Friday morning's run started out like other six-milers over The Hill. The crispy early-morning chill caused me to opt for gloves and a long-sleeve tech shirt, but I still had my hat and sunglasses as the sun was breaking through and sometime during the run would be blazing up high, for certain.
Still, it was a run I was dreading. It wasn't the distance. It wasn't the hills. It wasn't the 6:45 a.m. start time.
It was the music.
Earlier this week, I'd gotten a CD filled with songs that normally have no business on my music player, let alone on my running playlists. But I had swapped playlists with Kerrie T. and she was a good sport and had listened to LB's Ultimate Playlist during a seven-mile run earlier this week, and now it was my turn to keep up my end of the bargain.
I hadn't listened to every song Kerrie had sent me in its entirety but I had played snippets of them. Some I knew and were tolerable, but others I just wanted no part of. I had arranged the playlist such that the latter came first, and the former were towards the end. I figured, 'Let's get the bad ones out of the way first and go from there.'
Problem was, there were too many bad songs. It was a minefield of pop music, and I was running haphazardly on it. But I survived.
Shake It - Metro Station
I hit The Garmin and then fired up the playlist, which I'd affectionately called LB's Worst Nightmare. The first beats of Shake It were dreadful but then a bit of a faster beat came on and it was promising. But as soon as the singer began to brag about some conquest he'd had with some female, the song crashed and burned. It was three minutes of hearing about some night that went right for this Metro guy. Neat.
Tik Tok - Kesha
Wake up in the morning smelling like P Diddy...
Should have gone back to sleep, lady. Now, Kerrie mentioned how she just kind of tunes out everything and listens to the rhythm and stuff. Well, I wish I could have tuned out the words to this song (and most of the others). Kesha was brushing her teeth with Jack because she ain't comin' back. Riveting.
Kiss N Tell - Ke$ha
I was right to have put these songs first, to have gotten them out of the way early. But I suffered nonetheless. Now, this song actually jarred some memories in my head. It might be involved but bear with me.
First, listen to the opening of Kiss N Tell.
Then, click on this and listen to this.
Don't they sound the same?
Well, I pictured myself playing that game as Kesha was talking about someone who was a "hot mess" who had bragged to her "lame friends" about some guy she had been with. Again, riveting. I think I had just cracked the mile mark during this song, and six seemed so long away.
Party In The USA - Miley Cyrus
I don't necessarily look tough. I don't think I do anyway. But sometimes I like to think I do. I like to think that with my hat and sunglasses on, when I'm running at a hard and steady pace, that passers-by will at least know that the guy they just saw is putting a lot of effort into his run.
It's kind of hard to feel tough, though, when this Miley song came on, when this Miley song came on, when this Miley song came on.
To pass the time I came up with a verse
Put my head down, keep my churning my feet, moving forward like yeah, my pace is pretty good like yeah
Glamorous - Fergie
If you ain't got no money, get your broke (ass) home.
Kerrie opted for the clean version apparently but I got the message nonetheless. Yeah, Fergie's all about the glamorous lifestyle but she's not afraid to go to Taco Bell apparently. The beat to this one was not as bad Kesha but not great.
SOS - Rihanna
There was a part of this song that sounded like a laser gun. I pictured a three-foot-tall green Martian pointing his gun at me and firing away, with that beat as the sound coming from the gun. It would have been great had a Martian put me out of my misery at this point of my run.
Waking Up In Vegas - Katy Perry
Mrs. LB said that Katy Perry has a song called Hot and Cold. I've heard that song and it's really catchy. I'm not going to go so far as to say I like it but I could probably hear that song and not cringe. This song, though, was nothing like that. I pictured some late night in Vegas, drunk, stammering around some casino, feeling a headache coming on... somehow that's not the image I want going through my head during a run.
So Much Better - Legally Blonde Soundtrack
This wasn't quite like jumping in the pool on a hot summer day but it was a bit refreshing, if nothing else because the Simon beats were gone.
Just Dance - Lady Gaga
I'd spoken too soon. The Simon beats came back in full force with this song. I don't know if I'd just gotten used to these songs or what but I was able to run semi-normal during this song. I was worried though. At this point of my run I decided to turn around since I was past three miles. I grabbed my crotch and squeezed. Yeah, still felt something. Okay, my manhood was intact despite this music.
That's Not My Name - The Ting Tings
I'd actually heard of The Ting Tings. They sing one of the coolest birthday songs. I thought it would have been cool to have swapped out this song for that one, but alas I followed the rules.
I saw a lady walking towards me at this point, dressed in workout gear and jacket, out for stroll. I had a fleeting image in my head, of me grabbing her by the shoulders and screaming "Please God help me!" but instead I just smiled and waved.
The beat to this song wasn't any worse than the others but the singer kept saying how people call her names and she kept saying "That's not my name, that's not my name" like over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over... this was actually the only time I wanted to hit next. I suffered through it, though.
Shut Up And Let Me Go - The Ting Tings
I didn't realize until I was done that the previous song had been The Ting Tings, but I knew this was them. This song was tolerable, but after the "that's not my name" madness, I could have heard three minutes of a baby crying and that would have been tolerable too.
I'm Shakin' - Rooney
It had kind of a rock feel to it, probably more pronounced in this playlist. It wasn't terrible.
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough - Michael Jackson
Yay for MJ. Now, I didn't exactly feel as if this was a song I would throw into my next playlist but it'll be in the mix. Even someone with my taste in music can find room for MJ on my playlist.
Funhouse - Pink
This was my finish line. I knew if I could get here that I'd be okay. I decided that I actually like Pink now. The thing I realized about her songs is that she actually has something to say, at least in this song. She touched on a tough theme here and I like that. She was't singing about some girl who is a "hot mess" or about brushing her teeth with Jack.
So What - Pink
This song made me smile because I thought of Kennedy singing "nah nah nah nah nah..." to this song, and thought of her dancing around to it like she usually does. I decided that either this song or Funhouse would be going on next month's playlist.
Roam - B-52s
I think this song came out in my freshman year in high school, 1989 or 1990 I want to say. Yes, I'm that old :( Anyway, this song was a nice relaxing way to end the run. I've always enjoyed this song so it wasn't tough to run to. However, I think this might have been the most I've enjoyed it ever since it closed out one hellish run.
Overall, I was glad I did this. I realized a few things. I am much more in tuned to my music than I thought. Music that I enjoy can really help me get in to a groove while music that I don't enjoy is like nails on a chalkboard and affects me as well. I'm also glad because I can appreciate a good playlist. This is a good playlist for Kerrie of course, but a good playlist for me really works for me and really helps me keep my mind focused on the run and the goals I've set for my run. It's more personal than I thought. It's like running in general. When I'm running and racing, I'm competing against myself, I'm with myself (even if I'm running alongside others) and I'm trying to meet goals that are unique to me.
So will I do this again? Maybe. Not sure. I might have to see the playlist first. Or maybe do a 30-minute playlist.
Then again, after 30 minutes on Friday I was hoping for an alien to put me out of misery.