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Martini Fridays: 64 Laps of Mildly Profane Silliness

A walk with the corgi. It’s a little snowy. Even the dog is over it.
A walk with the corgi. It’s a little snowy. Even the dog is over it.

Adrienne Martini is up to Week 5 in the Train Like a Mother Half-Marathon: Finish It training plan, and the Pittsburgh Half-Marathon—and spring—feel impossibly far away. Check out her previous posts.

When you live in a place where winter is a force to be reckoned with, you learn to make peace with it. Or, if you can’t make peace, you move south.

We actually lived in the south—in Texas and in Tennessee—for just over a decade. And while there are many things I miss about both places (migas and dogwoods, among others) I do not miss the endless, punishing summers.

I’m a cold weather gal. I’d rather put on a sweater than shorts. I’d much rather crunch through autumn leaves than scuff through summer sand. Give me crisp air rather than air you can wring out like a wet towel.

That being said, this particular winter is getting on my last dang nerve.

I’ve had it. As I type, the snow outside is literally knee-deep. My knees, that is; not the knees belonging to the kids or the corgi. Another 2 - 4” is predicted by this evening. I don’t even know where we’ll put it;  I do have a few ideas where Mother Nature can stick it.

I don’t know that I’d be so very over it if I weren’t trying to get training runs in. But I do know that I’ve turned into a Tom Petty song: I’m tired of myself and tired of this town. I’m tired of the kids, too, because they are always in the house. And of slushy boots and of snow days and of icy windshields and of frozen fingers. I have lost my cold weather zen.

I didn’t even toy with the idea of running outside for Saturday’s eight miler, even though I’ve seen a few brave, lithe young men out in blizzard-like conditions. I am just not that much of a badass and have made peace with that.

Besides, about half of my neighbors have stopped shoveling their sidewalks, which makes it hard to wear Yaktrax because it’s not consistently snowy underfoot. For the record, I’m tired of my neighbors, too, but totally get how weary they are.

Fortunately, the indoor track was on open Saturday. Just getting there involved a boring-but-epic adventure that included brushing and scraping another 4 inches of snow off of my car, most of which went into my boots.

Angry cats, angry mother runners.
Angry cats, angry mother runners.

My mood was remarkably foul by the time I had my running shoes on and started the first (of 64) laps. Usually on long runs I listen to podcasts but I had deploy my emergency playlist, which is full of the songs I listen to sparingly. Some of them are guilty pleasures; some are R-rated.

This list has little to do with the songs SBS posted earlier this week. All of the songs on the list are great, mind, and inspiring. I totally get why “Girl on Fire” and “Brave” are on so many iPods. Worthy choices all.

My emergency playlist isn’t full of those songs. Instead, it has a mix of music that I’d not recommend to many. This is where I stash all of the songs with nuclear-grade swearing, like Missy Elliott’s “Gossip Folks” or the Beastie Boys’ “Ch-check It Out.” Also on the list are songs that I’m embarrassed to love, like Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” or Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” While my feminist side finds these tunes troubling at best, I still love them. And, yes, I’m aware of this moral ambiguity. These are the songs I needed to keep both my brain and body engaged in something other than grousing about the weather.

As in my last Eminem run, which reminds me to put some of his songs on this playlist, I hit a mental wall about six miles in. There’s just something about being two-thirds of the way that sucks out my will to go on. This time, I went to the silliest song: Amanda Palmer’s “Map of Tasmania,” which is really not safe for work once you figure out what she’s talking about. (And the video is not at all safe for work, the easily offended, or small children, Not that it would harm small children, just that you also need to have the time to have a Very Important Discussion afterwards. Older kids, like, say, my Tween, will simply roll their eyes if they catch you watching it. She does that when I breathe, too, so I try to not read into it. I’ve digressed.)

This song makes me smile every single time I hear it, even when I’m two-thirds of the way through a long run, indoors, in February when I know the most I have to look forward to after the run is a 10 degree afternoon spent thinking about the Bahamas while trying to stay warm. Desperate times call for mildly profane silliness —and both the run and the tunes helped lighten my mood. I wouldn’t say I had my swagger back by the end but I was no longer ready to bite the head off of a kitten.

As proof that training actually works, this eight-mile run wasn’t nearly as exhausting as the first one a few weeks ago. While my legs weren’t anything that could be described as fresh on Sunday, I didn’t think twice about the several dozen trips I made up and down the stairs in order to do several dozen loads of laundry and vacuum up several metric tons of dog hair.

Progress, I guess.

I’m doing my best to not think about the nine-mile run that is coming up this week. I’m also doing my best to not think about how it will probably have to be done indoors again because all this snow and ice isn’t going anywhere, no matter how fiercely I direct my fire-y rage at it.

Sadly, my magic playlist won’t work again so soon, but I suspect I can go back to my old podcast standards since my mood won’t be as grumpy.

Just in case I need them, however, it would be nice to know what songs you have tucked away for emergencies, especially if they are just a little bit embarrassing. 

32 responses to “Martini Fridays: 64 Laps of Mildly Profane Silliness

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  2. Not an emergency playlist, but none of mine are G rated songs really.
    My husband says my running playlist would make someone think I’m a teenage boy.
    Whatever works!

  3. I absolutely adore “Martini”. You are so honest, so funny, and so very real. I am running my first half-marathon on March 1 and I will absolutely be thinking of you, wishing we were running together. Thank you for sharing your journey with us all.

  4. I have one of those playlists, too! I laugh at myself at how foul the lyrics are as I listen, but it keeps me moving. It’s a long mix, so I am just getting to hear some of it as my mileage gets longer. ( Girl Talk- All Day) The video is a riot, too!

  5. Haha I laughed when I read this because I always think ‘if these young folks in the gym knew what I was listening to…’
    I have almost all the ones on your list on my ipod as well as ‘scream’ by usher, several choice selections by pitbull and some really dirty stuff by robin thicke. Keeps me smiling and running!!

  6. Your post gives me the guts to admit that I love Maroon 5’s version of “Move Like Jagger.” The lyrics are at best, “sensual,” but also offensive in ways. Yet listening to it does increase my pace 🙂 I had taken it (and some Lady Gaga) off my “Run” playlist after my ‘Tween discovered them but I’m glad I didn’t delete them. I may need to set up a “Guilty Pleasures” playlist of my own. Thanks for the tip 🙂

  7. Here are some that get me going on the treadmill

    Blah Blah Blah by Kesha
    Here’s to Never Growing Up by Avril Lavigne
    American Girl by Bonnie McKee
    Gives You Hell by All American Rejects
    Tik Tok by Kesha
    What the Hell by Avril Lavigne

  8. I love “Shake That” by Eminem. Yes, this one will hurt the feminist in you but it has a great beat. I also like “Lighters” by Bad Meets Evil (more Eminem, I know). I also listen to Nicki Minaj for fun, up-tempo songs to run to.

  9. I agree with Linkin Park mentioned earlier. I also like to run to Lady Gaga, Evanescence, the song “What Would You Do?” by City High, old time NSYNC like “Dirty Pop,” or “It’s Gonna Be Me.” My list is quite similar to the list I listen to if I’m royally ticked off, too 🙂

  10. all i can say is sometimes there is nothing like a good f-bomb to brighten ones mood. Loved reading this entry, hate that your weather stinks!

  11. 64 indoor laps, wow! That’s dedication. I usually listen to podcasts too, when I listen to anything at all. When I run out of AMR podcast archives I’ll have to get back to music. I have the Gourds’ cover of “Gin and Juice” on my playlist – NSFW/NSFK but really catchy.

  12. Get out of my head! Radio Disney and Broadway show tunes have no place in my running playlist. I mean, can you really find inspiration to dig deep from a song about puppies and rainbows when you feel like your legs are about to fall off? If you lived in California, I am confident we would be BRFF. Since you unfortunately don’t, I’ll just send some sunshine-y vibes your way for better running weather. : )

  13. Korean pop is my new ace in the hole. You are one BAMR for sure if you can make it through 8 miles of indoor track laps. Whoo!

  14. Add the Pharrell Williams song, Happy, to your list. Seriously, just do it. If you can listen to this song and not smile, there is something wrong with you… 😉

  15. I love the phrase “struggle bus,” though I’d argue that I’m not driving it so much as it’s driving me.

    So happy to hear I’m not alone on my “E” playlist! And thanks. Keep the recommendations coming!

  16. Ha! Love this post. My best playlist is full of some pretty explicit stuff too. The beat is just right, and it gets you pumped!

  17. 64 Laps of anything rates you a Badass! I was inside as well on Sunday, my training plan read 13 miles and I used the treadmill with a towel over the display. I listened to podcasts to inspire me. The one that got me moving was Dimity’s Ironmother recap.

  18. Sadly, I am the same way. My kids know which songs they have to skip when they listen to my ipod. Probably the worst is “You can go hard, or you can go home” by Will.I.Am,Jennifer Lopez, and Mick Jagger. Between the lyrics, the combination of those 3 singers,and the rhythm, that song works for me every time. Give it a listen, (just ignore the f words).

  19. I know I’m showing my age but disco is my go to when I’m driving the struggle bus. Donna Summer, ABBA, Saturday Night Fever soundtrack etc. Even at my lowest it makes me smile and dance on the inside, while getting in the miles.

  20. Anyone that can run 64 – count ’em – 64 laps on an inside track is totally badass in my book. This winter is #$%^&. My playlist also has a lot of Eminem and Jay Z too. A new favorite is “Remember the Name” by Fort Minor. It’s not for kids or grandparents but the lyrics “10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will, 5% pleasure, 50% pain and 100% reason to remember the name” give me the kick in the pants when I need it the most. However, when I really need to get going, “Run Rudolph Run” never fails even if it is 95 degrees in the middle of July. It reminds me of my Dad and makes me smile every time. Good Luck Adrienne!

  21. I have quite a bit of Eminem on my list, and other explicit songs. I actually love running to the Bloodhound Gang – who are incredibly crude and nasty to the point that I couldn’t stand them prior to running – but they match my pace perfectly. I am willing to suspend my ideals in order to make it through two hours of running LOL

  22. Tomorrow, thankfully, you should enjoy some running weather and maybe even rain for your 9 miles. I am supposed to be at our annual Polar Bear Run – sports bra and shorts or sleeveless shirt and shorts. Not sure, even in the heatwave we are about to experience if I can do that.

    I still listen, when I forget to charge one mp3 and have to use the backup, Christmas music and it is February. UGH!

  23. I stream using TuneIn Radio to some of my favorite stations, so that keeps a lot of variety on rotation. There is still value in a good DJ to pull music for me I’d never hear on my own. 89.3 MPR, KCRW, WXPN, KEXP are a few of my faves.

  24. …and my kids have another Snow Day today! Guilty Pleasure Playlist Tunes? My bitty ipod is chock full of “E” rated music. That’s E for “Explicit”, not “Everyone”. There’s something about raw lyrics and swears that gets me moving. Please don’t judge. 🙂

  25. Yes to feeling defeated and full of winter rage. (Madison, WI here. We got a bit of a thaw this week — so now we get ice!) I have many of your guilty pleasures on my get-it-moving list, but when I have to dig deep and am feeling miserable, I go to cheese. Maybe it’s Wisconsin’s influence on me. Don’t mock me: Party In The USA (by a young Miley); Flashdance; Love Will Keep Us Together; any of Rick Astley’s glossy hits. These make me grin & take myself less seriously. And possibly dance a little. Or sing.

  26. I’m with you on the “tired of winter” front! I’ve been a runner (in Michigan) for 10 years and have never had a winter mess with my runs like this one – indoor AND out, since you can’t get to the gym when the mayor has declared a state of emergency because of blizzard conditions and you aren’t allowed to drive, or it isn’t safe to run outside when cars are sliding off the road right and left… Come on spring!

  27. Some Twisted Sister usually works for me. When I’m at my worst, the song ‘To the windows, to the wall’ is great. It brings back memories of that one time I karaoked that song only to realize all I had ever heard were the ‘clean’ versions. 🙂

  28. Our playlists and ire at winter are similar. I pull out Here Comes the Champ by Dan the Automater and Mos Def, Welcome to the Jungle by GNR and La Tortura by Shakira when I need a swift kick in the running pants. I’d like you to live in Minneapolis so we can run together and swear about too deep snow.

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