12 Weeks To Make My Body Mine Again - Week Seven - Music To Run To
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By: Heather Gow, ellaslist explorer
Heather Gow bravely embarks on a very public journey tracking her ups and downs on her personalised running and nutrition program with Benefit Sports Nutrition and Run with Us Online. Read Heather’s Intro Article, her Week One Update, Week Two Update, Week Three Update, Week Four Update, Week Five Update and Week Six Update here.
Music Is The Answer
There’s quite a debate that goes on, in some circles, about what is the best way to run. Track, road or cross-country. Solo or with a buddy or in a group. Smartphone or fitbit. And that most vital of questions – music or no music? There are purists out there who will argue that the sound of your feet hitting the footpath should be all the music you need, but I run with headphones in, the music blasting. There are multiple benefits to this, I think. Firstly, it’s an antidote to an overdose of the Wiggles, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, who are the preferred artistes of the younger members of my household, and a chance to get out and listen loud to my favourite rock tracks, swear words, questionable gender politics and all. Secondly, the music drowns out the disturbing sound of my ragged and desperate gasps for breath. And thirdly, there’s no doubting the power of the right song at the right time to help you push through that point where you seriously doubt your ability to go a step further.
80s Rock All The Way
I’ve hesitated for a while about writing this article, because admitting to the kinds of songs that get me going is akin to shouting from the rooftops that I’m a) old, b) daggy, and c) a bit of a bogan, really. But hell, if you’ve read all the updates so far, you’ve heard about my poor body image, habitually dreadful self-care, generally chaotic household and penchant for champagne, so what’s a little 80’s rock confession between friends?
I started out this program with a little Transvision Vamp. Remember them? Velveteen, their 1989 album, was the running soundtrack for my first few runs. Wendy James’s howling lyrics were highly motivational and allowed me to briefly envision a transformation from flustered suburban house-frau to angsty running bad-ass, and quite frankly I’ve never found a song with the sound of a car engine in it to be a bad thing. I’ve diversified a little since then, and built a running playlist that includes everything from Bon Jovi, Billy Idol and Bruce Springsteen to Florence and the Machine, The Waifs and Lily Allen.
But the absolute number one song, the one that smooths my gait from that of a three-legged wombat on a hamster wheel to that of a leopard (haha! – well… maybe a wombat with all limbs intact) is Goodbye (Astrid Goodbye) by Cold Chisel. Described by one critic as “a flatchat twelve-bar delivered with a primal scream” and by Barnesy himself as a “[email protected]#$ing classic”, if this song comes on at the right time it never fails to deliver a lasting burst of speed and energy and makes me feel like I could run forever.
Speaking of running, this week’s program with Run with Us Online included some hill-running intervals, which apparently help in building strength, speed and endurance, and were actually good fun, being something a little different from the usual run/walk intervals along my increasingly well-trodden routes of choice. The end-of-week continuous run is up to 20-24 minutes and whilst I’d be fibbing if I said I didn’t have to walk a few breath-reclaiming paces amongst it, I’m becoming ever more proud of myself and my running achievements – considering I couldn’t run for more than three minutes seven weeks ago I think I am doing ok.
I’ve continued to experience the fantastic support and guidance of Greta Truscott and Charlene Cassie from Run with Us Online and Benefit Sports Nutrition – although they seem determined to convince me that a running event in the near future would be a good idea and I am not too sure about that!
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Heather Gow is a mother of three and a step-mum of one. She’s on a break from her psychology career and is currently kid-wrangling full-time. She writes stories for children when hers are asleep. She blogs infrequently and tweets lefty political rants. She lives in the Eastern Suburbs and can generally be found somewhere on the endless loop between school, daycare, swimming lessons, gymnastics and Nippers.
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