I have always been a huge  music fan–saw my first concert (U2, The Joshua Tree Tour) when I was in the fifth grade, wrote music reviews for my high school newspaper, still see a fair amount of live music for a mom of two young children, etc., etc. So when I started running it was never a question of whether I would run with or without music. Duh. Of course I would. The whole music vs. no music debate never entered my world until about two years ago.In fact, I credit the receipt of my iPod Shuffle with really launching my post-baby fitness–I loved working out because it was a time to be by myself and to listen to my music. I listened to a lot of 80’s New Wave music (I love a good synthesizer) and some pop/dance/shake your booty stuff that got me motivated. Once I got out of the Y and onto the road, I used my iPhone because it has speakers and I don’t feel safe with headphones. My iPhone (nickname: Baby) allowed me to customize my playlists more, and to mix things up on the fly. Still, I was pretty predictable with my running music and aside from the random Killers or Johnny Cash song, not a whole lot changed in terms of the ‘feel’ of my playlists.Until now.

I’ve always had a rule: What happens on the running playlist, stays on the playlist. You do what you have to do to get through the run. But the changes in my playlist have been so strange that I can only attribute it to the marathon training, and that I feel the need to share in hopes of… oh, I don’t know, Sympathy? Compassion? Camaraderie? So in the interest of utterly embarrassing myself total honesty, I give you my most recent additions:

Yeah, this happened.


Um, what? WHAT?!?

How did I get here? When did this all start? Where did I go wrong? WHO AM I?!?

I guess the simple truth is, I’m just a child of the 80’s. And I LOVE the music of my childhood. But I never listened to 80’s rock. I mean, my dad even had a code on the cable box so my sister and I couldn’t watch MTV (we always cracked it, though, and I do have very vivid memories of changing the channel REAL FAST once when my Dad walked in and ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ was on.) INXS and U2 were okay. GNR, not so much.

But last spring, after running three 1/2’s in relatively short order, I was listening to Def Leppard with my Only Friend Who Likes 80’s Music More Than I Do. Having running on the brain, I thought, ‘Wow, that would be fun stuff to run to.’ Onto the play list went Armageddon It, Rocket, Photograph and Animal. And I began to notice that when I’d land on the -gulp- Oldies stations here in Atlanta that I’d find myself thinking “Also good for running” way more often. I think the final straw were the two BodyPump releases that have Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” and AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck” on them. Les Mills does not fool around when it comes to blood-pumping music, and as much as I enjoyed lifting to the songs, I wanted to run to them even more.

Which bring us to today… as I start to refine (or, perhaps, unrefine) the playlist for Saturday. Y’all, I am checking my cool at the door. In fact, I’m pretty sure I checked it all the way out there in the driveway. I just want to have fun, and if Angus, Axl and JBJ get me to 26.2, then I will take it. Oh, and don’t worry–it’s not like those guys will be solo in their efforts. The Black Keys, Kelly Clarkson, Johnny Cash, the Beasties, Foster the People, INXS, Rihanna and MJ will all be along for the ride too. Among others–there are well over 100 songs on the list, and yes, it does stay on shuffle. And no, it is never boring.

So, here are my questions for you:

1. Have you ever had a sudden, noticeable change in your  musical taste?

2. Do you have any insight of why the hard rock is speaking to me these days?