Saturday Quickie – My All-Time Favorite Workout Song


Today we had a few inches of snow, so I headed out and shoveled while Lisa was getting ready. Then I went out for a long-run. I knew I would have to avoid certain areas because of the plowing patterns, so I headed out on my ‘small’ hill and airport loop. I kept extending it at every opportunity, and would up running 14.5 miles.

It was a great day and a great run. Well, except for the wind in my face. Oh, and the slushy snow that soaked my feet completely with the first mile … at least i’m glad my shoes drain well! But I had a great run – I look back and can’t imagine a time in my life that I would have looked at 14.5 miles as a ‘fun Saturday run’.

UPDATE: I can’t believe in my haste I forgot to mention that I ran today for #MegsMiles. This is a tragic story of a 34-year old woman Meg Menzies who was out for her morning run on January 13th and was struck and killed by a drunk driver, leaving behind a husband and three young kids. More info here. And a Facebook page captures the effort.

I am very vocal about never running with music, and that is something I stand by – I just have no interest or need to have music. I thoroughly enjoy the run, never get bored, and find plenty to keep me going and motivated.

But back when we first moved here I didn’t really have my running mojo (my thyroid had just died and I was adjusting to the meds) so I joined the YMCA in Corning. I didn’t use the track or treadmills, instead sticking to the elliptical, bikes and nautilus machines (or whatever they’re called now). Doing 30 minutes on the elliptical and bike can get boring, so I enjoyed watching CNN or whatever was playing, but also found that I loved having my music playing. At first I didn’t, but saw so many people doing it I decided to try it … and it worked for me.

My playlists varied – I borrowed an iPod Shuffle from Chris – but it was almost exclusively jazz music of one type or other. I found stuff that worked, and others that didn’t … but there was a single song that embodied my workout music tastes – ‘Viva Los Vilnius’ by Chris Potter’s Underground. It is exciting, driving, and features blistering improvisation and syncopated interplay.

Here it is from a later live performance:

I actually listened to the version from the ‘Follow the Red Line’ album.

4 thoughts on “Saturday Quickie – My All-Time Favorite Workout Song

  1. I’m a music runner, though I keep it low enough to stay safe. One of the ways I knew I was a runner was when I was able to switch from playlist running (specific genre and list of motivating to me tunes) to internet radio (usually Jack White and BRMC stations on Pandora). Not needing to get so geared up and pushed through by the beat really was an eye opener for me.

    I had a shoe soaking experience last week-those make you say “aw, damn!” out loud sometimes! 14.5 is phenomenal, inspiring as usual!

    • I am pretty amazed at how little it takes for my shoes to be soaked … but fortunately also by how quickly they dry out. I think I really need to try some other shoes, but I really love the minimal stuff.

  2. I like it! Thank you for the suggestion and not just for my running playlist. I love all genres of music and am always on the lookout for new material. 🙂

    I’m glad you had a great run on Saturday! (Hooray for shoes that drain well!)

    • Yeah, most jazz music – even more mainstream stuff like Chris Potter – isn’t good workout material, but that didn’t stop me. Rather than be motivated by a specific beat or rhythm, I am motivated by music I love.

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