Soundtrack of My Workout: Go Ahead and Laugh

Occasionally, I’ll get a question or a comment asking what sort of music I listen to when I’m running.

The answer is usually: nothing–I like the sound of my own crazy thoughts. I sit at a computer or have my iPhone attached to me all day, so I spend too much of the day indoors, attached to technology. I like to run outside with no music, because it’s the closest to a bit of (free) serenity that I’ll get in New York City.


But when I’m marathon training and have covered every inch of the West Side Highway and a lot of the East River path multiple times, sometimes I need some music to tune out the “this is so hard” and “I don’t want to do this” thoughts.

Especially when my plan calls for 9 miles, 5 of them at tempo pace.

That calls for some music.

But I hate making playlists, because I get sick of them so quickly, so I rely on the Genius function in iTunes to make me a playlist.


Last year, I was really into Chicken Fried, so I asked iTunes to base a playlist off of that.

Yes, there are at least three Christmas songs on this playlist.

Yes, I lip-synced most of these songs while I was running. It was like running karaoke.

And yes, I NAILED that tempo.

9 miles, 1 hour, 23 minutes.

Tempo miles: 8:28, 8:12, 8:27, 8:42, 8:25.

And no, I will probably never share one of my terrible playlists with you ever again.

Related to my love of Apple, I can’t wait for my new iPhone to come. Maybe I won’t run with it, and maybe the home button will actually work. My phone has been operating really slowly for at least the past year, so I will probably tackle the UPS man tomorrow for my new baby.

Screen shot 2012-09-26 at 9.47.10 PM.png

How it made it from Korea to Louisville faster than from Louisville to New York, I’ll never know.

I’ve usually gotten the new iPhones as soon as they’ve come out (except the 3GS/4S because those were obviously just holdover models between major releases) because I’ve always been able to sell the old one on Craigslist and either break even or only come out having paid somewhere around $30-40.

One of my coworkers told me recently about They buy back your iPhone and send you money for it!


Well, okay!

There’s no fancy referral link up there, and Gazelle’s not paying me to say nice things.

This is just freaking awesome, is all.

So: music or no music while running? And did you order the new iPhone?

30 comments on “Soundtrack of My Workout: Go Ahead and Laugh

  1. MegG

    Have my new iPhone, I’m enjoying it! I sometimes listen to music, I’m SUPER bummed I lost my favorite headphones on some flight I think, so I haven’t been listening to music recently. I love Gazelle for a lot of stuff, but I hold on to my old phones and usually end up giving them to friends who can’t afford to buy/ replace their’s. It’s always good to have at least one back up in the house, I think our last one went to my father-in-law! (also, don’t be embarrassed of your playlist, embrace it, mine is hilarious too!)

  2. Tess @ Cross Country Cajun

    Ok – I must confess, I totally have a ton of those songs on my iPod and by ton, I mean MOST! I usually have music on my runs unless I am running with other people. I am totally jealous of the new iPhone. I still have a few months left on mine!

  3. Ari @ Ari's Menu

    Where Are You Christmas!!! That’s one of my favorite Christmas songs, and I totally listen to it year round! Also, I’m sure people appreciate your lip sync running much more than my sing really loud and don’t care who hears it running. I don’t know how I even still have running buddies….

  4. Charlie (The Runner Beans)

    Love the top photo on this post, it’s gorgeous! I really want the iphone 5 but I think I’ll wait until its available on my free upgrade. always have to listen to music, can’t get motivated without it. Although I did once run a half without any music and just enjoyed the noise of the crowd.

  5. Cindy

    Music is SO important! I am always adding songs to my workout playlist and have downloaded a few playlist-mixes from

    I have the new iPhone. I love it! I was very surprised that I got it on the day it was released b/c I was told by my carrier that I’d have to wait until October.

  6. Kimberly @ Healthy Strides

    I am particularly amused by the inclusion of Christmas songs on the playlist. While it seems too early, I’ve seen Christmas wares out at the department stores so it seems your on trend! I rarely listen to anything (pushing stroller + music = not safe) and lately, if I do, it’s Toddler Pandora to keep my, well, toddler entertained. On my own, it’s podcasts. Because I’m not even cool enough to like music.

    P.S. Your training schedule terrifies me. I’m in the last month of marathon training, and I haven’t done near the work you have.

  7. Oldman

    Love your playlist ESP Chicken Fried! As a triathlete I’m always looking for a a good playlist especially when swimming. I tunes is always throwing in a Christmas song or two.

  8. Nicole

    Yes to music while running. I walk to work and lately have been catching up on NRP podcasts on my way in but walking home, I use it as time to decompress.
    I wasn’t going to order the new iPhone but now I might have to…thanks for sharing the info on the buy-back.

  9. Kate

    I actually gasped when I saw your playlist. Recently I have made it a habit to start every single one of my workouts with “Chicken Fried” playing in my ears. And I don’t even like country music! But there’s something about this song that really puts me in a good mood and makes me want to workout hard.

  10. Lauri

    MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC!!! Earlier this week I forgot my headphones at home and ran at lunchtime otuside holding my iphone with the music blaring through the speaker! I need my music…and I am getting the new iphone in November when I can upgrade. I had never heard of Gazelle – Thanks for sharing!!

  11. Meghan

    I absolutely need music while running. I’m in the process of making my NYC Marathon playlist. It’s one of my favorite parts about getting ready for a race!

  12. Maureen

    I pretty much always listen to music when I run, but I have to be careful about what songs I use in my playlists or it screws up my pacing. I learned this the hard way during a long run recently when I was so into the music I started running 9:00/mile pace, which is way to fast for my long run. Not surprisingly, I totally hit the wall with about 2 miles to go. Lesson learned though.

  13. Cate

    Chicken Fried is what got me hooked on Country music. I love it! When running with friends, I go without music. I’ve also run races without it too, but always have it with me in case I need the motivation. I start marathon training this weekend and I feel I’ll need some new music!

  14. Deborah

    Nothing wrong with Christmas music landing on a running playlist! I say whatever works and helps you keep putting one foot in front of the other is pure awesomeness. When I first started running I use to listen to music, but now it just drives me batty. Not really sure why, but now I just listen to my body.

  15. Melissa

    Oh my goodness, I have to have music. If I don’t have music I’m horribly bored. The only time I can run without it is my 1 mile runs with my dance production students.

  16. Life's a Bowl

    I love the Zac Brown Band! They’re fabulous to see in concert too 🙂 I listen to all different types of music, just depends on the day- sometimes country, sometimes hip-hop [bahaha, country gangsta]?! I really have got into Pandora the past few months and haven’t downloaded anything on iTunes, but a lot of times my playlists were mostly the top 100 songs…

  17. Juliette @ Finish Your Broccoli

    Seriously, I think Apple sabotages devices after a certain period of time. My home button stopped working earlier this year, like a year and a half after I had my iPhone 4. It’s like they knew I was just about to be in the market for a new phone & just decided to throw that curve ball to get me to preorder the iPhone 5. Well it worked, dammit!


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