Oh it is good to be back!
Last week I was feeling a bit under the weather, so I took a few days off from running. I was itching to lace up and get outside the entire time, but I knew that if I didn’t give my body the rest that it needed to recover I’d be down for the count even longer, which was not something I’m sure my brain could handle. So, I rested, and then I rested some more.
Now, I’ve been sidelined from running before, and luckily, without going too crazy, found ways to ‘deal with it.’
But, I say that I’m not sure that my brain could handle more than a week off right now because, over the past week (the week of no running) I noticed something about myself. I was starting to turn into a real life April Ludgate.
Unamused by all and ever-so-apathetic. Everything was annoying and nothing was beautiful. OK, I’m exaggerating a lot, which I tend to do often in my writing (especially since I’ve been reading a lot of Hunter S. Thompson lately), but the main point is this:
Running= Feel like Leslie Knope
No Running= Feel like April Ludgate
Which, don’t get me wrong, April Ludgate is one of my favorite TV characters and a personal hero of mine, but I imagine that being so cynical and disinterested in everything all of the time would get quite exhausting. Although, I guess constantly having as much energy and enthusiasm as Leslie Knope would be equally as exhausting, so maybe I’ll try to find a nice balance between the two. But if I had to choose, I’d rather have Leslie’s No One Can Stop Me attitude and eat waffles topped with whipped cream every day. Just saying.
Anyyyyyyway. What this run really was about is a new iPhone app called Cruise Control that I finally got to try out for the very first time. To put it simply, the app syncs the speed of the music that you listen to while running with your cadence. In other words, no matter what the song, the app will adjust the rhythm of your music to match your pace.
I was THE MOST excited runner when Cruise Control got in touch with me and offered to let me try their app, because one of my favorite things about running is moving along to a favorite song and feeling the music as fuel. When I first started running and every workout was a painful struggle, it was music that got me through. (OMG, is that so corny?) I really can’t imagine having done it without my earphones and a carefully crafted playlist. It’s part of the reason why I share my workout playlists with you all every month.
Of course, there’s also a time and place for running without music, but personally, and I think this holds true for many runners, some of my best running memories include just me, my headphones, and a long playlist of my favorite running songs.
So is this app magic or something? A huge highlight of this run includes the fact that I set a 6 mile personal record which, I do account some of my speediness to the fact that a) my muscles were extremely well-rested and b) I was wearing a brand new pair of already broken-in Brooks. But I’m convinced that it also had to do with the music. Which leads me to the moment you’ve probably been waiting a really long time for, an explanation of this post’s title. (I know, what the heck, right?)
-My new pretty, purple babies.-
So, when I choose my favorite running songs, I tend to gravitate towards obnoxious, bubblegum pop. And while you’ll find the occasional hip-hop, indie, or classic rock track in some of my playlists, for the most part I always felt like I needed really up-beat, super-catchy, annoying pop music to really get me going. However, Cruise Control showed me that is not entirely the case. No, it is not entirely the case at all.
During this run I rocked out to some much more mellow songs. Like Bob Marley’s “Red, Red, Wine, ” Mumford and Sons’ “White Blank Page,” and Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker.” When Bob first started playing, my first reaction was to reach and change the song to something faster, but then, I don’t know, something told me to just go with the flow and enjoy the music, something that is typically really hard for me to do while I run because I’m usually skipping through to find that one upbeat pop song that I just can’t get enough of.
And then after Bob, Steve came on and I was totally feeling him too. And all of sudden I was like, “Whoa! I never knew that I can totally do this mellow music thing while I run.” Running revelation! Thank you, Cruise Control.
Then, after that, Lil’ Bow Wow came on and ruined the moment with one of The Worst Songs Ever, which I somehow still deem totally acceptable to keep on my iPhone and listen to while working out because… Well, I can’t even give you a good reason why other than the fact that it’s really catchy. (Side note: I just realized, through catching a glimpse of the music video, that Chris Brown is featured in this song. So let’s kill it with fire. Yes? OK, deal.)
And since it’s SO important to refuel your body after working out, proceeding this unplanned, almost-7-mile run (I swear I totally did not even mean to run that far, it just happened) I came home and made myself a nice, big bowl of whole wheat pasta with tomatoes, chick peas, and tomato-basil sauce topped with Parmesan and feta cheese. YUM!
Do you prefer running with or without music? What type of music is your favorite for working out?