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?
K: Yes. FOR AN EASY RUN.
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:
- "She's Got A Hold on Me" by Hacienda
- "Takin' Care of Business" by Bachman Turner Overdrive
- "Orphans" by Beck
- "Down on the Corner" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
- "All This Time" by Heartless Bastards
- "Dare" by Gorillaz
- "I Wish" by Stevie Wonder
- "Road to Nowhere" by Talking Heads
- "Kiss Them for Me" by Siouxsie and the Banshees
- "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC
- "Train Kept A Rollin'" by Aerosmith
- "Energy" by The Apples In Stereo
- "Fat Bottomed Girls" by Queen
- "Me In Honey" by R.E.M.
- "Whiskey in the Jar" by Thin Lizzy
- "Helter Skelter" by the Beatles
- "Can't Stop" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers