Everything’s better with music.

At this point I’m simply trying to see how fast I can reasonably run five miles without injuring myself (dramatically). <knock on wood>So far I’ve only collided with a single bus stop (in the dark) and skinned the outside of my left knee on a low brick wall.</knock on wood> As I rounded Westwood last night, heading for home, I glanced at my trusty rusty Freestyle Shark and saw that I could theoretically beat my previous time by two minutes if I picked up the pace. So I was barreling down Olympic at full speed towards the end. I was so out of gas that I had to stand at the corner at the end of my street for two full songs before I could breathe easily enough to walk the twenty yards to my front door.

Last night I ran five miles in 42 minutes, 29 seconds, which astounded me.

“Everything’s better with music,” I thought while composing this post. Here’s a list of the tracks I heard on my run:

  • Knockout, by Lil Wayne (featuring Nicki Minaj)
    This has been my go-to song to start running lately. I had no idea this was Lil Wayne until my wife told me.
  • Queen of Hearts, by Juice Newton
    There’s not much to say about this track other than that the very fact that I have it on my iPod probably decimates any street cred I might have.
  • Star 69, by R.E.M.
    Here’s a great song to hear just after you’ve gotten warm and are working yourself into a groove.
  • The Longest Time, by Billy Joel
    The beat in this one was surprisingly well-suited for my pace while going downhill for a stretch.
  • Smells Like Teen Spirit, by Nirvana
    It is horrifying to think of this song as “classic rock”.
  • Cecilia, by Simon & Garfunkel
    Shuffle played this song just as I was finishing the long, punishing, uphill climb on Pico between Beverwill and Century Park E, so — even though it’s arguably a little slow-paced for a five-mile run — I let it go so I could catch my breath a bit.
  • Light of Day (live), by Bruce Springsteen
    This may very well be my favorite running song. I listen to the version from the 1992 “Plugged: In Concert” album, which has an epic guitar solo that will seriously get your feet moving.
  • I’m Down, by The Beatles
    Aerosmith did a great cover of this one, but I still like the original the best.
  • How’s My Driving, Doug Hastings?, by Less Than Jake
    “Friday night, on coke with a crowbar,” is the first line of this track.
  • Los Angeles, by Sugarcult
    This is just a fantastic running song. Even if you don’t live in LA you will appreciate the beat, especially if you are trying to haul ass.

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