My Running Jams: Fall 2012

country road sign, distorted colours

One of the most common music-related questions I get asked is what I listen to when I go running. I used to find this to be a strangely personal request- how am I supposed to know what exact music won’t make you want to just give up and flop into in a sweaty heap on the side of the road? How will I know what you find motivating? Do you run to the beat? To the lyrics? To the gangsta feeling you get when you pretend that you’re Nicki Minaj? I DON’T KNOW YOUR BRAIN! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WORK THIS OUT?

I’ve been running for about two years now- and boy am I tired *badum bum tsh!* (Forgive me. I pictured Manny Delgado {click for priceless gif} in my head while writing that.) Until recently, I relied on music heavily as a motivator. I used to be very particular about my running playlists; a song had to be the right tempo, energy and placed perfectly so that when my brain starts telling me “yo, it’s okay, there’s no lions, you can stop-“ I don’t stop.

But something’s happened the past couple months. Running is no longer an epic battle between my mind and body… its actually… kinda fun. The role of music is no longer to push me to finish my milage, but rather to augment the feeling that I could just go on forever. I run through the countryside (Ontario farms are mostly divided into standard 5km concessions, so adding up your distance is incredibly easy.) I used to watch the weather like a hawk, mostly looking for excuses not to run, but now if there’s a chance of showers- I’m all over it. Nothing makes me feel more like a badass than running through the rain in storm light. I feel like the unlikely but resolute hero in a sports movie montage.

This road sign is located at the corner of a dirt road on one of my routes. Fun fact: in the winter, this corner is particularly dangerous for school buses. My bus slid off the road twice here when I was on it. When this happens all the kids run/climb (up the lopsided bus) to the back wheels and jump all around like monkeys trying to get the back wheels to touch the road. It was all very exciting.

Unfortunately a tequila-dance-floor-based-toe injury currently has me sidelined and I’m just itching to get back out on the road- even more so as I’ve perfected this wicked fall running playlist.

V’s Fall Running Playlist 2012

1. “Yeah Yeah” by Willy Moon

You might recognize this tune from the latest ipod commercials. It gets me energized straight away.

2. “Block After Block” by Matt and Kim

I shared this song earlier. I still haven’t quite made it out of suburbia by song number two, so this chorus is a fun mantra to have in my head as the driveways and mailboxes go by.

3. “Bulletproof” by La Roux

An oldie, but such a goodie. Wanna know a secret? This song is on my playlist twice in a row because I just can’t listen to it once.

4. “Push and Shove” by No Doubt feat. Busy Signal and Major Lazer

Off their much anticipated new album by the same name.

5. “Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It” by Stars

One of my favourites for my beach runs. I talked extensively about the release of the album in September. 

6. “Genesis” by Grimes

I know anyone with a slight musical inclination is totally and irrevocably in love with her, but the jury is still out on my opinion of Grimes. I’m not really that into her, but I keep wanting to give her more chances. That being said, she creates a surreal mood running past abandoned barns under an overcast sky.

7. “You Know Me” by Air Traffic Controller


8. “Flesh and Bone (Jacques Lu Cont Remix)” by The Killers

In it to win it. Its building intro is early-U2 reminiscent and always brings a smile to my face.

9. “Hot Like Sauce” by Pretty Lights

Entrancing beat. Perfect for when it starts to rain and you want to feel like a badass.

10. “Got Somebody” by Moon Boots

Another hypnotizing tune.

11. “Hot Mess (Nokia Remix)” by Cobra Starship

First heard this song in a Zumba class/bachelorette party under a straw hut in Mexico. Magical times. This is where I just give ‘er and kick my run into its highest possible gear.

12. “Sweet Nothing” by Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch

Florence in anything, I’m onboard.

13. “Charlie Brown” by Coldplay

Loving life and starting to think about slowing things down a bit.

14. “Madness” by Muse

As much as I tore apart their theme song for the Olympics (it was more brutal in my head, trust me,) they do have their moments.

15. “Dog Days Are Over”

Wrapping things up with a Florence classic: because when you’re riding high on endorphins and sense of accomplishment, you need some handclaps and a whole lot of power vocals.


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