Although my run was a disappointingly slow one, I stuck with my game plan for music along the way.
As obsessed as I am with music, and I have it playing around me in some form or another nearly every waking moment, it has been years since I ran or rode my bike with earbuds. It makes me feel completely oblivious to my surroundings and also takes away from the opportunity to get deep into my own head, which although sometimes scary I think is healthy every once in a while. I’ll often bring my phone and play music directly from it on a run, and my Bluetooth bike speaker is a frequent source of noise pollution in downtown Boise, but at least then I can still hear what is going on around me. It’s nice to at least hear the car before it crashes into you, right?
So I knew I wouldn’t be bringing music with me on my 6th attempt at the Boise tradition that is the grueling half-marathon Race to Robie Creek yesterday. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t have music with me – oh no, quite the contrary. I decided to go alphabetical (structure is important when running for ~2 hours with nothing but your thoughts) and choose a band for each letter, and then let my mental jukebox play me a song from that band. No prep, just picking bands and songs as I went. Twenty-six letters, at about four minutes per song, and bam that is roughly how long I wanted to take to complete the race.
Quick sidebar- everyone has a mental jukebox right? Some are probably “better” than others: more tunes to choose from, more clarity and precision in both music and lyrics, etc. – but I think we all play music for ourselves from time to time. Well, I do this constantly, and in times like this – when it is ten degrees warmer than forecasted and that relentless sun is sapping all vigor and desire to continue moving from my tired and salty body – it can be very helpful.
Once I had the same hook mindlessly playing through my head for about five minutes before I snapped out of it, and a couple times I dozed off and realized I had run a few minutes with no music playing at all, but for the most part I stuck with the plan. This post is blatantly gratuitous and frankly has no target audience at all, so apologies. If you made it this far, well, here’s the playlist:
At the Drive-In “Napoleon Solo”
Buckcherry “Lit Up”
Cake “Friend Is a Four Letter Word”
Dave Matthews Band “Don’t Drink the Water”
Eels “All in a Days Work”
Filter “Hey Man, Nice Shot”
Gorillza “Clint Eastwood”
The Hives “Hate to Say I Told You So”
Jane’s Addiction “Jane Says”
KoRn “Dead Bodies Everywhere”
Liam Gallagher “Wall of Glass”
Marilyn Manson “Coma White”
Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
Offspring “Come Out and Play”
Pearl Jam “Alive”
Queens of the Stone Age “Go With the Flow”
Rage Against the Machine “No Shelter”
Silverchair “Israel’s Son”
Them Crooked Vultures “No One Loves Me and Neither Do I”
U2 “Pride (In the Name of Love)”
Violent Femmes “Blister in the Sun”
Weezer “Island in the Sun”
Xzibit “Best of Things” – this one took a few minutes to find in the ol’ noggin…
Young the Giant “Mirror Master”
ZZ Top “Legs” – and yes, mine were on fire at this point…