Friday, November 30, 2007

iPod music to run by

A few people at The Star know that I like to run. Lots of folks here do. And most run faster and more competitively than I do. Carl Lewis, I'm not.

When I run, my iPod is more important than my New Balances. I could run barefoot for a while, but I couldn't run around the block without a drummer in 4/4 time banging in my ears. Loudly.

So this week I've started a new project: Creating a playlist specifically for running, something most serious runners did long ago. I'm late, as usual. Beforehand, I had simply been picking CDs and running to whatever floated my boat that day.

What I've noticed is that my performance -- if you can call it that -- seriously declined if I had anything mellow on my iPod. As songs changed, my time and gait would either speed up or slow down, depending on the music. I'm a Pavlovian runner. Old Priest, original lineup Maiden, Megadeth, pre-black album Metallica -- think "Creeping Death" while you're struggling through your sixth mile -- and Sabbath made me run fast. Old Van Halen sometimes worked. Rush, especially 80s and 90s Rush, made me slow down. I dig the heck out of Dream Theater, but their music is so dense and complex that often it doesn't work well for running. And all those CDs of acoustic guitarists that I love? I couldn't crawl with them in my iPod.

So I'm going for the hard stuff, fast beats, loud guitars and no ballads, pianos, synths, acoustic guitars.

I'm gonna be deaf, but I'm gonna get my 10K time down, one way or another.