Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Constructing LB's Ultimate Playlist

Over the past several weeks, I've been slowly adding songs to my Surf City playlist. I've just thrown them in one or two at a time as I didn't want to try and come up with songs for my ultimate playlist in one sitting.

It's funny because I don't run with my iPod on my long runs, but for the marathon my iPod seems almost as indispensable as my fuel belt. I guess I should get to that in another post, but for the time being I wanted to try and plan out my playlist.

It's going to be a long playlist. Really long. Almost five hours long. I intend on finishing sooner than five hours but I usually err on the side of caution with playlists and make them longer than I need to, just in case.

So I've got to fill up a five-hour playlist with music, and do so in a way that will inspire when I need inspiration, relax when I need relaxing, motivate when I need motivation, sooth when I need soothing and accompany when I need a companion.

Easy, right?

Well, not exactly. But I'll get there.

I think what I'll do is to divide up the playlist in thirds, kind of like I did for my half marathon playlist. In that playlist the final third was all Metallica songs, the middle third was all Johnny Cash and the first third was a mixture of songs intended to help ease me into the race and get me into a comfortable pace for the middle miles.

I'm not so much worried about time entering this race, but I will need to keep my pace in check. A too-fast start will be brutal for me at the end of the race so I need songs up front that will likely settle my nerves and hold me back a bit. I know myself, and I know that my tendency will be to run faster than I should be running. So the right songs will help me focus and remember the things that I'll need to do in those early miles to help myself come the later ones.

At about Mile 9, the Surf City path takes you from running through an inland part of the beach town to running along Pacific Coast Highway, which from what I've heard is a long out-and-back stretch. I'll have to figure out how long into the playlist that will be and try and time it accordingly, as that will be the second part of the playlist.

I'm guessing I'll need some tried-and-true running songs there for companionship, songs that have been helpful in previous races but not ones that fall into the "heavy artillery" category. I have to save up the big guns for the last part of the race. But certainly here I'll need songs that will help get me to Miles 9-19, a 10-mile stretch that will likely feature some nice scenery, flat running, the Pacific Ocean as well as increasingly tired legs and possible mental issues.

The third part of the playlist, hopefully, will take me from Mile 20 to the end. It's been said that Mile 20 is the halfway point of a marathon, in that the first 20 miles are tough but the last six miles are excruciating. So, I'll need the heavy artillery for this last stretch. I might actually start it a bit early but for the last part of the playlist I'm going to need all the songs that inspire and motivate me the most. Physically at this stretch I will have nothing left to give, so I need the songs that rile me up and draw emotions.

And in order to maximize the effect of music and the playlist, I'm going to stop listening to music altogether for the last two weeks prior to the marathon. It's impossible to keep from hearing music of course but I'm not going to play music, listen to music while I write or cook or drive or whenever I usually listen to music and I'm going to give the iPod a two-week break before calling it back into action full force. I figure that will give me something to look forward to, to listen to music once more.

So basically I have about three weeks to finalize my playlist and put it together so I won't have to think about that in the lead-up to Surf City. There will be a million other things to worry and think about, so one less thing will be nice.

1 comment:

Jill said...

I think playlists are invaluable for hauling us across that finish line! Selection is key. I found I like really fast, upbeat music at the end and tend to listen to even some podcasts about running in the beginning to draw inspiration. Good Luck!!!