A week ago, I did something straight up wacky. Frugal little me paid over $100 to register for a half marathon at the end of April. I’m not even a runner. Yes, there was a stint last year when I’d drag myself along for a few miles every couple of days, but never once have I considered myself a runner. So when my friend Hillary and I realized that – for some reason – we both had it in our heads to run 13.1 miles next spring, it was more than a little bold to seal the deal and sign up.
I used to be convinced that I could run sans music and do well just with the sounds around me, but the past few weeks of even the most basic training have taught me otherwise. I cannot imagine how I would have made it to the Lincoln Memorial today without Michael Jackson and Beyonce. I would probably still be toddling around somewhere on the waterfront if I hadn’t danced on my own with Robyn or been reminded by Bruce that I was born to run. And god, don’t get me started on trying to do anything in Yates without my iPod.
I don’t think there’s any specific formula to crafting running playlists – some people like super upbeat stuff, while others go for a consistent tempo so their pace doesn’t get too out of hand. I just know it’s not the method in Runner’s World, which suggested that my mom buy Eminem (yes, she did heed their advice, and no, it did not end well). So with all formula, rhyme, reason, and shame thrown out, here is just a fraction of my personal solution to the running playlist problem, an excerpt from the 200+ song run this town.
The tracks might be somewhat out of order; 8tracks was having some upload problems tonight. Below I’ve added a few comments to songs that might leave some people wondering who in their right mind would run to them.
- “Love on Top” – Beyoncé
- “Follow Me” – Muse
- “Raise Me Up (Mississippi South) – Lana Del Rey – Steady, chill tempo + alluring vocals.
- “Can’t Hold Us” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, feat. Ryan Dalton
- “Only Girl (in the World)” – Rihanna
- “Tupthumping” – Chumbawumba
- “Dum Dum Mast Hai (remix)” – Band Baaja Baraat – A total outsider on this playlist, but it is so upbeat that it hardly matters that I can’t understand the words.
- “Fade into Darkness” – Avicii
- “We Found Love” – Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris
- “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” – Michael Jackson
- “You Make My Dreams” – Hall & Oates
- “What More Can I Say” – Jay-Z + DJ Danger Mouse
- “All These Things That I’ve Done” – The Killers
- “Buddy Holly” – Weezer
- “Never Had Nobody Like You” – M. Ward feat. Zooey Deschanel – Simple, steady and cute.
- “Serpents” – Sharon Van Etten – I might be crazy for putting this on here, but it’s kind of a cathartic listen when combined with running.
- “Animal” – Ellie Goulding – The last minute of this song is too perfect for the end of a run.
- “Foxy Lady” – Jimi Hendrix
- “Get Myself Together” – Robyn
- “Take Me Out” – Franz Ferdinand