Absolutely lovely, especially just before sunset. But tragedy struck before I'd even reached the idyllic confines of some suburban woodland. My iPod battery died. Okay, so really that means that my own ineptitude struck because I neglected the low battery icon on my past 3 runs/workouts. My bad. While it wasn't nearly as brutal as I'd thought, there's definitely a distinct difference to me in running without music. Unless I play mind games like breaking up my run into tiny stretches ("Just to the school crossing sign...just to the train tracks...just to the tiny roundabout..."), running without music feels slow. I mean really slow. Sure, I'm still moving at the same pace, but I notice Every. Single. Second.
This is why my general motto is that every good run needs a good playlist. At least, as far as I'm concerned it does. Which is why I've been trolling iTunes and Teh Interwebz for fun songs to which I can pound some pavement. From here on in expect nothing less than extreme bias, nerdiness, and excuse-making.
Scream - Usher
I do love this song. But then, I've always had a soft spot for Usher. Especially now that I'm supposed to be an adult and some of his older songs remind me of being a tween (...and then remind me of just how long ago that was!).
That's Not My Name - the Ting Tings
I know this song is ages old, but I can't get over it. The Ting Tings have sass: there's no other way to put it. This song has a brilliant beat if you're looking to actually pace your run to the music, plus the rhythms and the lyrics are catchy enough to take your mind off the punishment you're giving your body in the name of fitness.
What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction
Don't judge me. Yes, I'm old enough to remember when "boy bands" meant New Kids on the Block and Mark Walhberg's older brother (back when he was still Marky Mark!), but this song is catchy. It's bouncy and cute and generally inoffensive. I listen to it to run. I say again: don't judge me.
The Sourcerer's Journey (Kung Fu Lemon Remix) - The Eagles
So technically the Eagles don't really deserve the credit for this one, but it's an anonymous internet remix. Check the YouTube video: the video itself you can take or leave (personally I'd leave it as its interchangable with the visualiser in iTunes or Windows Media Player), but the song is fun. Nerd moment: this is the theme song to Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It was done up as a series of BBC radio dramatisations and this song was used as the theme tune. Okay, nerd moment done.
Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani
Yeah, I could have picked loads of other things to include on this list, but again: I find songs I like and then it doesn't matter how old they get. Every now and then, even in a whole playlist of up-tempo songs, you need something to kick-start you again and help you find that second wind. When I need that, I need a song with a bit of attitude. This definitely fits the bill. And yes, I have been known to run along the canal in our neighbourhood yelling, "This shhh is bananas: B-A-N-A-N-A-S!"
Want a few other suggestions in case the above selection doesn't exactly float your boat?