I jogged 7.5 miles last night.* I was propelled along by the music loaded up on my new iPod shuffle. Uptempo and non-sappy-uplifting songs, not surprisingly, appear to have a more invigorating effect than other songs. Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car," despite ostensibly being about the intersection of speed and hope, turned out to not be very good at goading me up a hill, while Bratmobile's "Gimme Brains" and the New Pornographers' "Mass Romantic", neither of which have any lyrical relevance to jogging, worked wonderfully. There is the strange consequence where my arm motion while running sometimes switches from the orthodox to a weird, wheeling, dancing, quasi-gangsta-rapping motion that has to make me look like a total freak to the cars that pass by. Good thing I run at night.
So now I'm revising the content of my iPod shuffle to remove downtempo songs I like and replace them with peppier songs. So long, Luka! I even--and I can't believe I'm confessing this to the world via weblog--bought "Eye of the Tiger" and the theme from Chariots of Fire from iTunes this morning. Anyway, if you have any suggestions, let me know. Remember that I'm a child of the 80's and 90's with not particularly refined but also not parochial tastes.
Either the iPod shuffle or an exercise partner protect me from one of my principal enemies while running--my own ruminations. It's not like I have deep intellectual thoughts about academic matters while I am jogging. Sometimes I devolve just into chanting little things to myself to keep me pushing forward. These range from the inspirational ("You. Can. Do. It. You! Can! Do! It!") to the reassuring ("This. Will. Get. Easier. This! Will! Get! Easier!) to the rankly self-loathing ("You. Suck. You! Suck!) to the more mildly self-flagellating (lately: N. O. T. O. N! O! T! O!, a reference to New Orleans Take Out, whose opening of a new location right below my old apartment was, as much as anything, responsible for kicking off The Great Weight Gain of 2003 that put me in this mess).
* Katy says that what I'm calling jogging is really running, but I suspect she's being charitable--at least regarding my pace when I'm running by myself and not with her--although perhaps junning or rogging would be a more appropriate term.