When I started running in the mid-70's, the only portable electronic partner was the transistor radio. It was a crude device that received an AM signal and delivered mono sound via a cord and single ear piece. While Larry Lujack and his sidekick Tommy were unrivaled pros at spinning the stacks of wax and entertaining Chicagoland teenagers, this was a less than perfect technology.
In addition to poor sound quality, I couldn't always time my run to occur during their afternoon drive time show. By the mid 80's, I graduated to carrying a Walkman in one hand and 3 cassette tapes in the other. I became quite adept at changing tapes mid run without breaking my stride. When I finally could afford a duel tape deck, I could record perfect running mixes which freed me from carrying the extra tapes.
The Ipod and MP3 players have made running long distances more palatable to even purist runners. A good tune can increase your pace, release a few extra endorphins, and take your mind off a cramp or knee pain. For me, The Boss, Rolling Stones and Van Halen are consistent companions. I have 3 lengthy running playlists. They all have clever names like Running Playlist 1, Running Playlist 2 and Running Playlist 3. I'm not sure but I think all three Playlists have the same songs but in a different order. It seems to me like I'm always listening to the same tunes over and over.
There is some personal method to the madness of how we compile our playlists. It's different for everyone. I tend to start out with somewhat slower songs and build to a faster paced crescendo. My preference is classic Rock and Roll. As I said earlier, there are a lot of Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Kiss, The Who and Bob Seger in my repertoire. However, I have to admit that this blog has become a place for me to make some honest running confessions. While I openly admit to all of my friends that these classic artists are my true running companions, I have to also claim that there are some "chick" songs included in my playlists. I mean it's easy to claim the he-man songs but who wants to take ownership of well....chick music (pardon the reference, I don't mean to be offensive but I don't know any other way to describe it and this seems to be common lingo and terminology). I'll give you just one for the heck of it. Beyonce: All the Single Ladies. It has a good beat and I can justify having it on my Ipod for my teenage daughters to listen to on the weekends. See. Even there I feel the need to put qualifiers as to why I own this music.
I'm not divulging any more about my playlists or confessing to additional "chick" tunes. Enough said and I admit to having more on my Ipod. However, I'm always on the lookout for new music. I'm open minded so please let me know what you listen to on your runs. I'd like to know what gets your heart pumping just a bit harder and makes your legs move just a little faster. It may just end up in "Running Playlist 4".