The Mother of Adventure

Building the perfect playlist

on November 7, 2013

SpiralHey! is it my fault that
The fallen embers burn
Down in a spiral
Round your crown of thieves.

My body tells me no,
But I won’t quit
Cause I want more.

~ My Body (Young the Giant)

Today marked an exciting development – I invested about $3 in my running playlist (I know…big spender, right??).

I usually run with an iPod, a gift given to me by my husband, Ian, a few years ago. When I first got it, I didn’t use it for a while; I was so used to running without music. Then, when I got set up with iTunes and started building my song list, I got hooked.

These days, I can’t quite recall how or why I ever ran – or worked out at the gym – without my iPod. In fact, Ian recently borrowed my iPod for a gym workout and forgot to give it back to me before leaving for work and I was, shall I say…less than impressed.

I love running with music, and I’ve been slowly building my song list. Now if you’re anything like me, you’re very particular about your song list. I see mine as a labour of love; not just any snappy tune makes the list. It has to really, truly move me in some way. I’m always listening to the radio and assessing songs – old and new – as potentials for my playlist.

And let’s just say there’s no logical pattern in the songs I choose, no common genre of music. I’m a bit of a musical misfit; I like it old school, I like it poppy, I like it rappy. It’s great if a song has a fast beat to it, as it totally peps me up and inspires me to increase my pace. Some of my fave fast songs are Start Me Up (Rolling Stones), Chocolate (The 1975), 500 Miles (The Proclaimers) and Poker Face (Lady Gaga).

It really doesn’t matter if anyone else likes my bizarre mix of tunes, because it’s just for me (unless Ian steals my iPod, of course). But I do love comparing playlists with friends and occasionally discovering new additions – my friend Lisa suggested That’s Not My Name (The Ting Tings) a while back, and it’s a great addition to my regular playlist.

It’s always fun when my playlist tunes have some sort of reference to running, distance and movement, but I’m not a big fan of the super-obvious classics (Eye of the Tiger just makes me groan). I love My Body because the lyrics (above) make me feel like just pushing right through the discomfort of a tough workout.

Shoes and headphonesMost of all, I love running to songs that make me feel good. That addictive runner’s high is even more enhanced when I lose myself in lyrics that resonate with freedom and optimism. It helps me to mentally reset; to remember all the incredible things in this world, in my life. And to me, that’s what running’s all about.

Sometimes there’s airplanes I can’t jump out
Sometimes there’s bullshit that don’t work now
We all got our stories, but please tell me
What there is to complain about?

~ Good Life (OneRepublic)


6 responses to “Building the perfect playlist

  1. I have the most RANDOM playlists! My Ipod is from the stone ages, and has playlists from all my races, which is actually pretty fun to go back and forth with on runs!

  2. Elton John rocks my workouts with “Tiny Dancer” and, oh, just about anything by Barry Manilow.

  3. Heather says:

    My favorite playlist is 44 minutes long and includes: “Sail” by AWOLNATION, “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities. I cruise the top 100 tops songs on iTunes every 4-6 months and find at least 10 more songs to add to my collection, but I can listen to the same songs over and over and over! Seeing that my trainer knows all the words to this playlist probably means I should shake it up a bit!

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