In the last couple years I’ve learned a couple tricks for at least partially salvaging a run when everything feels like it’s going to hell. I can try and make a pitiful little game out of it and start leaping over cracks in the sidewalk and running on the bumpy grass alongside the trail. I can switch to intervals and do short bursts of sprinting followed by longer periods of gasping, eye-bulge-y walking. I can repeat a mantra over and over in my head until I get past the overwhelming sensation of wanting to stop and hail a cab.
Sometimes there’s nothing that can be done, the body just isn’t feeling it. I don’t know if Serious Running-Type People still experience this, but I sure do. It’s one of the maddening things about running, how one day you feel like you might just have this thing figured out and WATCH OUT BOSTON!—and the next time you get maybe one whole block away before your legs turn into cinder blocks and your lungs say “you know what, fuck this noise,” pull out tiny STRIKE signs, and start picketing your aorta.
Anyway, the single most important factor for me in non-suicidal running (aside from not wearing something that’s sliding down my hips or crawling up my ass) is music. An iPod loaded with newish-to-me tunes will almost always result in a good run.
The unfortunate thing about music is that it only works for a certain period of time. After listening to a song during three or four runs, it starts rapidly losing its magic. It’s the only thing that makes running somewhat of an expensive form of exercise, because I’m constantly trying to refresh my playlists in order to spend my tortuous pavement-pounding time blissed out on whatever’s in my ears instead of fiddling with buttons skipping through the lost-their-mojo songs.
Which is all to say, I’ve started running again and my iPod needs your help. I’ve asked for music suggestions before, and I plan to eventually collect every song that’s been recommended and publish a gigantor master list for everyone’s benefit—but for now, will you indulge me (again) and share your favorite get-up-and-move music? I’m partial to aggressive and/or dance tunes with a high tempo, but really, I listen to all kinds of stuff.
Currently, I’m running to:
Hello (Single Edit) • Martin Solveig & Dragonette
Chocolate • Snow Patrol
Come and Get It • Badfinger
No Man’s Woman • Sinéad O’Connor
Walk Like An Egyptian (Energy Remix + 190 BPM) • DJ ReMix Factory
End of the Line • The Traveling Wilburys
Gavotte from Orchestral Suite No. 3 – J.S. Bach • Various Artists
O Fortuna • Spiritual Project
Pro-Test • Skinny Puppy
Supernaut • 1,000 Homo DJ’s
100 Miles and Runnin’ • N.W.A.
Ready for the Floor (Album Version) • Hot Chip
Bulletproof • La Roux
You’re a Wolf • Sea Wolf
Rococo • Arcade Fire
White Blank Page • Mumford & Sons
We Used to Wait • Arcade Fire
Hey Boy Hey Girl • The Chemical Brothers
Got My Own Thing • Liz Phair
Telephone • Lady GaGa & Beyoncé
Sorrow • Bad Religion
21st Century (Digital Boy) • Bad Religion
Twin Cinema • The New Pornographers
Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo • Bloodhound Gang
Disturbia • Rihanna
So Bad • Eminem
Untitled • Eminem
Crack a Bottle • Eminem, Dr. Dre & 50 Cent
Furr • Blitzen Trapper
Loud Pipes • Ratatat
Montanita • Ratatat
The Ghost Inside • Broken Bells
Your Man • Down With Webster
Last Resort • Papa Roach
Click Click Boom • Saliva
(Here’s an iMix link of the above list, if you’re interested.)
Okay! Hit me with your best song. My lungs thank you in advance.