Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How I Create A Playlist

Thank you everyone for your suggestions on the 5K.  I have to catch up on my comment responses, its been crazy over here, I will respond.  The coachy says I can pick it up for the 5K and run the first 13 miles before, huh, pick what up is my response.  Ok, enough...

In honor of my wonderful friend who is running her second marathon this weekend and starting to compose her playlist for the big event, I finally am breaking down and writing this post.  I have been wanting to write this post for some time but I just had not had the time to do it the justice it truly deserves.

Creating a playlist, is like creating a work of art.  It takes time, energy, thoughtfulness, patience, and ultimately money (those songs don't all come free you know).  As my running has evolved so has my playlists.  With each different race comes a different purpose, a different memory and thus a different playlist.  As I have gotten "faster," the music on my playlist has gotten faster.  And the circle of life continues ;)

When I begin to think about a playlist, I start by considering the race I am about to undergo.  Is it a 5-miler and therefore I will be trying to sprint through it?  Is it a half marathon and thus I need some slower songs in the beginning, a faster pick me up at Mile 3 and again and again after that?  Are there hills during the race so that I need to make sure to have the perfect songs to match those hills?  And of course how long do I estimate it will take me to run this course, because I need enough music (G-d forbid I run out of music before I cross the finish line)?

These are all questions I consider when beginning a playlist.  The other part comes from somewhere inside of me.  Because really a playlist is a very personal thing.  Yes, some songs like Eye of the Tiger might speak to many people and make an appearance often, but other  songs like Gallway Girl may not mean anything to the next person but it sure means something to me.

Usually, I admit I start writing my list the night before the race.  Not the best time but it just sort of always happens that way - maybe I should really get started now for Saturday (won't happen, I know, I know).  So I sit down and I start answering the above questions and pull music based on those answers.  After I start adding times of the songs and seeing if I have enough (which takes a little too much time) and then volia I have a starting list.  It is then that I get my husband involve and torture him making him help me fine tune the list. 

You see, I am a little musically challenged.  I have absolutely NO RHYTHM and NO BEAT.  When I was younger I was singing and my brother told me to be quiet and that I had a horrible voice.  I complained to my mother. She agreed with him.  What can I say, music is not my forte. 

Meanwhile, Aaron had a different experience.  His mother used to be a spin instructor.  Together they would make playlists for her class and Aaron would help her find things for "climbs" and "sprints," which he still refers to as we put together my lists.  They then created the playlists and put them on cassettes. After Aaron's mom passed away we could not find these awesome 1980s/1990s lists.  And then all of a sudden Aaron's dad found them.  What a mess it was to get these things from cassettes to an iPod but we did it.  It is so amazing to run to Aaron's mom's music, it is almost like she is here with me.

So if I can offer one piece of advice about making lists, it is pick things that speak to you, that get you moving.  Ooo yea, sorry two things: DON'T listen to it until the big day, the music gets old quick unfortunately. 

Enough rambling, here you go

Debbi B.  Awesome 

Squirrel Run - 5 miler 

Falmouth Speed - Falmouth Road Race - 7 Miler 

Hyannis Half Marathon

I would love to hear your thoughts and what music suggestions you have for me.  Don't forget to stop by my friend's site and give her some ideas too.  Sam, I know you are going to rock it this weekend. Good luck!

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