I am not a zen runner. I do not simply walk out the door with no watch and no music and run until I feel like I've run enough. I set goals, I obsess over weather preparation and I take a lot of crap with me. A lot.
Things were simpler when the weather was warm. But now I have to make sure I have a light to see since it's dark all the time, wear a headband over my ears, sometimes layered with a warm hat, gloves, vest, etc. While some might view this as a weakness and think I should just get myself out the door and deal with it, my level of comfort is of the utmost importance when I'm running. If my gear isn't right, I break down.
Today, I intended to run two miles. But the moment I got out of the car, I knew I was going to have a bad run solely because of the headband I chose. Instead of wearing a hat layered over a Bondi Band, like I normally do when it's 35-ish degrees, I opted for a cheap fleece headband only. Big mistake. It was too loose, so it did nothing to protect my wimpy ears from the freezing wind. And it was just loose enough to tug my headphones out of my ears every time I took a step. (How can Apple produce some of the world's greatest gadgets but fail at designing earphones?!) So I ran one angry mile - fighting with my earphones and headband the entire way, dreading the cold-induced earache that I knew was coming - and gave up in frustration and went home. That headband is dead to me now.
So even though it might take me 20 minutes to get myself put together for a run, it's well worth it to me. Here is only a sampling of my winter gear - hat, Bondi Band, Road ID, Garmin, headlight, and of course my music.
Of all the things I must take with me, my music is the most important, ya know, other than shoes and clothing. I listen to music constantly whether I'm driving or cooking or cleaning house, and I run better when I have a good song to motivate me. I use music sort of as an incentive or reward for running. When I hear a song I love on the radio in the car, I turn it off, buy it on my iPhone and I don't let myself listen to it unless I run. It's my version of a dangling carrot. Also, I don't let myself listen to my favorite running songs any other time besides when I'm running so I won't get tired of them too quickly. This is a money-saving incentive so I'm not buying music for new playlists every other week. So...here are a few of my latest favorites.
1. My Body by Young the Giant - All I could find on YouTube is the live version, but it's still awesome. The lyrics are perfect to make me pick up my pace!
2. Down by Jay Sean - I first heard this song when I saw the Pink Glove Dance video. Who couldn't love this?
3. Ours by The Bravery - I liked this one so much I had to buy the entire Eclipse soundtrack to get it. Yuck.
4. Bang Pop by Free Energy - Remember bad videos from the '80s? Yeah, so do these guys.
5. Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap - This would've been perfect for a Brat Pack movie.
6. Love the Way You Lie by Eminem feat. Rihanna - PARENTAL ADVISORY. It's Eminem; what did you expect?