Gearing up

The week leading up to the marathon is about making sure I’m ready both mentally and physically, but also laying out all the little details that add to my race arsenal. My race uniform gets washed, expo directions printed out, etc. etc. One of the most important of those details is making sure I’ve painstakingly created an epic marathon mix that I will not only listen to on the subway ride to the start area, but also give me some songs to play in my head during the race as I’m trying to pass through some of the less challenging miles earlier on. It sounds trite, but trust me, this is a crucial part of my race efforts.

I’ve been obsessed with music since I was a little kid, playing it the second I got up and falling asleep to anything and everything from the moment I was given my first boom box as a kid. I absolutely drove my sisters nuts with my choice of music and how often I played it. As I got older music was central to forming my identity and I developed some of my first solid friendships around it. Later on it became a main influence to my personal politics. And now, it has become a fundamental motivator and complementary expression of my running.

As important as music is to my daily life and running routine, oddly enough, I never run with music…directly anyways. I often have a song in my head if the daydreams just aren’t coming quickly enough and this is most prominent during race efforts. The right song gives you the right motivation, the right influence and sometimes even sets a good pace.

Some of the other guys I run with also use music for their running in one way or another, but completely opposite to me, they prefer something soft and calming before a race, something that gives them “happy thoughts” as it was explained to me. Yeah, I don’t get it. My vision of my running and the effort it takes to run fast involves a lot of aggressiveness. Something calming is the LAST thing I need leading up to a race and so I prefer to listen to the most fitting music selection for this purpose…..METAL. Nothing else will do. Nothing else will give me the goosebumps I had the second I walked out the door last year in Chicago and the first notes snaked their way into my ears. I was so ready  and the music was so pumped I wanted to sprint into downtown chicago, smashing windows all the way. I know….bad idea. Fortunately, I was able to temper my aggressiveness and held a couple songs in my head for when I needed them most during the run….and I think it worked.

Anyways, all this is to say I have compiled a list of motivational songs (not repeating any from last year…don’t want to repeat last years time!) for my subway ride to the start area and will carry some of them with me onto the course. Unless you are metal head or hardcore kid of some sort, a lot of this might be foreign to you…regardless, this is my list:

Bring Me The Horizon – Diamonds aren’t forever
Oh, Sleeper – The new breed
Arch Enemy – I am legend, out for blood
August Burns Red – Marianas Trench
Slayer – New faith
Goatwhore – Apocalyptic havoc
Metallica – Broken, beat and scarred
Strife – Blistered
Unearth – Black hearts now reign
As I Lay Dying – Falling upon deaf ears
The Dillinger Escape Plan – Farewell, Mona Lisa
Black Breath – Black sin (spit on the cross)
The End – Throwing stones
Have Heart – Have heart
Bring Me The Horizon – The sadness will never end

Honestly, with a playlist that brutal…how can I lose?!

As was pointed out by a commenter on my last post, the runner tracking is now available. If you want to follow me on race day in real time (this means you’ll have to get up EARLY on a Sunday!) you can sign up here. Just put in my bib number (#422) and you’ll be all set. It’s pretty cool to follow actually.

Ok, one more week and we are ready to go. Thanks for following along friends. Rock on.


8 responses to “Gearing up

  1. Good luck dude!

    God Hates Us All is wholly underrated – songs like New Faith and Disciple are fucking hard. Good choice.

  2. Thanks Sam.

    God Hates Us All is a fantastic Slayer album. It’s not as consistently fast as their other albums all the way through, but it sounds like they traded a lot of speed for brutality on that album. It’s just so crushing and dark. There are other songs I like better on this album, but I chose this one for tempo. I’m still trying to track down the newest at the library. And if you haven’t heard, they are releasing a full Slayer box set soon.

    Also, check out Black Breath…I think you’ll like it.

  3. Hmm… I’ll have to check some of these out. The new Disturbed and new Korn is pretty cool (the new Iron Maiden has done no justice for me yet…). That’s about as metal as I get. I too am a big music fan. Matter of fact, my 120G iPod is nearly full. And I can run songs in my head during runs too! And I frequently head to bed with the headphones on. Good luck in 6 days and I hope you don’t go crazy on the taper!

  4. I’m really looking forward to following you during the race, Scott, but–LOL–am so glad I won’t be listening to the music in your head. If it were me, it would be all about the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Bruce Springsteen.

    Okay, I’m showing my age. 🙂 Speaking of which, not being of the “texting generation,” I don’t understand how the tracker works. I’m signed up but what exactly am I supposed to do during the race?

    • Haha…don’t worry Ginny, I totally understand. My tastes are somewhat…unique I suppose. Granted, I appreciate bands of your era (ouch, no offense!), but for running purposes, they just won’t do.

      Let me look into the tracking function. I’m guessing there will either be an email link or link on the site come race day. I honestly don’t remember how I accessed the function when I followed my friend at Boston. I’ll put an update on the site.

  5. Good luck Scott! I will be following the race.

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