Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A playlist for the slow

Last night daughter H and I were watching The Biggest Loser and one of the contestants was running on the treadmill and complaining about how she hates to run. This got H and me talking about how we pink-puffy-heart LOVE to run, and about how we should run together sometime (I usually run when the kids are at school) and how she is so much faster than me so ... that might not work after all.

H: What speed do you run on the treadmill?
K (that's me): Um, usually 4.2 miles per hour.
H: *raised eyebrow* RUN? You RUN at that speed?
K: Well, yeah. For an easy run.
H: *incredulous* What's the fastest you run?
K: I can do a 6 but not for very long.
H: *cackling like the 13-year-old she is* You're kidding! I run at a TEN.
K: Wow. That's pretty fast.
H: You RUN at a 4.2?
H: What speed do you JOG?!
K: Go clean your room.

People, I am slow. I am a slow, slow runner and I am totally okay with that. I'm 44 years old and I have fibromyalgia -- I think the fact that I'm running AT ALL is pretty awesome, if you don't mind me saying.

I'm not a competitive person by nature. I don't run to win races; I run because I can and because I love it. In fact, the more I give myself permission to be slow, the more I love it. I'm even slower than usual right now because I'm taking this entire year to work on distance rather than speed. I plan to run a 10K in early 2012, so my goal is to work up to that distance however I can -- walking, jogging, running, or any combination thereof -- over the next 12 months.

I know a lot of runners who use their running time to let their minds puzzle over problems and decisions they might be facing. Running gives them the solitude they need to focus on stuff like that and get their thoughts in order. Or if they run with a partner, they have another person to act as a sounding board and give them another perspective on whatever is going on.

I am not one of those runners. Running, for me, lets me turn my brain OFF. Normally my brain is like a methed-up rodent on a wheel. I have a frantic monologue in my head every waking moment -- I spend ALL of my time puzzling over things and trying to sort things out. Running is my escape from that. When I am running along, listening to a song I love, working up a sweat, that recharges my mental and emotional batteries like nothing else. It hits my reset button. It gives me a break from myself and the world around me.

Music is an essential part of that, which brings me to the point of this post. I recently loaded up my mp3 player with songs that have a somewhat slower tempo than the rest of the songs on my running playlist (because as previously mentioned, I'm working on distance right now instead of speed), and boy howdy, that is working out a treat. I am plodding along at a snail's pace and having an absolute BLAST.

So if you are slow like me, or you walk rather than run, or you're fast but need something new-ish for your warmup/cooldown, I implore you to consider the following songs, which are rocking my incredibly slow world right now:
Alrighty. Enjoy!


  1. I run to catch the pastry truck, myself.

    Really--I love running, too. Running centers me. A good run can change my whole day. Actually, I'd say a good run changes the whole world for me.

    I'm glad you've found your zen with running.

  2. methed-up rodent on a wheel. I'm borrowing that. I don't run, find its a bit painful on the whole chestie area. Walking fast, I can get behind that. I like your playlist and now have Fat Bottom Girls stuck in my head.

  3. I blogged my walking playlist last week. I can get up to about 3 and 1/2 miles an hour, but no way my knees and feet will let me step it to even a slow run.

  4. This list is just what I need! My run is so slow that Mr. CB claims he would have to walk backwards to catch up with me. But I love it, and it FEELS like I'm SPRINTING.

  5. ha ha ha ha - I "run" at 3.2!! Whatever it is, just keep doing it.

  6. No, no no!! You should totally run to the theme from the Six Million Dollar Man. That would be awesome.

  7. No running for me, I believe I mentioned before my ugly circulation and spider veins and so on and so forth.
    I love to power walk though and music is fundemental.
    I must say I only know 2 songs out of your bunch.

  8. Sometimes when I'm running I slow down to the point that I feel like I"m standing still, only in a forward motion. Recently I've ditched any notions of speeding up my pace and I'm just moving at whatever speed feels good. Those people who run balls-out completely mystify me.