Friday, March 09, 2012

Queue the Music

We are past March 1st, did anyone start Gonna Fly Now (Rocky’s Theme) on the turntable? As I previously announced, I’m starting the hard training after a winter of maintenance miles. Who’s supposed to do the music? I can’t do everything around here. I need some musical inspiration…

…which didn’t come at my daughter’s school “music” show last night. I say “music”, in quotes, because I’m not sure what I saw up on that stage qualifies. It was the music class required, district mandated yearly elementary school music program involving half-hearted singing, ill-fitting hand-me-down clothing, poorly coiffed hair, and absolutely no rhythm whatsoever. My daughter did great. She’s a shining star. But the rest of the kids? Where’s the passion? Where’s the commitment? Where’s the pitch? (Answer: Not where you are at.)

If this school auditorium is a microcosm of what’s going on across the country, American Idol is going to suck in a few years. Or, suck more. I didn’t applaud much. I don’t encourage sloppy performance. I don’t give ribbons for “participation” either. The song choices were completely shallow and derivative. The only kid – besides my daughter – that could carry a tune was the baby three rows behind me that had a soprano E nailed! By the end of the performance, the baby wasn’t the only one that wanted to suckle a comforting breast.

I was chatting with another runner the other day about music and how we use it when training and running. We were polar opposites. He never runs with music except during a race – to enhance his concentration and block out distractions. I only listen to music when training and rarely listen during a race – because I find it distracting. I always wear my earphones but have only actually turned my music on in a handful of races. Instead, they become sweaty, nuisance ear plugs that have me cursing Why did I even wear these stupid things? every step of the race.

During training runs and, especially, while circling the Terrible Oval of 800’s, the music helps distract me from the boring miles. It keeps my rhythm going. Puts a little bounce in my step. Occasionally, if you drive past me, you may even find me playing the air drums or air guitar or air lead singer or air didgeridoo.

But, during a race, I’m only looking at the person immediately in front of me, full of venomous hate and loathing. The hate is strong…like a serial killer towards carpet fibers. I don’t want anything to distract me from that. How dare they run slight faster than me, right?

If you are reading this, (A) you are the only one and (B) you are in charge of the music. Queue up the Rocky…Ba da dum da da dum, da da dum da da dum…. And repeat.

I need something to wash away the memories of those out of sync maracas to “Apples and Bananas”. Ugh. Uninspiring.

Happy trails.


Deb said...

It appears that I am the only reader, and thus in charge of music. This kinda panics me, given that "Apples and Bananas" is one of my favorite songs. I just love when they get all wild and crazy and start with the "Eepples and Beeneenes" verse.

Beth (i run like a girl) said...

... and then there were 2.
I listen to music on the dreadmill (to numb the boredom) but otherwise not on training runs and almost ALWAYS during races. If I can't hear myself gasping for breath in the final 200 meters, I must *not* be near collapse. Or at least that's what my brain says.

Elizabeth said...

I just went to my 4th grade daughter's elementary school- mandated chorus recital this past Thursday too...and verbatum was thinking the exact same thing that you so eloquently articulated in this post. "Shake the Papaya Tree" will never be the same again.

And I have never listened to music during a race, but I like to on training runs...except, oddly, on interval workouts. For some reason, the music, the ear buds, and the cord REALLY annoy me when I am hammering through 800s (definition of "hammering" is completely up to the individual).

Jess Milcetich said...

I'm similar to you. I like the music on my training runs to keep me from getting bored, but on race day I tend to shove the earbuds in my ears and never turn on my ipod because I'm too focused or too busy soaking up the atmosphere.

Al's CL Reviews said...

It's Raining Men... great pick me up song.

I listen on the treadmill and during races to keep the boredom at bay or to be distracted. Long runs outside, I got to hear gunshots so I don't use it.