These days, however, one of my favourite things about running is that it's the one time of the day that I truly listen to music... I don't just treat it as background noise or something to be groaned and eye-rolled at (I'm looking at you, gym, and your insistance on playing Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke on repeat for days at a time).
I like running with music because it's equal parts inspiring and distracting. I like to run to all kinds of music when I run (and in general), but it generally tends to fall into one of two categories: it pumps me up, or it calms me down. The former for obvious reasons, the latter because sometimes I need to be lullaby-ed into a rhythm and encouraged to stop overthinking everything ("Am I lifting my legs high enough? Am I breathing too fast? Too slow? Should my heart be beating this fast? Am I having a stroke? What are the symptoms of a stroke? Oh god, my stomach just made a noise! Am I going to be sick? Oh wait, I think I'm hungry! What if I pass out because I'm too hungry? What if I pass out and fall and hit my head and nobody finds me and I die here?!")
...being me is stressful.
After the above, you will probably not be surprised to hear that I have a kind of obsessive, addictive personality. As such, I tend to cycle through the same few songs on my runs - usually for about a month or two until I cannot handle listening to them ever again. Hooray for ruining things for yourself!
Anyway, here are the songs I'm currently fixated on for running purposes. Some of these I've been running to for over a year, suggesting that they're either a) really good, or b) I'm getting slower at ruining stuff for myself. They are unintentionally all by Australian artists. Probably because artists from other countries would subliminally encourage me to run on the other side of the road, and safety is my #1 priority.
The Preatures - 'Take a Card' and 'Is This How You Feel?'
The Preatures cause me to do that really unattractive white guy dance where you slow-shake your hips and rotate your shoulders and inexplicably have to make guns with your fingers while biting your lip with your eyes closed. OH WAIT that's how I dance anyway. Nonetheless, they are some my faves for running... though I'm sure one day I'll leave my eyes closed just a bit too long and run into a car. ROCK N ROLL!
Vance Joy - 'Riptide'
Rapidly becoming so, so overplayed (sometimes OTHER PEOPLE ruin songs for me, too!), but it's still basically the ideal running song (and not just because it has the word 'running' in it). Nine out of ten scientists agree that it's impossible not to have a good run with this playing.
(the other one never liked running anyway. Or music, life, sunshine, rainbows or happiness.)
Andy Bull - 'Keep On Running' and 'Baby I Am Nobody Now'
Continuing my theme of enjoying running to songs that explicitly describe my activity because apparently I have no imagination. 'Keep On Running' is near flawless for running purposes. I listened to it for approximately 70 minutes of the Bathurst Half Marathon. Both it and 'Baby I Am Nobody Now' require some seriously passionate lip-syncing and were probably written with the intention of providing an outlet for all feelings of rejection, neglect, or general displeasure with society and/or life. That's a big job, and I have HEAPS of feelings of this nature. HEAPS. And when I don't, I listen to these songs and create some. So thank you, Andy Bull, for filling this void so graciously and contributing to me being so insufferable to live with. I think I'm a hell of a find, too.
RUN-LOVING PALS: tell me your current favourites! Sooner or later I'll exhaust my tolerance of these and will need a back-up plan!