Cathy Zielske, I decided to go ahead and take a self-shot in the mirror. She does this regularly as part of her Move More Eat Less regimen. Though I was not brave enough to do a true "before" shot (I have some a la my P90X period, but I am not about to have those go viral, thank you), here is a "during" shot before my run this morning.
Throwing all other caution out the window, and brainwashed by the seductive sunshine, I decided to be just plain CRAZY. I changed my route AND I allowed my iPod to shuffle through my Top 25 Most Played playlist. Yes, I had seemingly lost my mind.
You know what? It was the best set of decisions ever. I did not realize how Pavlovian my running had become. I had certain cadences that went with my running playlist, even though I changed it up a couple times. I knew that when "Lose Yourself" came on, that was my hardest stretch... between miles 2 and 3. I knew that, in a typical 5K, "Where the Streets Have No Name" was my last stretch of the run, even though, when using just my iPod and Nike+, 3.1 came a bit before that. Visually, I knew how far I had gone in my run by where in Tipton Park I was, and how much farther I needed to go. Sometimes, I slowed to a crawl because of that.
The result of throwing caution to the wind: I clocked my fastest mile at 10'46". I was not even trying to run faster or slower than usual, but the songs that flowed got me running just the right pace. So, not worried about song order or where I was on my typical run, I thought about the music choices and how each one had a reason for being among my Most Played.
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
I never thought to run to this song until my first Lake Run, when they had this blaring at the start of the race. It was awesome, and perfect on that chilly may morning. It still gets me running.
Fake It by Seether
The rhythm of the song is great for running, but it's the words of the song that give me what I need to trudge on. Usually, I think of someone with whom I am particularly disgusted, and, sadly, that gives me the energy I need to get through the song. Anger as a motivator.
My Hero by Foo Fighters
The first time I ran to this, I could not believe my pace. For whatever reason, I pick it up for this song. I've always dug the lyrics.
Switch by Will Smith
How appropriate for today. "It ain't really that hard to do and..." That's what I'm talkin' 'bout, too, Will.
Club Can't Handle Me by FloRida
I like how this song builds. It gives me a little break to slow it down, and then forces me to not stay there long.
Let's Get It Started by The Black Eyed Peas
This was my very first song, and it was crazy how my body responded to it in the middle of the run (again, cue Pavlov). I started becoming super conscious of my breathing, like I am when I first start out. I do LOVE this song, though.
Only Girl (In the World) by Rhianna
Again, my body was reacting to our Zumba routine to this, which was a cardio-bitch, if I may say so. My breathing is always a little labored, but it's such a great song!
Raise Your Glass by P!nk
Hey Baby (Drop It to the Floor) by Pitbull
Great pace. Love this song. Something about Mr. Worldwide and T-Pain...makes this a great running song.
Lose Yourself by Eminem
I would have been the last person on Mother Earth to have an Eminem song on my iPod. For a long time, I could not stand him. I thought he was Vanilla Ice shaken and stirred for another generation. However, this song has stood the test of time. His little preface, "If you only had one shot... one opportunity...." is actually really motivating when I am jogging.
Where the Streets Have No Name by U2
Not sure I like keeping this one in the run. It slows me WAY down, but I love the song.
OMG (featuring will.i.am) by Usher
"Honey got a booty like pow pow pow..." That part of the song CRACKS me up. The rest has a beat that is just awesome.
So there you have it. I survived the Amazing Mix-up. Tomorrow, I will be run/jogging Race for the Cure in Peoria, probably in the rain from what is predicted. Always a moving run for a good cause. But way too early in the AM!