Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An exercise in eclectic audio assistance

For many exercise enthusiasts, music is a driving force that helps them get through a workout. Whether it's the steady beat of the music or just being able to mouth the words to your favorite song, some people just seem to find a different level of concentration with the right tunes booming on their headphones.

I see it all the time at the YMCA, and I must confess to being among the headphone-clad clan at the gym. I rarely leave home without my iPod and spend more time than I'd care to admit updating my playlist. Music is as much a part of my workouts as tennis shoes and basketball shorts.

So you can imagine the dilemma I faced yesterday when I wanted to sneak in a quick run despite my iPod being low on batteries and me not having enough time to charge it. It's not that running without music is unfathomable to me, but in my experience, when running by yourself, the miles seem to get even longer when you don't have music playing to help take your mind off of it.

My goal was to get through the run without my iPod dying on me. So to avoid the inevitable habit of thumbing through playlists and draining the batteries quicker, I came up with a solution: I put my iPod on shuffle, put the track wheel on hold so I couldn't switch songs and simply let it ride. I thought this might wind up being a problematic proposition, as my music tastes range from Franz Ferdinand to Frank Sinatra on my iPod, but at the very least, I figured the run would be memorable.

Anyway, here is the order of songs that came on during my quick jaunt up the Minnesota River trail yesterday:

*The Beatles - Yellow Submarine (No complaints here, Ringo could sing when he wanted to)
*Cypress Hill - Insane in the Brain (Hey, they were good enough to guest star on 'The Simpsons' with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra)
*The Beatles - Tomorrow Never Knows (There's no bad time for John Lennon to belt out paraphrased passages from the Tibetan Book of Death)
*Blur - Song 2 (A throwback to high school sports practices, perhaps my shuffle is telling me to run faster)
*The Offspring - Keep em Separated (Nostalgia from my 5th-6th grade punk rock phase strikes again)
*Bob Marley - Red Red Wine ("I shot the Sheriff" would've been a better song to run to)
*Janice Joplin - Son of a Preacher Man (Go "Pulp Fiction" soundtrack!)
*White Zombie - More Human than Human (Once again, I think my shuffle is trying to tell me to run faster)
*Frank Sinatra - Let it Snow (Definitely had to stop running when this came on. Old Blue Eyes was a heck of a singer, but running music isn't his thing)
*The Hush Sound - Carry Me Home (I don't really know who this band is or how their song got on my iPod. This might be the first time I've ever heard this song)
*Marlena Shaw - California Soul (One of those slow-paced soul songs that strangely makes you feel light on your feet)
*Paperboy - Ditty (Rap music before it became mainstream)
*Metallica - The Unforgiven (Still one of my favorite Metallica songs)
*Original Speed Racer theme song (Like I said, my music taste is pretty diverse)
*Red Hot Chili Peppers - Snow (One of my favorite songs to run to. However, as cruelty would have it, my iPod died about 2 minutes into the song and a 1/2 mile from my apartment)

Other Notes:
*Dr. Stephen Penkhus is giving an "Exercise is Medicine" presentation from 6:30-7:15 tonight at the Blue Earth County Library auditorium as part of the library's October health month theme. The event is free to the public, but preregistration is encouraged by calling 507-304-4023.

*For anyone in the Mankato area looking to get a cheap 5k race in before the winter hits, you can register for MSU's Army ROTC 5k by November 7 for $10. The race itself is November 14.

1 comment:

  1. That's quite the transition from White Zombie to Sinatra! If you are ever looking for more music for your ipod, I just recently posted a few playlists w/ over 7 hrs of music for runners based on their running pace. The songs have a faster Beats Per Minute (BPM) so you don't subconsciously slow down to the beat of a song. It has a lot of alternative/indie bands, but also rock and some R&B... The Killers, Gorillaz, Coldplay, Kings of Leon, Kooks, Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, Matchbox Twenty, Stones, The Police, etc. All songs are either inspirational, about running, or just fun. Check it out at: