I’ve always been in awe of people who have their perfect music lineup ready before they go on a run. I have never been able to figure out how to either find the music with a beat to match my pace, or to ignore the beat of the music and run my own rhythm. (Today I almost hyperventilated when I wanted my favorite singer Brandi Carlile to cheer me along.) So when a friend told me that she listens to podcasts on her runs, I was intrigued. I immediately looked for recommendations, and I now have a solid list of weekly episodes to listen to.
My top of the list, must listen podcast every week is NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. It is a news quiz hosted by Peter Segal (who has run several marathons) with a panel of three comedians and call-in contestants answering questions about and commenting on current news stories. The panel of comedians – encouraged by their host – often go off on a tangent, and I have been knows to laugh out loud while running.
Next on the list is NPR’s How To Do Everything, wherein WWDTM’s producers Mike and Ian answer How To questions asked by listeners. In recent episodes I have learned how to not startle when running into someone around a blind corner, and have been challenged to go on an exclamation point fast for one month. Mike and Ian also recommend other podcasts, but since I’m usually running while listening, I can’t write the names down very easily.
The only running-related podcast on my must-listen list is Another Mother Runner, hosted by Portland’s Sarah Bowen Shea and Denver’s Dimity McDowell. I have been fortunate to have meet both women at races (for the first time in 2010 when they were selling their first book at the Hippie Chick half marathon), race expos, and book signing, and they are as wonderful in person as they seem on the air. Their chatting about their daily lives is just as entertaining to listen to as the expert interviews are informative.
Sadly off the air (episodes are archived on Stitcher) is the Manic Mommies podcast. Kristin and Erin’s children are about the same age as my own, and following their adventures was like being on the phone with a good friend. Their stories always made me laugh and reassured me that I’m not alone in the weird things that happen while mothering two wonderful boys.
These three give me about two hours of listening time every week. When I have a longer race coming up, I often save up some WWDTM episodes so that I’ll have something new for the race, and I’m always on the lookout for something new. But when the podcast runs out and there’s still a mile left in the race, I let Brandi tell me to Keep my Heart Young!