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The Obsessed Fortysomething Runner: The 8 stages of a 5K, through songs

When I'm doing speed work on the treadmill, I listen to music, and I try to cover at least 1/2 mile per song, which given an average song length under 4:00, requires faster than an overall 8:00 min/mile pace. It got me thinking about how at that general pace, you can roughly describe seven stages of a 5K race through songs with some variation of "running" in the title or refrain: Just before the start of the race.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jK-NcRmVcw Uberthons plays this song a lot just before their races start, and it seems quite appropriate. I kind of like the feeling of nervous anticipation while waiting for the timing clock to tick down to 0:00.

First mile….

The first half mile of a 5K is probably the best feeling ever, no oxygen debt, no tired legs – just the possibility (expectation?) of a PR. It’s full of optimism, potential, adventure, just like “Born to Run.”

Evening 5Ks are pretty cool, just like this song, with the opening line, “We’re running with the shadows of the night.”

Second mile….

I guess I never listened to the actual lyrics of this song closely, because I had no idea it’s about an alien invasion(!). That would certainly induce feelings of dread, which is often what I start to feel after passing the 1 mile marker. I tend to go out too fast in my 5Ks and end up suffering in the middle mile.

Apologies to Kate Bush fans, but I’ve always found this song to be incredibly annoying, which is also true of this corresponding stage of a 5K, especially if it’s making me run up a hill.

Last mile….

Yeah, this is not a surprising selection, is it?

Near the end of the race, time to kick it into gear! Of course, the “you” isn’t a mistress for an adulterous affair, but the finish line. But I’m sure I feel the same intensity of desire for the finish line that Adams’ narrator does for his mistress.

Just after finishing the race….

After kicking at the last 1/4 mile of so, I usually feel pretty wiped out. I don’t usually feel like throwing up, but if I did, it would be time to shake it off.

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About Tung Yin (252 Articles)
Law prof by day, runner all the time. Got off the couch in January 2011 and have been obsessed with running ever since.

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