Music: Hydration For The Soul
"Ah, music, A magic far beyond all we do here!" — J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)
Last spring I went for an eight-mile run along the Montour Trail. I had old shoes, but a new i-Pod and a new running watch, so I was feeling pretty good (because electronics make the runner, right?).
What I didn't take into account was a bit of a heat wave in April.
I was dehydrated and my electrolytes were low by half way into my trek. My fingers swelled up to something you'd see on "Shrek," and I couldn't finish the last three miles. Lesson of the day for me was to always bring water or Gatorade on runs of more than four miles.
If Gatorade is great for replenishing your body, music is like hydration for the soul.
I have several playlists on my i-Pod and pick one based on my mood. There is the mellow mood, easy run playlist. This is great for long, slower runs in the woods. Bob Dylan, Jack Johnson and the Grateful Dead serenade me as I pass the trees and the bubbling creek.
There is an overly upbeat playlist, for when I need the Black Eyed Peas and the Spice Girls pushing me through my run.
When I do a hill workout, I have a certain song I put on repeat to drive me up that incline time and time again. I've never admitted this to anyone, but it is a Disney song from the movie "Jump In." The song is called “It's My Turn Now” by Keke Palmer and if that doesn't get your heart rate going, you likely need to see a doctor.
I made a special playlist for my half marathon last week. It may be the best running playlist of all time, but I'm not biased or anything. At around mile 10, though, the strangest thing happened.
I hated music.
I think I just hated everything that wasn't the finish line.
That being said, I love music once again, and despite that minor setback I can't imagine ever running without it. I thought I'd share a sampling of my Carlsbad Half Marathon playlist!
"Touch of Grey" - Grateful Dead
"That's Not My Name" - The Ting Tangs
"The Time (Dirty Bit)" - Black Eyed Peas
"Bubble Toes" - Jack Johnson
"Hey Ya!" - Outkast
"Push It to the Limit" - Corbin Bleu
"Carryout" - Timbaland
"Hold it Against Me" - Britney Spears
"You and Your Heart" - Jack Johnson
"Just the Way You Are" - Bruno Mars
"Hey, Soul Sister" - Train
"Animal" - Neon Trees
"Raise Your Glass" - Pink
"It's My Turn Now" - Keke Palmer
"Three Little Birds" - Bob Marley
"Wanna Be" - Spice Girls
"Party in the USA" - Miley Cyrus
"Firework" - Katy Perry
"Rock Your Body" - Black Eyed Peas
Little known fact: I have a black belt in juke box.
And that would be the extent of my athleticism.
But the skill set has served me well. While my sensei and friend, Sara-Summer, can attest to the difference a few good songs can make to the success of a run -- I can tell you from myriad personal experiences that you need a solid playlist for bar sitting, too.
And unlike Sensei's list, the one for a bout of beer drinking with friends involves more Rolling Stones and Neil Young than anything that's seen commercial success this decade (or the one that preceded it for that matter).
Our friends had a great mentor, Harry Patterson -- the boisturous, big-bellied, bearded barkeep at The River City Inn located conveniently just a few blocks away from Point Park University.
Harry -- or Sir Harold as our friends nicknamed him (we wanted him to have a more regal, formal calling card) -- reinforced our love for all things Rolling Stones, Neil Young and Bob Dylan.
Sir Harold passed away Jan. 17, and his beautiful family and so many (many) of his friends met yesterday for a memorial to celebrate a life that was cut far too short.
At the memorial, his brother Fred had a mixed CD of all the tunes that could be heard on any given night at the RCI.
That said, I'd feel like a fake if I sat here and offered you a sampling of Amanda's Awesome Running Mix or some other such thing (because it doesn't yet exist).
What I will share is a sampling of the River City Inn Soundtrack -- a list of songs that always seemed to be playing when we sauntered in on a random Thursday looking for some liquid refreshment and a word of encouragement from Sir Harold.
I figure when I finally do get around to making Amanda's Awesome Running Mix (or something else with alliterative appeal), I have a feeling some of my favorites will still apply.
Music isn't about running or drinking -- it's about mood. And anything that lifts your spirits and makes you smile can inspire you to do all sorts of things.
So here you go:
"Up Tight" - Stevie Wonder
"Gimme Some Lovin'" - Spencer Davis Group
"Fortunate Son" - CCR
"Can't Get Next to You" - Temptations
"Runnin' Down a Dream" - Tom Petty
"Subterreanean Homesick Blues" - Bob Dylan
"Cinammon Girl" - Neil Young
"Get Off of My Cloud" - The Rolling Stones
"Magic Bus" - The Who
"Me and Julio Down by the School Yard" - Paul Simon
"Houses of the Holy" - Led Zeppelin