. You see, the Hell Run is on, and this year we have a full team again. And I do not want to come last. I was pretty pleased to be one of the first fifteen women to cross the finish line last year, even though there weren’t many women to begin with, and the previous year I was by no means the least fit within the team itself; but this year, I’m running with some proper, full on runners. I need to get back into my daily thirteen milers. I need to get my speed up. I need to learn how to run downhill on unstable ground. My ego is too mahoosive to take the beating of being the one to drive the average team time up.

Pondering this issue whilst v.lazily jogging a nice, little six mile run, I wondered how I was going to get myself motivated enough to actually make it all the way around that incredibly obstacle-filled course, let alone do it in good time. I know what I’m supposed to do to get fitter – I’ve been there before, thank you – but, for some reason, what with one thing and another, I’ve been less enthusiastic about dragging my weary arse out of bed at 5am to leg it around the boring and, in some places, ugly roads of Leeds. Still, at 5am, one can hardly start running through woods and down snickets and along canals if one is a relatively young woman. I mean, I’m more than capable of looking after myself and the rape alarm I carry is loud enough to wake the dead and I do honestly look like a sack of shit at that time in the morning, but I don’t like to deliberately place myself in harm’s way. So, boring roads it is.

As well as running, I also power walk to work and back and for this to happen rather than me, say, going to the pub for a pint of landlord or three after work and wobbling to the train station just to go home on public transport and binge eat everything in the flat, I have to listen to music. It’s great – I actually look forward to sticking my ipod on and blasting it into work and back home again on foot. I don’t have a specific playlist, I just put my top rated tunes on shuffle and enjoy the randomness of listening to Edith Piaf followed by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings followed by Joanna Newsom followed by Muse followed by Tchaikowsky followed by the Wu Tang… you get the idea. But I have noticed that when I’m listening to certain tracks, I walk faster. It got me to thinking (because I’m sharp like that): if some tracks made me walk faster, I could make a note of them when they came on and create a “go-faster” playlist.

I toyed with the idea. I’m never much good when it comes to change and I’ve been running sin music for years and years. Then I googled “best music to run to.” Well, I went to the foot of our stairs! There were playlists galore. It seems there is a whole host of runners who won’t even consider running without listening to music. So I raided the hundreds of playlists for inspiration and built my own… if you don’t believe me, check out the bottom of this post!

So, the other morning, armed with my mother’s ipod shuffle (inherited when I was sleeping badly and decided to buy pillow speakers and a sleep hypnosis CD*) I ventured out into the deluge that has hit England these past few weeks to try out my wild theory of fast music = fast running. Five minutes in and I was smiling smugly to myself. It was working. Running with music, I have discovered, is like running with a completely relentless pacemaker. Having not been for a run for over two weeks, I was amazed to discover, on flying through the door at breakneck speed, that I had shaved 7 minutes off my current time for a six miler. My back was aching, my legs were seizing up and I was v.purple in the face, but I didn’t care; I was chuffed. Hell, I may even go the whole hog and get the “go-faster” stripes to match my “go-faster” playlist.

The only downside to this running with music malarkey, is that the songs that have the greatest impact on your running speed all seem to be dripping with cheese: The Final Countdown, Eye of the Tiger, Holding out for a Hero, anything by Nickelback… If I get mugged whilst running, I shall be ever so embarrassed. Partly by the music and partly because at the end of the run, my tiny iPod came out
of my leggings pocket dripping in my back juice… nice.

Because I stole parts of my playlist from the playlists of some lovely people who had been willing to share theirs on t’interweb, I thought I should return the favour. If anyone thinks that I’m missing a song that is ideal for running, please feel free to make suggestions. And feel free to steal.

EMYROO’S RUNNING PLAYLIST (in no particular order):

  • Maniac Michael ~ Sembello
  • I See You Baby ~ Groove Armada
  • Muscles ~ Diana Ross
  • Work That Body ~ Diana Ross
  • Work It Out [Radio Edit] ~ Beyoncé
  • Cheapskate ~ Supergrass
  • He’s A Dream ~ Shandi
  • Flashdance… What A Feeling ~ Irene Cara
  • Eye Of The Tiger (Rocky Theme) ~ Survivor
  • Sk8er Boi ~ Avril Lavigne
  • Steamy Windows ~ Tina Turner
  • What Do I Have To Do [7′ Mix] ~ Kylie Minogue
  • Crazy In Love ~ Beyoncé Feat. Jay-Z
  • Arbeit Macht Frei ~ The Libertines
  • Elite ~ Deftones
  • Something In Your Mouth ~ Nickelback
  • Burn It To The Ground ~ Nickelback
  • Next Go Round ~ Nickelback
  • Shakin’ Hands ~ Nickelback
  • S.E.X. ~ Nickelback
  • Too Bad ~ Nickelback
  • One of the Boys ~ Katy Perry
  • Harder To Breathe ~ Maroon 5
  • Through With You ~ Maroon 5
  • I’m Outta Love ~ Anastacia
  • Holding Out for a Hero ~ Bonnie Tyler
  • Bring Me To Life ~ Evanescence
  • Going Under ~ Evanescence
  • Hola ~ Evanescence
  • Whisper ~ Evanescence
  • Baby Got Back ~ Sir Mix-A-Lot
  • Mayhem ~ Imelda May
  • Ain’t No Mountain High Enough ~ Diana Ross
  • You’ve Seen The Butcher ~ Deftones
  • El Tango De Roxanne ~ Ewan McGregor, Jose Feliciano & Jacek Koman
  • Love Is A Battlefield ~ Pat Benatar
  • Livin’ On A Prayer ~ Bon Jovi
  • Fighter ~ Christina Aguilera
  • It’s raining men The weather girl
  • Fat Bottomed Girls ~ Queen
  • Pretty Piece Of Flesh ~ One Inch Punch
  • Time Warp ~ Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Little Nell, Jonathan Adams & Ensemble
  • Dirrty ~ Christina Aguilera Feat. Redman
  • Lady Marmalade ~ Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya & Pink
  • Mustang Sally ~ The Commitments
  • Shake Your Tailfeather ~ The Blues Brothers
  • Strict Machine ~ Goldfrapp
  • Sinnerman ~ Nina Simone
  • Bat Out Of Hell ~ Meat Loaf
  • Fuck You ~ Cee Lo Green
  • Gone Daddy Gone ~ Gnarls Barkley
  • Transformer ~ Gnarls Barkley
  • U Can’t Touch This ~ MC Hammer
  • Mambo No.5 ~ Lou Bega
  • (Mucho Mambo) Sway Radio Edit ~ Shaft
  • Ooh La La ~ Goldfrapp
  • Smells Like Teen Spirit ~ Nirvana
  • Don’t Let Me Get Me ~ Pink
  • Get The Party Started ~ Pink
  • Missundaztood ~ Pink
  • Dog Days Are Over ~ Florence And The Machine
  • Intergalactic ~ Beastie Boys
  • Dancing With Myself ~ Billy Idol
  • White Wedding ~ Billy Idol
  • Rebel Yell ~ Billy Idol
  • Shock To The System ~ Billy Idol
  • Freaks In Uniforms ~ HorrorPops
  • Bring It On! ~ HorrorPops
  • Time Is Running Out ~ Muse
  • Stockholm Syndrome ~ Muse
  • Cmnd/Ctrl ~ Deftones
  • Rocket Skates ~ Deftones
  • RX Queen ~ Deftones
  • Knife Party ~ Deftones
  • Romeo ~ Donna Summer
  • War Machine ~ AC/DC
  • I Love To Boogie ~ T.Rex
  • Born To Run ~ Bruce Springsteen

FOOTNOTES:

* As it happens, the sleep hypnosis did sort of work. But it also meant that I couldn’t remember anything. I left the oven on, I forgot to lock the front door, I didn’t know what day it was, I lost half of my vocabulary and half way through a um… through a… a thingy, I would completely… ooh, nice jacket! Still, for a while there, I walked on a lavender scented cloud of sleepfulness.

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