This weekend I ran nine miles. I know, right? NINE. Five of those miles felt pretty good, two of them were fairly unpleasant, and the last two were so miserable I feel sorry for anyone who had the misfortune of spotting me on the Sammamish River Trail around 3:30 PM on Saturday, because I bet my face looked like—well, do you remember that scene in The Ring with the dead girl in the closet?


I think that’s exactly how I ran those last two miles. I vaguely remember some weeping, frightened children at one point, but really that last half hour was kind of a painful, hallucinatory blur.

I am both amazed and proud that I was able to run for so long without stopping, and completely overwhelmed by the fact that as hard as that was, as much of a PINNACLE LIFE ACHIEVEMENT as that felt like—in two months I’ve got to run that distance plus another four miles. You’d think I would be able to look back on how much I’ve improved over the last two months and trust that I’ll be that much stronger and capable in two more months, but that sort of thinking is reserved for positive self-affirming people and I’d much prefer to sit here flipping out about how I’m probably going to experience a catastrophic gastrointestinal event during mile 10, right before my heart explodes in a giant arterial geyser of FAIL.

I’m sure I’ll be FINE, though! HA HA HA HA FINE. 13.1 miles! I can do this! WHOOOOOOO FIIIIIINE.

In other news, I need new music to add to my running mix, because guess what, running nine miles takes fucking forever. What’s your go-to song that helps revitalize your lagging ass? If you want to see some of my current favorites, I’ve got them listed here.


96 Responses to “Pep talk”

  1. tanya on December 15th, 2009 12:01 am

    Call on Me (dance remix) – Eric Prydz
    Oh Saya – A.R. Rahman and M.I.A.
    B.O.B. – Outkast
    Dancing With Myself – Mr. Idol
    Somebody Like You – Keith Urban
    Pussy Control – Prince

    enjoy, well, sort of. running and all.

  2. Bianca on December 15th, 2009 12:17 am

    Yay! Mixtapes are my specialty…I’ve divided your run into 3 segments:

    I. Warm Up
    Everybody Got Their Something – Nikka Costa
    Simon Says – Pharoahe Monche
    Dusseldorf – Regina Spektor
    15 Step – Radiohead
    Cornbread – Freestyle Fellowship
    The Rain – Missy Elliot

    II. Mid-Run
    Knock ‘Em Out – Lily Allen
    You Gotta Want it – Dolorata
    Town Called Malice – The Jam
    Girl – Beck
    Chemical Calisthenics – Blackalicious
    Stronger – Kanye West
    National Express – The Divine Comedy
    Greenback Fly – Southern Culture on the Skids
    Sand in My Shoes – Dido
    Lose Control – Missy Elliot
    Try Again – Aaliyah
    Rebel Rebel – David Bowie
    Digital – Joy Division
    Beautiful Child – Rufus Wainwright

    III. Cool Down
    Plainsong – The Cure
    Callin Out (remix) – Lyrics Born
    Sure Looks Good to Me – Alicia Keys
    The Only Living Boy in New York – Simon & Garfunkel
    All Falls Down – Kanye West
    Feeling Good – Nina Simone

    Enjoy! Let us know how you like the suggestions :)

  3. Bianca on December 15th, 2009 12:18 am

    p.s. Never put a picture like that up again! I watched that entire movie through a button hole in my coat. I’ve fought for ages to get that image out of my head and I had to hold my hand over it while I was reading this update until I could scroll down. I’m such a chicken!

  4. DebiDebi on December 15th, 2009 12:42 am

    I am training for the Phoenix PF Changs half in January. I just did 11 miles on Saturday and ran out of music! Then I came and read your post and TA-DAH!! Lots of music ideas! Thank you so SO much. I love reading your posts on pushing through the walls because, man, I feel ya. You inspire me and let me know I am not a big baby because I don’t want to get up in the dark and go running in the ccccoooold! Also, my super geek music that I can not believe I am admitting to is Miley Cyrus Party in the USA. I feel pretty safe though because I saw some Lady Gaga on yours and well, I think they are kinda the same right?

  5. carl Coryell-Martin on December 15th, 2009 4:40 am

    AC/DC: it’s a long way to the top (if you want to rock and roll)

    When I was walking up mt whitney, carefully controlled peer reviewed studies showed that song would increase my rate of climb from 500′ /hour to 1500’/hr.

  6. Kim on December 15th, 2009 5:12 am

    wow.. thanks to all y’all I have some great new running songs!! Everyone on here is the BEST!

    I actually worked out this morning with all the inspiration from this board. We all struggle I guess…

    So one more song.. it’s kinda fun…
    Any Man of Mine- Shania Twain. Try it.. you’ll be addicted. : )

  7. goingloopy on December 15th, 2009 6:51 am

    Darude – “Sandstorm” Goes on forever and has an awesome beat.

    9 miles is very impressive. And you WILL be telling us more stories of OMG 10 and 11 and 12 and 13. You can do it.

  8. Joy on December 15th, 2009 6:59 am

    Check out The Ranconteurs, Dead Weather or 100 Monkeys.

  9. Barb on December 15th, 2009 7:14 am

    One of “go to” songs is “Listen” by Dwight Yoakum…has a good cadence…for my slow ass, anyway…good vibes on the half!!! I fell off the running wagon while building a house, but fixing to start again!!! Have to…feel like crapola when I am not running!!!

  10. Stephanie on December 15th, 2009 7:14 am

    Big Bang Baby- STP
    All My Life- Foo Fighters
    DOA- Foo Fighters
    Womanizer- Britney Spears
    Peace Frog- The Doors
    Thunderstruck- AC/DC
    Michael Franti- Say Hey (I Love You)

    Yeah, none of those songs seem to go together do they. Boy am I weird.

  11. Sarah on December 15th, 2009 7:15 am

    C’Mon C’Mon by the VonBondies
    Blue Orchid by the White Stripes
    Feel Good by the Gorillas
    Gett Off by Prince

    Loved the post. Great song ideas from your commenters.

  12. Nikki B on December 15th, 2009 7:24 am

    I’m so impressed with your running and have been getting a lot out of the posterous blog – I ran my first half in October and wish you guys would have been training back then! I had the same thoughts you did – how can I POSSIBLY do X more miles on top of what I just did??? But trust the training and you’ll get there.

    My go-to running song is Banquet by Bloc Party. Keep up the awesome work, you really are an inspiration.

  13. Claudia on December 15th, 2009 7:34 am

    “Lust for Life” by Iggy Pop will get you going.

  14. Lawyerish on December 15th, 2009 7:56 am

    With the disclaimer that my music choices are not exactly hot off the presses, here are some songs that have kept me going in long races:

    Move Along – The All-American Rejects
    Poker Face and Just Dance – Lady Gaga
    Beautiful – Akon
    Forever – Chris Brown
    Numb/Encore – Jay-Z and Linkin Park
    Chocolate – Snow Patrol
    Mr. Brightside – The Killers
    The Distance – Bon Jovi
    Everyday – Bon Jovi
    Dreams – Van Halen
    Corduroy – Pearl Jam

    It’s the .1 that gets me in the half marathons. WHY the added .1? WHY?

  15. pseudostoops on December 15th, 2009 8:01 am

    New playlist favorites:

    Dominoes by The Big Pink
    When You Walk in the Room by Fyfe Dangerfield
    Bad Kids by Black Lips

    A couple I’ve recently added back into the list for emergency low-energy situations:
    Shipping Up to Boston by Dropkick Murphys
    Dirt off Your Shoulder by Jay-Z

  16. Amanda on December 15th, 2009 8:20 am

    I’m a runner too and I’m always on the lookout for new songs and playlists. Here’s a sampling from my current list:

    Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z and Alicia Keys
    Boys, Boys, Boys – Lady Gaga
    Bulletproof – La Roux
    Tik Tok – Kesha
    Evacuate the Dance Floor – Cascada
    3 – Britney Spears
    Shooting Star – LMFAO
    You Dropped a Bomb On Me – The Gap Band
    Rock and Roll Heart – Eric Clapton
    Clumsy – Fergie
    Rock the Boat – Hues Corporation
    Silly Boy – The Blue Van
    Smooth Criminal – Michael Jackson

    Hope this helps! You’re kicking some serious tail in improving your mileage! Get it, girl!

  17. M on December 15th, 2009 9:00 am

    Anything by Groove Armada – especially “Superstylin”

  18. Andrea (@shutterbitch) on December 15th, 2009 9:01 am

    That face has haunted me since the first time I saw that movie…alone…at night… while pregnant & prone to fucked up dreams as it was.

    Congrats on the iron lungs/legs! How awesome is that! You can do it, I totally have faith in you.

    Favorite running song: Uprising, by Muse. Also, Mojo by Peeping Tom.

  19. Gleemonex on December 15th, 2009 9:01 am

    Late to the party, as usual, and terrifically impressed with your 9 miles — most I’ve ever done is 5, and that damn near killed me daid. But anyway — here’s some music for ya that always works for me:

    Danger Zone — Loggins. (yes Loggins.)
    Welcome to the Jungle — Guns N Roses.
    Panama — Van Halen

    John the Revelator — Depeche Mode (newish!)
    Heavy Metal Drummer — Wilco

    And the ultimate, get-you-through-the-wall:
    Panzer Attack — The Cooper Temple Clause.

  20. Andrea (@shutterbitch) on December 15th, 2009 9:03 am

    Oh, and I forgot to mention that there’s a website where you can pay $5 for a running playlist (not sure how many songs) to suit your kind of music that’s based on your pace. It’s virtually impossible to stop while that’s on.

  21. laziza on December 15th, 2009 10:35 am

    Gah! Gah! Way to post a picture of a DEAD GIRL at the top of your page with no warning! GAH!

  22. Kami Lewis Levin on December 15th, 2009 11:18 am

    it’s so cool to see all these soundtracks that help people push their bodies to become killing machines, I mean healthy…

    Way to go on the 9 miles. I’m starting the 30 Day Shred today…

  23. KF on December 15th, 2009 11:48 am

    Gogol Bordello: Wanderlust King

  24. Lorraine on December 15th, 2009 11:51 am

    Grace Kelly or We Are Golden by Mika

  25. Tracy on December 15th, 2009 11:54 am

    Current favorite… Medicate by AFI

    I’m also training for a half at the end of January and have been told by experienced runner friends that if you can run 10, you can run the 13.1. Oookay.

  26. Ryan on December 15th, 2009 11:55 am

    Pink gets me through my runs. i am at 7 miles although she only lasts until about 4 and its time to jump over to Best of the 90s, lame probably but who can pass up running to pump up the jam by technotronic!

  27. mindy on December 15th, 2009 12:15 pm

    good run because you WANT to? Nothing is chasing you?
    9 miles?

    You are insane.

    …but awesome.
    insanely awesome.

  28. ChrisC on December 15th, 2009 12:58 pm

    I’ve got a couple songs that always get me going when I’m running (which I need because OMG, I am the whiniest runner EVER).

    Andrew W.K. — She is Beautiful
    Wilco — Gimme a Sign

  29. Katherine on December 15th, 2009 1:20 pm

    Attack by 30 Seconds to Mars. Although I don’t run.

    And just to let you know…you’re awesome. I can barely run 2 miles.

  30. Sharon on December 15th, 2009 2:22 pm

    “Bombs over Baghdad” always reminds me that maybe just maybe I should pick up the pace and stop trudging along…

  31. Margaret on December 15th, 2009 4:45 pm

    I don’t have any suggestions of my own, but I heard specific mention of this in a story on NPR yesterday morning … “Hand Me Down” by Visqueen. The guy interviewing the lead singer said “Tell me about [that song] … It has improved my running time dramatically.” And the lead singer said she gets that from runners all the time. So — hopefully it’ll be helpful!

  32. Andrea on December 15th, 2009 6:10 pm

    Great to see some echoes of some of my favs – so putting in another word for those & adding to it…

    – Use It, The New Pornographers – great running song
    – Most of Ok Go is good
    – Guns N’Roses – Appetite for Destruction
    – Rage Against the Machine (if I’m running to shake out a bad mood)
    – Silversun Pickups – almost everything, but Little Lover’s so Polite & Future Foe Scenarios are at the top of the list
    – Modest Mouse – so much variety, I hear something new every time I use them in my playlist
    -Kids by MGMT – I like to start out with this one on days where I feel like I’m dragging myself out to run.
    – Ting Tings – good for when you need something different
    – Run DMC – in recent rotation and time just flies by
    – The Kinks – Come Dancing

  33. clover on December 15th, 2009 11:31 pm

    Geez Lady, this entry should’ve come with a warning! Was most definitely *NOT* expecting a dead zombie girl – scared me (and I lovity love horror movies).

    You now need to even things out by posting many photos of squishy cheeks or a yellow furry face.

    Yay for 9 miles – especially outdoors in the terrain (not a nice, even, padded track)… and given that it was freeze-your-bits-off-COLD last weekend! WTG Sundry.

  34. amber on December 16th, 2009 6:36 am

    Wow. Good for you. I was incredibly proud of myself after running THREE lousy miles, and I was sweating rivers. Now I feel like a jealous slacker. :)

    Can’t wait to hear about how the 13.1 miles go!

  35. Pete on December 16th, 2009 6:37 am

    Summon the Heros – John Williams, makes me feel all Olympic and shit
    Eye of the Tiger, of course
    Loose yourself – Eminem

  36. Julie on December 16th, 2009 7:14 am

    Not that you need any MORE suggestions, but anything Earth Wind & Fire works for me, as does it’s polar opposite, Audioslave, and then there’s that one hilarious Puddle of Mud song, she effin hates me… always makes me smile.

    If you can run 9 miles? You can run a half! You’re already there, now you’ll just improve upon your time! Congrats!

  37. Tia on December 16th, 2009 7:30 am

    I’ve never ran in my life but the more you talk about it the more I want to try. But I’m thinking I’ll wait for warmer weather to start. Well and all that peanut brittle and cookies aren’t going to eat themselves :)
    Keep up the great work Linda! You are going to end up running one of those crazy marathons where they run like 26 miles someday woman. I can just see it now :)

  38. Lori on December 16th, 2009 8:00 am

    I don’t have anything new to add. I posted a comment yesterday (actually two of them) with links to playlists and guides for creating a playlist that helped make the running easier. Neither comment posted. The last several times I have commented the comments didn’t post. I’m feeling a bit paranoid so am posting this test.

  39. Jessica on December 16th, 2009 8:06 am

    You gave me Andrew Bird, Flathead by the Fratellis, and Pumpkin Soup by Kate Nash, so now I give you:

    Hummingbird by The Born Ruffians
    The Underdog by Spoon
    Clutch by Fat Segal
    Over and Over by Hot Chip
    Henrietta by The Fratellis
    Atlas by Battles (one of my favorites!!!!!!)
    Ricochet by Shiny Toy Guns

    Thank you again for your music recommendations!

  40. Rosie on December 16th, 2009 9:17 am

    Congratulations! Honestly, by the time you reach 9 miles, adding more mileage just becomes easier and easier.

    I like to listen to comedy CDs when I run. Mitch Hedberg, Stephen Lynch, Brian Regan, Daniel Tosh. I concentrate on the jokes and the funny and try to forget that my legs want to fall off. :-)

  41. Crys on December 16th, 2009 9:18 am

    My Obession by Skillet
    According to You by Orianthi
    Misery Business by Paramore
    Switch by Will Smith

  42. Carrie on December 16th, 2009 10:44 am

    Oh how I wish you hadn’t posted that damn picture from the scene in The Ring. I had nightmares for several weeks after watching that. But, yay you for nine miles.

  43. Operation Pink Herring on December 17th, 2009 8:34 am

    I’ll second Heads Will Roll by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. And if you’re up for a little Jesus techno, try Genesis by Justice. I’m into neither Jesus nor techno, but that song just makes me want to get up and (bust a) move.

    Bombs Over Baghdad and The Whole World by Outkast
    All The Things She Said by Tatu
    4 Mintues by Madanna and Justin Timberlake
    Move Along by All American Rejects
    Let Go by Frou Frou
    Help I’m Alive by Metric
    40 Day Dream by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

  44. Rachel on December 17th, 2009 2:27 pm

    I just finished my 45 minutes on the elliptical and had to come tell you that “Take Your Medicine” by Cloud Cult is a fantastic workout song, although I can virtually guarantee you that Cloud Cult had no intentions in that direction when they recorded it. It’s more of a coming-into-the-light-after-being-in-a-dark-place kind of song, but it has a good beat for exercise and it actually has the words “suck up” in it. In a GOOD way…

  45. Anne on January 6th, 2010 9:01 pm

    I know, I’m a day late and a dollar short but I found this web page today and thought of this blog post. It’s over 20 playlists from different runners:,7889,s6-240-466-0-0,00.html

  46. Antonia on July 8th, 2011 12:26 pm

    I had the same face after hiking the Grand Canyon in less than 48 hours.

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