Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I run with Dave Matthews Every Day

True, sort of...except I have not gotten my butt to run everyday and Dave is on my iPod. The first race I ever ran, Dave got me through it. I wasn't even going to run it - until I saw everyone else fly past me. I had my iPod shuffle, but I first thought - I only have Dave Matthews to listen to. Let me tell you something - Dave Matthews is surprisingly good running music for long runs. He keeps me at a consistent pace and just when I need it - during Too Much - and when I was running up the hill that seemingly ends every race - he told me to "Suck it up Suck it up" and I did.

Music usually doesn't accompany my workouts - which are usually in the pool. I know, "why don't you have a waterproof mp3 player?" Because the water is where I think, where silence is meet with zen and all I need to think about is breathing , keeping my head down, not rotating my shoulders, and flip turn. In the water I am my own enemy. On the road, I am my only friend.

I know the "rules" for serious runs is that iPods are discouraged. I understand the safety aspect of this rule. However, if running on a course with no vehicular traffic - I find the mish mosh of pattering feet, staggered breathing, talking to oneself and spitting a little, I don't know, really distracting. Maybe it is simply my love of music, that I get lost in it - maybe it is a weakness - but I need it when I run or my pace becomes as erratic as Charlie Sheen in the Plaza.

I honestly don't get overjoyed by the aspect of running. It is in fact a little yeah with sarcasm swirling about when I think about doing it. So why - well, if swimming is my release, than running is my challenge. It is something I have to work at - a lot.  But, as a way to defer the "oh my God, this isn't fun." I try to always run a race with meaning - a charity or memorial race. It also gets you thinking while you are running about why you are dedicated to that particular race. For example, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Race traces the final steps of Firefighter Stephen Siller from Squad 1 on 9/11, through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and to the World Trade Center.

My most recent challenge to myself is three-fold: 1) Run my first 15K at the Colon Cancer Challenge in Central Park,  2) Run the very hilly Memorial 3.2 mile race at Virginia Tech in April. (at a 2200 ft altitude in the mountains) and 3) Run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon in May - raising money for the Mario Lemieux Foundation to help build a playroom in the new Walter Reed Medical Center for children of injured veterans.  For this, I need to not be lazy, not say, tomorrow is another day - I need to run as often as I can - remembering why I am running.

Like the time that Dave told me to suck it up suck it up as I ran up that hill of infinity, I need thoughts of the 18 wheeler chasing after me in the Enter Sandman video, the driving sound of Robert Plant singing Trampled Underfoot,  Geeze, I would settle for the six pack abs of Marky mark and the Funky Bunch pushing me the final mile.

The VT remembrance run will have it's own soundtrack of course - Dave Matthews, U2, maybe even some Phish. That is a run to remember, not really a race.

My half marathon - I am so excited. It will be filled with Pittsburgh music: Donnie Iris, Rusted Root, a polka or two, some Steeler songs...and this. I want to finish the race to this song. I would even prefer it blaring at the finish line. Sorry Dave, even  though we've been through so much together, and I know that a nice long version of Watchtower or Ants Marching will find me around mile 7...this must be heard by all when I accomplish my mission of 13 miles:

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