101 Running Songs? They missed a pun opportunity, shoulda called it 101 Running Tracks

Over the last 5 weeks of jogging I’ve gotten quite used to the route I follow around where I live, yes I add new bits when the length of the jogs gets higher, but for the most part its a circuit I’m familiar with.

However, I’m staying at my mum’s for a couple of nights as my little sis is back from uni and I fancied capitalising on all the free food. I knew today was a jogging day so I’d packed my shorts, which is pretty much my jogging kit- I usually wear a hoody and one of two old shirts but I forgot the rest so today I headed out in a Punisher t-shirt and my shorts, it was pretty cold.

I’d waited until about 2 ish to let the ice melt a bit and because I’d had a lazy morning watching Christmas music on TV and the cheesy, yet oddly compelling and enjoyable A Cinderella Story.

A Cinderella Story- Continuing evidence of my weak spot for chick flicks and general girlieness

But I decided I should keep up with the jogging and changed, grabbed my iPod and got going. I’d just stepped outside and realised I’d forgotten to upload the next Couch to 5k run onto it and so decided I’d just do my best to copy Friday’s run of 20 minutes continuous. I set a timer for 10 minutes and got going, for my musical accompaniment putting 101 Running Songs on shuffle.

The first five minutes were easy enough, but I’d kind of forgotten that the route I’d chosen had an upward slope, but I managed to climb it.

I should point out that its a fairly slow, easy hill before it sounds like I managed something amazing, but it was a hill and did struggle a little.

I started to feel a little sore and think a misstep caused me to lightly pull something and so for a dozen yards or so my running style, hardly graceful at the best of the times now featured a weird wobble. Luckily, whatever I’d done to myself righted itself and I continued on.

I was daydreaming, enjoying the music I had and had shut out the cold. With a big grin I crossed a major road, just as “Keep On Running” by the Spencer Davis Group kicked in. This is probably the greatest running song of all time.

Like a child I giggled at "special jerk"

I was running along cycle paths and the second section included a downhill portion that I flew down, chuffed and feeling good, my brain shutting out the fact that in a few minutes I’d be on the return journey and have to climb the same hill.

With ten minutes done I turned around and the hill did clobber me, my pace slowed but I knuckled down and kept going until I was back on the flat.

But even the uphill struggle made me feel rather good, I hadn’t let it stop me, and it took me no time to recover after it and pick up the pace again.

I crossed the road and started back towards home.

The music really helped and the dance classic “Sandstorm” by Darude made a good running track as I pounded down the slope.

But not every track on the running songs compilation is a winner and my pace suffered as I hurried to skip past Pink’s execrable “So What?” one of the most obnoxious songs of all time, I have to remember to delete this off the iPod.

Don't let the bland cover mislead you, inside is an abomination of a pop song

Luckily the next track was more of a winner, Jackie Wilson’s “Reet Petite” a wonderfully joyous song, and I managed to sing along to the “Oh-oh-oh-oh” parts, which I think is a sign of improving fitness.

Singing after over 15 mins of jogging? Back in October I’d have been lying on the floor gasping and weeping after half that length of time. Hell, I even through in a bit of a dance into it.

I doubled back on myself when I realised I had more time left than I thought and didn’t fancy running along the main road where people could see me. And so ran back a bit then turned around as I turned around I saw the first pedestrians I’d passed all day, a young mother and her little girl. I was jogging in full flow when the timer went off and I slowed to a walk as Republica began to play.

However, I then had a massive attack of self-consciousness. The woman had prpbably seen me jogging and then just stop, she didn’t know I’d completed a 20 minute run, she probably just thought I was a fat git who’d got knackered after a short jog.

I knew the truth, and also that this woman was a stranger who I had no interest in and would probably never see again, yet I worried about what she’d think. I wish I didn’t, but I did.

I briefly considered starting to jog again just until I was passed her and around the bend, but a rational part of my mind that said

“Don’t be daft, Chris. You don’t want to push yourself needlessly just to impress a random woman, and also what if there’s someone around the bend, will you have to jog on so that they don’t think you’re giving up? You did 20 minutes, you’ve got nothing to be embarassed about, in fact you should be proud of yourself.”

For once, sense triumphed and I slowed to a walk back to my mum’s, and the god of shuffle smiled upon me by soundtracking the end of the session with Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”, the ultimate inspiring song and which made me feel good and like my hero, Rocky, returning from a tough training session with Apollo.

My hero and inspiration, Rocky Balboa. The Rocky films remain firm favourites and great uplifting flicks

So Tuesday will see the beginning of week 6, which I’m quietly confident about. Yes it’ll be hard, but I’m not giving up and I’ve managed everything so far.

While the weight loss and fitness improvement are the most obvious results of the jogging, I have to say on a mental level I’ve also found them to be beneficial. The challenging aspect and the overcoming of these challenges has given me a renewed sense of perseverance, from now on I’m going to work hard on seeing things through to the end and not just quitting.

Also my confidence is improving and I think it’ll make me more willing to take on new challenges and try new things.

But the most unexpected aspect is that I actually really enjoy the running, and I think after the 9 weeks are done and I’ve done my 5k I’m going to keep going with the every-other-day runs.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. LLAP

Listened to today: Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Dub- Apollo 440, Boogie Wonderland- Earth Wind & Fire, Sandstorm- Darude, Keep On Running- Spencer Davis Group, Wake Me Up Before You Go-go- Wham, Reet Petite- Jackie Wilson, Jump (For My Love)- Pointer Sisters, Ready To Go- Republica, Eye of the Tiger- Survivor

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