I listen to music when I run.  I know there’s some kind of odd controversy about weather or not you should  listen to music when you run. Something about it not being a “pure” experience or some other BS, but I honestly can’t see what the big deal is?  I happen to not listen to music when I race.  I like being focused on the race itself and I like to chat up a fellow runner (if I can talk!) or listen to shouts from the crowd, but during training runs you will pretty much always see ear buds and an armband attached to me.

Because I spend a lot  of time running, I spend a lot time listening to music.  It’s funny because I rarely listen to it in the car and I never listen to it at home.  Music motivates me.  I feel like if I’m listening, I should be sweating.  I’m like Pavlov’s dog – I hear music, I need to spin or run.  The exception to this is a live show and this past weekend I saw the best concert of my life.  Seriously.  Now, I’ve been going to concerts since I was 15 and, take my word for it, that was a freakin long time ago.  My first show was Bonnie Raitt & Lyle Lovitt at an outdoor venue in Massachusetts.  Since then, some of the best shows I’ve seen are:

Black Eyed Peas


Aerosmith and Lenny Kravitz

Kid Rock

…and then I saw the Legends of Summer Tour with Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake at Fenway Park in Boston… and I can now die happy.  The stage, the dancers, the singers, the musicians, the lighting and the stars just aligned for the this concert.  It was A.MAZ.ING.

Me and the hubs with our "suite" passes!  Sweet.

Me and the hubs with our “suite” passes! Sweet.

One of the best parts was the venue. I went to Boston University and I absolutely love that city.  There are just so many memories for me there.  And, of course, with the tragedy that just happened during the marathon, there was a lot of emotion as well.

My favorite cousin (in the blue shirt) who hooked us up with the sweet suite.

My favorite cousin (in the blue shirt) who hooked us up with the sweet suite.

Justin had “Boston Strong” and 617 (Boston’s area code) on his guitar strap and both he and Jay-Z kept the crowd going with “Boston Strong” shout outs all night.  One highlight of the evening was signing “Empire State of Mind” IN Boston IN Fenway Park.  I mean, did hell just freeze over?  It was goosebump kind of stuff.

Early on in the night, Jay-Z sang “Bounce” which is one of my favorite running songs.  Not because it has such a great beat (it does!) but because the first time I heard it, I was running!  I don’t know about you, but there are so many songs I can remember hearing for the first time, and know the exact location I was in, on my run.  Is this weird?  One song may remind me of climbing up a long hill (PINK – Try) and another that maybe was playing at the finish line of a great race (The Script feat. Wil.I.Am – Hall of Fame).

Music is such a huge part of running and fitness in general.  A comment I get very often after a spin class is “I love your music.”  Music motivates.  I can yell whatever the hell I want up on that bike but when I see someone signing along in spin class, with their eyes closed, rocking out to themselves?  That’s a win.  That’s a connection.  That’s what music can do.  You know you can run, push, pull, whatever a little harder when your favorite song comes on.  Yes, you do.  You may even sing on the treadmill at the gym.  I do…and then blame it on endorphins.

As the concert progressed it was like a greatest hits of running playlist for me: Lovestoned, Run This Town (who doesn’t have this one?), Holy Grail (opener!), Rock Your Body, Izzo, 99 Problems, Encore and SexyBack!  I mean, it could not have been better for me!  Each of these songs took me to a road with my sneakers where I was climbing or descending, hurting or blissful, at the mile 1 or the last mile.   It was like going on a run with an entire stadium filled with people!  WIN.

Not a bad view for the night.

Not a bad view for the night.

These legends closed the night with Young Forever as a tribute to the victims of the Boston bombings.  I won’t even try to describe the feeling this evoked.  Have I used the word amazing yet in this blog post?  It’s just the perfect word for a really perfect weekend of music, family and running (of course!) which we’ll discuss later…

H to the Izzo!

Do you listen to music when you run? When you race?  What’s on your playlist?

What’s the best concert you’ve been to?  


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    • Shannon on August 19, 2013 at 9:06 AM
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    I LOVE this post! I am right there with you…music evokes such great memories – I mean the kind that take you to the exact place, smell, location, time of day – everything, it is amazing. For me music is the thing that helps me manage the run. I have been known to just need that fix, put in the earbuds and head out – FixYou just played on Sunday during my run and I cried the whole song, but it felt so good to just get it all out. I cannot run without music. Whenever I do a race (rare) I take out one earbud, so I can hear the bagpipes, roadside bands, or fans, but I always have that soundtrack in the other ear – carefully planned and timed with the course and mileage, to push me when I need it and inspire me to run faster at the end! Music is awesome and I am so glad you wrote this – can’t wait to hear some songs people find inspiring!

    1. Obviously I completely agree! Sometimes a good & well-timed playlist can make a run infinitely better!!

  1. Sounds like an awesome concert! So glad you had a great time! Great music is essential for classes, especially spinning. But I have a confession to make….when it comes to running, I’m a purist. I never race with music, for many of the same reasons you listed. I like to listen to the race sounds, hear the cheering spectactors, and, for longer races, find someone to talk with so the miles pass faster. Plus, and many people don’t realize this, but if you read that itty bitty teeny tiny print at the bottom of your race forms, most races don’t actually permit headphones, a rule that everyone ignores. It’s mostly for insurance purposes and to ensure runner safety on courses that aren’t 100% closed to traffic (My husband and I have been directors for many races, so we know all about this rule!). When it comes to training runs, the reason I don’t run with music is purely for my own safety. I often run alone, on rural roads or trails, so I want to be aware of my surroundings. But if I’m on a treadmill or on the bike trainer, you can bet I’m rockin’ out!

    1. I happen to agree with the no music rule at races b/c there’s just too many people & too many hazards! I sometimes go wireless for training runs but I tend to start thinking about ALL the things I need to do after my run & music just let’s me stay in the moment. I love hearing everyone’s different preferences though. It’s so interesting!! Thanks for sharing yours!

  2. Awesome concert! I saw them at Yankee stadium and it was awesome! I love listening to music when I run. My best concerts have been Kings of Leon, Coldplay, JT/Jay-Z and an underground John Mayer show.

    1. Looks like we have the same taste in music!! Underground John Mayer? How cool was that? Wow!

  3. I don’t run but I pretty much listen to music all the other time!!! It stays on at work, I ride in the car and listen. I love it. I am so jealous of the concert! Sounds amazing. I don’t know anything about running in silence, when I do go every now and then or get on the elliptical, I can’t imagine doing it without music! That would be like watching paint dry!!!

    1. That is an excellent analogy!

  4. What an amazing concert! I grew up outside of Boston so the bombings hit close to home for me. I would have gotten chills when they played Empire State of Mind! I absolutely need music to work out. Music so motivates me and I don’t think I would enjoy working out as much if I didn’t have music!

    Btw, I nominated you for a Sunshine Award because your posts and enthusiasm brighten my day! You can check out my blog for more info!

    1. I obviously agree about the music!!
      THANK YOU so much for the nomination!! I’m just getting back from a long weekend in NY so I’m headed to your blog to check it out now. woot woot!!

  5. SO JEALOUS!! An amazing concert, Fenway Park and a suite!!! That is an incredible night!! :)-Ashley

    1. It really was…I tried to savor every last minute!

  6. Goodness, what an EXPERIENCE! I can only imagine what young forever was like. I got goosebumps just reading!! You are so right, music is 100 related to fitness for me. I can’t run without it, dance without it. It is the foundation of fitness for me, I’m an addict! Your pics are fantastic and Empire State of Mind in Boston?! Wow. Amazing. I felt like I went through you!

    1. I’m definitely a music addict as well! I’m glad my words could reflect the emotion of the night! Just such a great experience.

  7. Music is so powerful, isn’t it? I haven’t been to a concert in years… looks like such a fun time!

    1. You need a concert date night ASAP!!:-)

  8. That concert looked amazing! I can’t imagine exercising without music. I realize there are some circumstances in which it’s important but I have to agree with Joi – like watching paint dry!

    1. I know! I don’t think I could survive more then 10 min on the treadmill sans music! It’s amazing what we get used to! What did people do before iPods & Walkmans?? Ha ha!

  9. I love concerts! My first was Eric Clapton – Journeyman Tour at Giants Stadium. It was awesome. I have seen some of the best and it never gets old. I hadn’t gone in a long time and then went to Of Monsters and Men this past winter and was like why do I not do this more?! I am sure that was amazing!

    1. Wow! Eric Clapton is A legend. That must’ve been a hell of a show!! And yes, I thought the same thing about going to live concerts more often. It’s always a good time.

  10. There are many times I prefer silence, but during exercise is not one of those times! I find it helps me get into a rhythm. You should do a post on your favourite playlists (I’m a new reader so sorry if you have done that already!) I would love to hear what your class oohs and ahs about! The concert – sounds amazing!!

    1. I also understand the need for silence but definitely NOT when exercising (most of the time!) and no, I haven’t done a playlist post yet. I’ve been thinking about it so now that I’ve had an actual request, well then I simply must!! Thanks…

  11. Ugh! I am sooooo jealous! Just the songs you named had me excited, as I LOVE them all! I wouldn’t say Jay-Z is my ultimate favorite rapper, but JT is DEFINITELY my favorite singer! LOVE him, and LoveStoned is MY FAVORITE from him! I’m glad you had a great time!

    1. This was the second time I saw Justin Timberlake and I think he just keeps getting better! Not only can the boy SING but he plays guitar, piano and can dance like nobody’s business!! He is the definition of cool.

  12. I am actually one of those weird people who DOES NOT listen to music when I work out! I cannot do it! I think to myself after the song is over, “aw man, only X amount of minutes went by!!!” And then I get sad and just want to get off. LOL! Every so often a beat or two is amazing, but then a song that is terrible comes on and I just can’t do it any longer, lol!

    1. OMG we found you…the ONE person who doesn’t listen to music when they exercise…ha ha ha…just jokes!! You have to do whatever works for you girl!

  13. Very, very cool! There’s nothing better than live music played by someone you love!

    Ok–I don’t listen to music when I run, unless I am forced onto a treadmill, at which point I absolutely must!

    1. I can’t imagine ANYONE running on a treadmill for more then 5 minutes without music or tv or something!! I have to admit that I’m usually pleasantly surprised when I run sans music…I just don’t do it that often. More power to you!!

  14. You are such a freaking rock star. How fun!! And I’m like you…music when I train, none when I race. 🙂

    1. Thanks Sue!! Love it!

  15. Love this post! I have songs on my playlist when I run that when I hear them it immediately takes me to an exact place during another run. You know my feelings about music when I run – it’s a necessity and although I normally like my music super fast and motivating, my all Duran run was not all quick paced and it was amazing!

    I’m a New Wave girl at heart but I’ll also admit that I LOVE Lyle Lovett (and have seen him perform a few times – he’s a favorite) and many of my friends would be shocked to know that I have Jay Z’s 99 Problems on my run playlist.

    I can imagine that “Young Forever” was really special in Boston but it will always be an Alphaville song that reminds me of high school and I can’t listen to it any other way.

    1. I’m so glad I’m not the only runner who does that with specific songs! Of course, I already knew how much you love music (especially DD!) and I love that you also have 99 problems – one of my personal favorites:-) Thanks Melissa!!

  16. What an awesome assortment of music you listen to. I always love when people listen to lots of different things. I like to workout to everything from Journey to Beyonce and everything in between even have a few country songs in there…lol When I am running and the song Diva comes on by Beyonce I start run dancing on the track. I am sure I am a sight to see.

    I wish I could go to more concerts but they are freaking expensive the last concert that I went to was Blake Shelton before that I couldn’t even tell you but I think it may have been Ginuwine, Ludacris and Monica like 7 years ago.

    1. I love country too!…I just haven’t seen a great country show. My husband and I went to see Kenny Chesney on a whim last year and it was a good show (good eye candy!) but not spectacular. Concerts are definitely way expensive which is why we maybe get to one a year. I love that you went to see Luda, Ginuwine and Monica!!! I’m also happy to hear that I’m not the only one who dance/runs to a great song!!

  17. Sounds like you had an awesome time at this concert. Thanks for visiting me on my SITS day.

    1. It was great! I’m always happy to check out a SITSgirl…hope you had a fabulous day in the spotlight.

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