To whom it may concern

Psycho killer, well qu’est-ce que c’est?

So kids, it seems as though spring has finally sprung all over the West Coast. Check out these amazing planters my father in-law put together for us.

Darth Gruyere strikes again!

It’s weather like this that makes me want to pull on my shorts, lace up my Asics, and just race around New West until my legs give out, my lungs deflate, and my veins run dry.

Okay, that might seem a little ridiculous, or even borderline severe. But when the weather is so darn perfect, it’s hard not to slip into excessive use of hyperbole.

(It’s like the hardest thing in the world times one million!!!)

Erm.

Right.

So yesterday morning I went for one of the most kickass runs of my life:

I ran a 10.5 km in 44 minutes.

And it was brilliant. Smashing. Phenomenal.

Everything about the run felt natural. Felt good.

Nay, great.

It was as though everything in my body was working seamlessly. My strides were just that much longer. My breathing was just that much easier. On the killer hills, my legs felt just that much stronger, and on the way down, I recovered just that much faster.

I’m wondering if the fact that I’ve stopped listening to music has anything to do with the fact that I’ve been having such stellar runs of late.

I used to joke about how I thought a serial killer would get me as I raced around listening to my jams at full blast, but most (most) of that was said with a heavy dollop of sarcasm.

(Although there are some stretches of forest paths that I’ve run where I wouldn’t be surprised had I at some point met with my demise at the hands of an overzealous, accident-prone trail biker, somewhere in and around those pine-strewn creek beds, due to the fact that I normally ran with everything turned up to eleven.)

But I digress.

The simple matter of the manner is I’ve stopped listening to music and I’m kind of digging it.

I like the quiet.

I like to hear the sound of my breathing, the crunch of the gravel under foot; the birds chirping, an anemic lawn mower sputtering into life; the cheers and jeers of a far off baseball game.

I used to rely on songs to pump me up and keep me going on the longest stretches of my routes. For both of the half-marathons I ran last year, I had specific playlists, designed to let me know whether or not I was going to make the finishing time I had set for myself.

Top tunes included Robyn, Franz Ferdinand, Gossip, Blondie, and Lady Gaga.

Hey, don’t judge me, you Judgey McJudgerssons! Good pop is good pop. And my running legs don’t discriminate.

But it seems as though I’ve reached this point in my running career where I feel as though I don’t need music to get me through the longer distances.

Of course, we’ll have to wait and see once I start tackling the really big stuff when I begin my training for the Victoria marathon.

Heck, I may be eating crow (and these words) as I complete the race bopping about to Rihanna and Timbaland.

But at the moment, I am running clean. Musically.

(Oh yeah, I’m not doping either.)

The only one detractor from my run yesterday was the fact that I felt a little conspicuous, due to the fact that I still had copious amounts of hair dye plastered across my face.

But heck, now that I think about it, maybe that’s why I was running like the wind.

I didn’t want anyone to see me. Or at least, any more then were absolutely necessary.

Because of this insecurity, I wasn’t the normal “social” runner that I usually am – waving and nodding to my fellow long distance lovers, and thanking those cars who are nice enough to stop for me (and you know, obey the law. Seriously, you might be surprised how often stop signs are blatantly ignored.)

Hopefully the running gods will take pity on me and forgive me this one transgression.

I’m pretty sure my home girl Atalanta will turn the other cheek. She and I are tight.

What did you all get up to this weekend? And what music do you listen to while you run?

And if you don’t groove to the tunes while running, I’d love to know the reason why.

40 thoughts on “Psycho killer, well qu’est-ce que c’est?

  1. Wow, that is an amazing run. Even though I recently wrote about my love of music, especially while running, I also run silently quite a bit. It is a really good time to sort things out in my head. And since I don’t have much silence in my life, sometimes it is a treat!

  2. Great post! Sounds like a good run. And the whole hair-dye-on-face thing… absolutely correct: if you run fast enough, you register as a mere blur in the brains of those whom you pass, thus avoiding embarrassment!
    I’ve never been able to get into running.
    For reasons that will probably feature soon on my own blog, so I’m not telling! LOL

  3. Back in my high school days when I used to run Cross Country (I was possibly the fattest kid ever to get a varsity letter for long distance running, though looking back I was still in fighting trim) I would pop some Blue Skies, Broken Hearts by The Ataris into my discman before running through the woods at a breakneck pace (I am only fast in wooded areas, not sure why). Anything pop-punk would do the trick, though at the time I thought the quickly played three chords and fast paced drums was real punk.

    Now that I am older, I listen to more mellow music when I am working out (though with the advent of the iPod it is pretty easy to switch to something a little faster and heavier if need be). Particular favourites are The Mountain Goats and Camera Obscura; both bands tell stories of travelling in many songs so when I am perched on the stationary bike it helps to make me feel like I am going somewhere.

    1. Mayhaps, your Tolkien character is an elf? And that is why you feel so at home in woodsy encampments? I like to believe that’s what I love running in those areas :) (Or perhaps I am just a giant nerd.)

      Ooer…pop punk. YES! In high school Green Day was my “getting ready to go out with the boyfriend” jams. Goodness gracious. I bloody-well LOVED them.

      I really like Camera Obscura. And I really like that imagery of being on a stationary bike but travelling foreign lands. It’s seriously fantastic.

      1. I always thought of myself as Antaeus; as long as my feet touch earth I am unstoppable (this bears out because in my misspent youth of hundreds of fights, the two fights I lost were on artificial surfaces, once on tile but mostly cause I didn’t want to fight a dude in a bathroom and another on a basketball court).

        I hate to be that guy, but early Green Day was my favourite. I still include 1039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours when I list my top albums of all time even though I don’t know where my copy is.

        And my first dance as a married man was to a Camera Obscura cover of “I Love How You Love Me” even though I wanted “Only In Dreams” by Weezer. Driving through Scotland on our honeymoon we listened to Camera Obscura and Belle and Sebastian’s entire catalogs in alphabetical order because I thought it would be cool to just listen to Scottish bands in Scotland (It was cool).

        1. 1.) I am slayed by the story of your honeymoon. SLAYED! I loved Scotland so very, very much. It is one of the most magical places in the world and what a wonderful way to spend your first vacation as a married couple! Mad points for the all Scottish tunes too. B&S are wonderful!

          2.) YES to your Greek mythology inspired running/fighting characterization of yourself. I thought I I was the only one who did this! So nice to know that I’m not alone.

          3.) You get to be that guy. BUT JUST THIS ONCE!

          1. We have been dying to go back to Scotland ever since we returned to The States. Sadly this probably won’t happen for quite some time.

            And I totally blanked on you being Atalanta Reborn! Now I feel a little silly for saying it; but at least you know you have crazy company.

  4. I love listening to Muse during speed work-outs. Anything over 10 miles I prefer a good podcast that I can use to aid in dissociating.

      1. I’m currently listening to a lot of Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solution and Marathon Training Academy. Non-fitness favorites: Risk!, Radiolab, and This American Life.

  5. This post is well timed. I needed the running inspiration! I have to consistently remind myself that I need to be in the the whole running game for the long-haul. Hearing your rant that things have gotten easier for you over time is just what I needed (because you CLEARLY blog to suit my needs LOL)

    1. The secret is out! It won’t be Rant and Roll for long…Blogging for Belinda is in the final stages of development! Stay tuned!

      Running definitely is a long haul process, but one that is defined by so many ups and downs and twists and turns. Just remember to always listen to your body – it will tell you when you are going to have the run of your life, and when your calves are going to seize up into chestnut sized lumps. And have fun! :)

      1. Hahahahaha, I literally laughed out loud at ‘Blogging for Belinda’ that is by far the best thing I have read in a very long time. Haha thanks for the laugh, you’re a blogging genius

          1. Haha, I was only kidding about the ‘Blogging for Belinda’ but it gave me quiet the laugh that I truly appreciated. T-shirts would be brilliant…if only I was a more narcissistic person…I would totally get those t-shirts done!

  6. My word, I love this Talking Head song! Best song ever to sing on Rock Band!

    I really need to get my iPod all sorted out so that I can effectively run amok and such. Lately I’ve just been really unmotivated. What helps you get your keister out the door?

    1. I flipping love it too!

      Hmmm, I’d say the fact that I’ve signed up for two really hard races is one of my biggest motivators. And how well running clears my brain and keeps me calm. And just how fantastic I feel afterwards.

      There are days where I feel like doing anything but working out, but I know if I push through the feeling of “DO NOT WANT” 99.9% of the time I reach a point of “I AM THE LIZARD QUEEN.”

      Or what have you :)

      1. I never really have a problem with feeling motivated to go lift. But its the running that just…slays me. I want to remain motivated, but it just fizzles. Seems like I always have an excuse to not.

  7. Dang, lady! You know how to run – like a champ! I don’t run with music either, never have really but that’s because I run almost exclusively in the forest and I worry about cougars and creepers. :) And now I feel so much more self aware, like you were saying. Spring is here!! Glad you were able to get out and enjoy it!

  8. First: grats on an awesome run!

    Second: thanks for the compliments! You know the ones. Also thanks for the new song – I LOVE that Robyn song you linked, never heard of her before – will have to look into her other stuff and see if I can add that to my own queue.

    My own taste in music has always been shitty so I never defend, I always go offensive. Ready to be offended? Let’s start off strong! I have a LOT of Nickelback (Lullaby being my current favorite – it’s a bit of a slow pace but for me, coming from where I was to where I am, it’s like a goddamn anthem to myself) in my playlist (well, playlists. They make good music to move to, IMO.) I’ve been told over and over that liking Nickelback officially disqualifies me from any real, serious discussion on music. Eh, what the hell. Also love Gaga (current favorite: Born This Way), Adam Lambert (current favorite: Pick U Up), Bruno Mars (current favorite: Just The Way You Are), Mika (no such thing as a favorite for this kid, EVERYTHING he sings makes me want to move, and as someone who usually hates music videos, his are so. freaking. FUN. Started by loving Relax, Take It Easy in Were The World Mine, moved on from there to also loving Blame It On The Girls, Grace Kelly, Lollipop, Happy Ending, Kick Ass, and Love Today, LMFAO (Party Rock Anthem is SUCH.A.FUN.SONG), Faber Drive (G-Get Up And Dance), Avicii (Levels – another fabulous video) and a few dozen other one-offs. Basically anything that gets a beat started in my brain that makes it go “must… moves… different… bits of myself… in something… approximating… rhythm…”

    1. Thanks! It was a great day :)

      Hey, no need to thank me either! I’m just telling it as I see it.

      I have to say, I laughed at the Nickelback thing. They get such a bad rap. Not my bag, but they’re not exactly nails on a chalkboard either! People are cray cray about somethings. OMG I LOVE Mika! So, so much. He was the only CD we had during the trip we got engaged, so I always associated him with that special time :) His music is fab! If you like that one song CHECK OUT ROBYN’S OTHER JAMS. She is a pop warrior and I love her. I think I may be the exact opposite of you as I am a dance monster. I dance ALL THE TIME. Even sometimes just down the street because I cannot help myself. It’s impossible really.

      1. A ha ha – we’re *kind* of dance opposites, because I *am* a dance monster, but only by myself! Mainly because if you notice, Robyn and Mika both dance like me – only they have the rhythm to pull it off! :P I just throw my limbs around in whatever direction seems like a good one at the time.

        I’ve been listening to Robyn at work all day (yay Grooveshark playlists!) and as soon as I weed out all the remixes (haaaaaaaaaaate those) then I think I’m going to be pretty happy – been loving Cobrastyle several times today!

  9. Hmm…I’m at the point that I NEED music to help me get through the run. I’m not a runner. At. All. I get bored really easily, and short of dragging my TV into the gym to watch people decorate houses I can’t afford or cook food I can’t eat, really bad, loud, embarassing music will have to do. I read books while on the treadmill, for awhile, but there was the problem of keeping my balance and the book open, all at the same time. I’m jealous of your cool blog/life, and also that you can run without any distraction! Keep it up, girl. :)

    1. “Short of dragging my TV into the gym to watch people decorate houses I can’t afford or cook food I can’t eat, really bad, loud, embarassing music will have to do.” This is absolutely hilarious! I think you have hit the nail perfectly on the head! Whenever I’m cooling down at the gym I flick on the Food Network and hope for Iron Chef, battle Nutella. Or House Hunters International. LOVE that show.

      Thanks for the lovely note! If by cool, you mean slightly strange and infinitely nerdy, I’m picking up what you’re putting down. :) Have a great week!

      1. Nutella and House Hunters…I’m with you, those two things are absolute perfection. Except when those people who have 1.5 million dollar to spend on their dream house come on…then I just want to throw things at the TV.

        Psh, nerdy, cool, same thing. :)

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