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
…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.
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.
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.
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?