Marathon Update: Music To My Ears

Too true.So based on a combination of what I want to write about and reader feedback, I’ve decided that I’m going to blog about my marathon training on Sundays.  I know that for some people posts about sports and such are triggering or just not enjoyable, this way people who don’t want to read that kind of thing can skip the Sunday posts (and who knows, maybe those who are interested will look forward to the Sunday posts…)

Things are different this time around. For my first marathon I trained to walk with the goal of finishing in 8.5 hours.  Some of you may remember that in a terrible, painful long day it took me about 13 hours to finish the Seattle Marathon with my Best Friend.  This marathon has an 8 hour time limit but they open the roads at 6 hours so it’s 8 hours while contending with traffic lights, no port-a-potties etc.   So this time I’ll be doing a run/walk combination, and Kelrick has once again volunteered to do this with me.

One of the things that I promptly forgot when I finished the first marathon, (when I was so sure that I would never ever do another one) was how freaking boring the training is. I train alone late at night (it’s always interesting to me that people congratulate those who get up at 4am to run, but freak out that I go out at 2am) and a lot of times it’s just a grind.  I’m doing this marathon for a lot of reasons that I’ll get into in later posts, but a love of running/walking is not one of them. I’ll take this opportunity to remind everyone reading that I’m not trying to be any kind of role model here, nor am I interested in being part of the bullshit good fatty/bad fatty dichotomy  This is about my desire to do a marathon and nothing else.

Music has been a really important part of my training, so much so that I actually rescheduled a run last time because my iPod wasn’t working.  It helps me to have some ritual around music as I do my run/walks, especially as they get longer. This time around it’s:

Beginning:  Mama Told Me Not To Come (In honor of a hilarious e-mail from my awesome mom)

Half-way:  Hold On, I’m Coming by Sam and Dave

End:  Rebel Beat by the Goo Goo Dolls

Outside of that one of my favorite past times is creating playlists for different training run/walks- for this marathon I have different ones for speedwork, tempo runs, and hill repeats so far.  If you have ideas for inspirational songs please feel free to drop them in the comments!

So I have 43 weeks of training until I show up for my next ass kicking.  Cross finish line, get medal.

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26 thoughts on “Marathon Update: Music To My Ears

  1. One of the coolest reasons I love you, besides having one of the uniquest mom’s ever, is your very clear intentions. You honor Socrates quote about an unexamined life is at best poopey, or something like that. In today’s post you say what your reasons for running another marathon “are not”. Assuming is dangerous but I watched myself suffer through one of the worst rounds of golf in a long time this week and could see that I was exporting my ok-ness to the out come of each shot or each total as I whined through the round. One failed strategy was drinking 3 beers in 45 minutes and that strategy did not help with the score or my attitude, where could that brilliant strategy go wrong? Returning to the assumption thought – in recalling your previous marathon experience the main thing that stood out for me was your ability to press through all the reasons for stopping when the sane folks, a club I never expect you to even sniff let alone belong to, would have retired to the couch. Finally to slow the wondering what are your intended take aways from this next experience? Love always. Stan

  2. Adele’s Rolling in the Deep has a great marching beat to it. I hope you aren’t training at 2am with the IPod on for safety’s sake. Look forward to hearing your reasons for the marathon in future posts. Thanks!

  3. Didn’t Kate Bush do a song about running up a hill? Forgive me for having utterly forgotten the title, but the eighties was a long time ago, and it’s not like I fell in love with that song the way I did, say, J Geils’ Band’s Love Stinks.

    Besides, it’s only seven and my brain usually isn’t terribly coherent until at least eight thirty.

    I’ll start going through my brain’s backlog of songs and see if I come up with something else.

    1. “Running Up That Hill”! I used to have a workout mix with both that and David Bowie’s ” Up the Hill Backwards.”

  4. When I could still workout (before the pain ruined it for me), Cake’s Going The Distance was a favorite. So was Ani DiFranco’s Shameless… not because of any significant meaning in the lyrics, but just the beat, rhythm, whatever. The music just always pumped me up. Gravel (also Ani DiFranco) had the same effect.

    I also liked Soul Asylum’s Somebody To Shove because I found angry songs often helped push me when I was starting to lose steam.

  5. AC/DC! The Iron Man 2 soundtrack was my “okay, it is time and past time to GET SHIT DONE” music this past semester. I think it would make good workout music as well.

  6. Not to knock music, but I wondered if you’ve looked up the zombie app – where it tells you that you are being ‘attacked’ by zombies to encourage sprints or whatever.

  7. When I have a long walk ahead of me I tend to listen to either 80s pop music or modern metal/heavy rock. The first genre because it’s often wonderfully upbeat and has great rhythm. And the second because it inevitably makes me feel angry and rebellious, so I wind up marching along feeling powerful while silently thinking ‘eff-you hills, how dare you think you can defeat me’.

  8. are you following a specific training regimen or are you designing it for yourself? i’d be interested in having a look; i have no idea what it takes to train for a marathon. i’m a very beginning runner/walker; c25k is my speed at this point, but i like the idea of walking/running for endurance.

    looking forward to your sunday posts. i’m no longer allergic to exercise talk since i changed my toxic relationship to exercise/eating for weight loss.

  9. I run at night, after dark, all the time. Sometimes it is the only time I have to run. And I just can’t run in the morning. I just can’t….

    1. I’m the same. I’ve been told repeatedly that you can “train yourself” to be an early-morning runner, but I think people who say this as if it were a fact must be autistic larks. Goodness knows I’ve tried over the years!

      I need to be awake for a couple of hours to loosen up properly before I’m ready to do a worthwhile training session. The flip side is that if it’s 10pm by the time I get home from work, have dinner and let it settle, I can go out and run then without any problems. I don’t think I’d wear earphones, though, for safety reason.

  10. I find alot of music from Miracle of Sound to be really great for walking or running. Plus the nerdy lyrics are really fun.

  11. I wish you the best of luck with your marathon training. I am sort a with your mom on this, but I do enjoy your posts on it.

    A friend of mine runs marathon as well and highly recommends the book Fixing Your Feet – Prevention and Treatment for Athletes by John Vonhof. She said it made training and competing much more comfortable. Not sure if it will help, but thought I’d share.

  12. I am glad you are going to share your journey. I am older and slower than you are. I walk half marathons. I am lucky enough to have a sister who is willing to slow down her pace to train & walk with me. Can you talk about why you choose to train alone?

    1. Hi Susan,

      Congrats on your half marathons and thanks for your question! I train alone in large part because I keep a weird schedule. Most running clubs run either early in the morning or right “after work” (which is usually defined at 6pm). I run late at night, often starting at 10pm or later. Also, there are some other things I want to do athletically that may require large amounts of time alone on the course and I think it’s important for me to be ready to handle that.


  13. The song that I can’t sit still too is “Want You More” by Duran Duran – it even got me *running* on the treadmill.
    Other good ones: Bush’s “Machinehead”, Madonna’s classic “Material Girl” (how can you not strut when you listen to it), Destiny’s Child’s “Bootyliscious”…
    ok just had to look at my music list. I further submit:
    “Hot Hot Hot” by Buster Poindexter
    “Knockin’ on Every Door” by Roxette
    and “Fancy Free” by Sun Ho (

  14. I always find “I Gave You My Heart” by Crash Vegas a great pick-me-up on runs. “The One That Keeps Me Running” is appropriate title-wise, but it’s better suited for slowing down.
    I’m hoping you’ll talk about how you’re training.

  15. Hi! As a brand new runner (sometimes walker), I’m really excited to see your updates. I love to create playlists, too. Some of my favorites for endurance include Primary (The Cure), Everlong (Foofighters), Ceremony (New Order), Keep the Car Running (Arcade Fire). You know, driving beat, consistent speed. Anyway, good luck…can’t wait for more updates.

  16. So just this morning, I got a delightful reminder how unreliable my MP3-player is when it crapped out after two songs. It does this regularly.

    And since it does that regularly, I like to make sure Place Vendome’s Thunder in the Distance is the first song I hear, just in case it’s the *only* song I get to hear. It’s not the fastest-paced or most aggressive song on my playlist, but I love the Determinator lyrics, and it’ll stick in my head if the player quits on me.

  17. Sorry to be late to the party. Playlist suggestions, mostly for the music and beat rather than lyrics.

    “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion)”, John Parr
    “Final Countdown”, Europe
    “Victory” from “Lord of the Dance”, Ronan Hardiman
    “Blue Collar Man”, Styx
    “Desert Rose”, Sting
    “I See Love”, Keb’ Mo
    “Americano”, Lady Gaga (which I picture with the dancing cats from “Puss In Boots”)
    “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now”, McFadden and Whitehead
    “The Bitch Is Back”, Elton John
    “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”, Santa Esmerelda
    “Invincible”, Pat Benatar
    “Land of Confusion”, Genesis
    “Baba O’Riley”, The Who
    “Far From Over”, Frank Stallone
    “The Cup Of Life”, Ricky Martin
    “I’m A Believer”, The Monkees (or Smash Mouth)
    “500 Miles”, The Proclaimers
    and, just because it’s silly and a perfect parody of the Beach Boys’ sound, “Trigger Happy” by Weird Al Yankovic.

    Good luck,

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