So I am sitting here with a beer, 800 mg of ibuprofen, and a Vicodin -- the preferred cooldown regimen for us marathon athletes. I have successfully completed my peak training week with a 20 mile run today. It's all downhill from here as I taper my runs until the Vancouver Marathon on May 4.
Honestly, I believe I should get some kind of extra credit for doing this in Seattle. 6 months ago, I came up with a training schedule (largely lifted here) and entered it into my calendar and since then I haven't missed a single workout. I have run in rain. I have run in snow. I have run in hail. I have run in the dark. I have run hungover. I have run at 10 pm on a Friday night. I have run and run and run.
I spent weeks planning for today's run, testing out clothing, trying different routes, sucking down different kinds of energy gel on different schedules (Clif Shot with 25 mg caffeine taken at 1 hour, 2 hours, 2.5 hours, and 3 hours if you must know). I ate pasta all day yesterday and even skipped the beer during band practice. And all of that was almost for nothing -- I started hacking all night from a respiratory virus and I woke up with thunderstorms in the weather forecast. But I decided to tough it out and instead of running towards Woodinville on the Burke-Gilman, I decided I would run seven times around Green Lake. If I am going to get caught in a downpour I am not going to let it happen 10 miles from home.
To tell the truth, this has been an amazing experience. I really did not think I would get this far. To put it in perspective, I was a pack a day smoker through med school and was an occasional smoker until October 27, 2007. The farthest I had ever run was maybe 5 miles. I like beer and pizza and cheeseburgers more than any runner should. But today, I made it. 20 miles. Running. The only stops I made were to fill up my water bottle and to take off my jacket.
For me, running has always been about the music. I finally have become comfortable enough to run without music, but it is just so much more fun when your head is full of thumping techno or screaming guitar distortion. The problem is, with these super long runs I starting getting really bored. I tried listening to podcasts for a while. Tried not listening to anything for part of the run. Eventually, I discovered what works best for me is just putting a lot more work into the playlist. Today's playlist took me a couple of days to put together, but it really did the trick nicely.
1. Battle Without Honor or Humanity -- Tomoyasu Hotel
Remember, from Kill Bill? You gotta start big!
2. Battle Flag -- Lo Fidelity Allstars
3. Thunderstruck -- AC/DC
Hard to pick the best AC/DC song for running. I like this one for the riff that kicks in right after Brian Jones sings "I was shakin' at the knees, could I come again please? Yeah the ladies were too kind. You've been - thunderstruck" You know the riff.
4. The Ecstasy of Gold -- Ennio Morricone
5. Angel -- Massive Attack
6. Mama Said Knock You Out -- LL Cool J
I'm sure I hated this when it first came out. This is a hell of a work out song though.
7. Wake Up -- Rage Against the Machine
8. Carmina Burana:O Fortuna -- Boston Symphony
9. Valkyrie is Dying -- The Fucking Champs.
I knew one of these guys in college. Now they play complex distorted butt rock that occupies a space between Rush and The Boredoms. Kicks ass in small doses. Induces migraines in large amounts.
10. Cochise -- Audioslave
When I hear this I can't help but think of the greatest movie evar, Talledega Nights.
11. Right Here, Right Now -- Fatboy Slim
Right here. Right now. Right here. Right now. Right here. Right now...
12. Miserlou -- Dick Dale
The album version of this song features much more impressive guitar work than the Pulp Fiction version. Did you know Dick Dale is left handed? Like many left handed guitarists in the sixties unable to find lefty guitars, he would play a right handed guitar flipped over. However, unlike Hendrix or McCartney, Dick Dale didn't bother to restring the guitar for a lefty. That's right, Dick Dale, the King of the Surf Guitar, played guitar upside down. Without a pick. That's pretty bad ass.
13. Black Betty -- Ram Jam
That is all I have to say.
14. Fuckin' In the Bushes -- Oasis
15. Ace of Spades -- Motorhead
Ok, this isn't bad. 6 miles down. Feeling pretty good. Time to goo.
16. Welcome to the Jungle -- Guns N'Roses
17. Immigrant Song -- Led Zeppelin
You know, I think I may finally be over Zeppelin. Except for the fact that Mrs. Sour Puss hates it so you *know* this is gonna keep getting played at our house.
18. Son of a Disgruntled X-Postal Contemplates His Life While Getting Stoned Behind the Winn-Dixie While Listening to Metallica -- Alice Donut
Aside from having the most awesome song title ever, this song features two of the greatest metal guitar riffs in history, side by side. This song is the reason why I own a wah pedal. I just fucking love that sound.
19. Genesis -- Justice
20. Smack My Bitch Up -- Prodigy.
If someone had told me back in the early 90s when we were going to warehouse parties in San Fran that one day Prodigy, Aphex Twin, and Moby would be superstars I would have laughed. The scene seemed impervious to commercialization.
21. Bodies -- Drowning Pool
22. Without Me -- Eminem
23. Thunder Kiss '65 -- White Zombie
24. The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly -- Ennio Morricone
Come on, you know it's super cool.
25. Sabotage -- The Beastie Boys
Ok, 10 miles now. Starting to feel some pain and the rain is really coming down now. But I'm half way there now and if I did my original route I'd be turning around and heading home now, so that gives me a little lift.
26. World Destruction (Meltdown Mix) -- Afrika Bambaataa
27. Full Metal Jackoff -- Jello Biafra and D.O.A.
This is the best thing Jello Biafra ever did and that's saying something. Nothing kicks a run into high gear more than 14 minutes of righteous political ranting over thick muddy metal. Everyone thought Jello was a little paranoid back then but it's time he got some credit for being right. About. Everything.
28. Paranoid -- Black Sabbath
Four laps around Green Lake down, 3 to go. I am really starting to hurt now. Must keep remembering to drink. Time to goo again and maybe stretch out those quads.
29. Hanging Tree -- Bob Mould
30. Making Me Nervous -- Brad Sucks
This guy is a MeFite and his music is really great. His album is downloadable here.
31. Goin' Against Your Mind -- Built to Spill
Ok, pain subsiding now. Let's just ignore it and pick up the pace a bit. You know, there's not that many people who could come even this far and I just sailed past the half marathon mark.
32. Goofy's Concern -- Butthole Surfers
33. Comfort Eagle -- Cake
34. The History of Utah -- Camper Van Beethoven
35. (I Was Born In A) Laundromat -- Camper Van Beethoven
They were such a great band live. So glad I got to see them (twice) back in the day. Wish I could find those set lists I snagged at the shows.
36. Teen Angst -- Cracker
My friend goo has a real tattoo. She won't mind if I tell you. Goo. Goo. Goo. Time to goo. I am starting to get delirious.
37. This Is a Collective -- Consolidated
38. Consolidated -- Consolidated
This is the kind of music my friend Ben would make if he had learned to play an 808 instead of a bass.
39. Lose Yourself -- Eminem
40. Skankin' to the Beat -- Fishbone
You're skankin' to the east. You're skankin' to the west. You're skankin' with the rude girl with the really big breasts.
41. There Is a Mountain -- Donovan
I fully intend to cross the finish line in Vancouver with this silly song playing. I have no idea what it's about but I just love the line "First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is."
42. La Moda -- Ennio Morricone
43. Open Up Your Heart and Let the Sun Shine In -- Frente!
I just passed 18 miles, my longest run ever. Oh my god, I think I am going to do it!
44. Suspicious Minds -- Fine Young Cannibals
45. POWER SONG!!! I Fought the Law -- The Clash
46. Jay Wrestles the Boa Constrictor -- Groove Collective
Wow. I did it. Holy Shit. 20 miles. This is incredible.