Tag Archives: Lady GaGa

I Don’t Actually Want To Take Over A Small Country…

A beautiful morning in downtown Guelph – with stops at the market (for donuts of course), and Planet Bean (for a latte of course), prior to boarding the train and heading to Toronto.

I just want to feel as if I could. :)

I’m currently on the train headed to Toronto. For those who normally take the bus, let me just tell you that travelling by train is far more civilized. Yes, it’s slightly more expensive, but for the extra cost you get more leg room, free wifi, bigger more comfortable seats, and the ability to walk around should you get tired. If Canada actually had a high-speed train service, I’d probably opt for it over flying1. I guess for now AirCanada, WestJet, etc., will retain my business.

But the train is not the point of this post. The point of this post is tomorrow’s marathon.

Again? Aren’t you ever going to shut up about that stupid marathon thingy? We get it. You’re running a really long distance. It’s not like you’re curing cancer or buying me presents. – You yell, rolling your eyes in frustration.

You are correct – I’m not buying you presents. That’s what you get when you yell at me. Ha!

I digress.

Anyway, yes, tomorrow is the big day. And if all goes well I should be finished the race in under 4 hours2.

Let’s consider that time – 4 hours – a little bit, shall we? That’s a long time to be doing anything. I mean, most of us don’t even last that long at work before we want a break – or is that just me? Clearly, with a 4 hour race planned I’m going to need some motivation to keep moving. For me, motivation comes in one of five major forms:

  1. Heading to pick up my race kit.

    Awesomely inappropriate, hilarious, and inspiring posters that the spectators bring with them,

  2. Little kids that put their hands out for high fives as you run by3,
  3. Spectators – often strangers – that scream my name and cheer me on,
  4. Friends and family that show up to cheer me on (especially when I’m unaware that they are going to attend), and
  5. Music.

All of these things have a way of giving me a second, third, fourth, fifth, etc., wind. And in many cases – runner’s high – an incredible euphoric sense that I can only describe as Amaze-balls in Awesome-sauce. For me, runner’s high is an entire body experience. It starts at the top of my head and slowly moves down my spine, through every muscle fibre. Often times, it comes in successive waves.

While I can’t exactly plan or count on runner’s high, I’ve run enough to know that sometimes certain songs seem to trigger it. In all cases, the songs are uplifting, positive, have a great beat, or include the word run or running in them. Seriously. A perfect example: Melissa Etheridge’s I Run For Life – a song I believe she wrote as a response to her own battle with breast cancer.

Anyway, I have several other go-to songs that get me pumped (feel free to mock me ad nauseam for any or all of these – but remember, they get me through a marathon – so they can’t be completely terrible). Not all of these are what I would necessarily call great in terms of their lyrics – but they do get the job done. They either have a great beat, in some cases a great message, or are just kick-ass awesome in their own way. Some of these include:

  • Lady Gaga (Monster, Boys Boys Boys, Born This Way, Alejandro, Edge Of Glory, and Highway Unicorn4, to name a few)
  • Jill Barber (Oh My My)
  • Fun. (Some Nights, We Are Young)
  • Florence And The Machine (Drumming, Dog Days Are Over, Shake It Out, What The Water Gave Me, and so many more)
  • Adele (Rolling In The Deep, Rumour Has It, Set Fire To The Rain)
  • David Bowie (Changes, Golden Years, Oh You Pretty Things)
  • Depeche Mode (Wrong)
  • Guns N’ Roses (Nightrain)
  • Kelly Clarkson (Stronger)
  • Madonna (Deeper And Deeper, Rescue Me, Push, Jump, etc.)
  • Michael Jackson (Man In The Mirror, Black Or White, Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough, etc.)
  • Michael Franti & Spearhead (Say Hey, Soundsystem)
  • The Offspring (Self-Esteem)
  • Peter Gabriel (Solsbury Hill)
  • Placebo (Pure Morning)
  • Prince (When Doves Cry)
  • Robyn (Dancing On My Own)
  • Sinead O’Connor (No Man’s Woman, Mandinka)
  • Stone Temple Pilots (Sex Type Thing)
  • The Tragically Hip (Three Pistols, New Orleans Is Sinking, etc.)
The palindrome-y nature of my bib number appeals to the math nerd inside me.

But now to the point of this post.


What songs do you listen to when you run or exercise?

What songs have you dancing around the kitchen when you think no one is watching?

What songs move you?

I ask because I’m looking for some new music. My play list, while awesome and getting the job done, is getting old. So I’m looking for some new additions.

The songs need to be upbeat, full of awesome, and make you feel like you could take on an army of angry raptors with nothing but your bare hands and a charming (but deadly) mouthful of pearly whites. Or perhaps they make you feel as if you could take over a small country, while at the same time winning the hearts and minds of its residents. Whatever the song does – so long as it moves you – I want to know about it.

Less than 18 hours until the gun goes off. W00t!

1 Can I ask why? I mean, I know this country is huge, but we are the only country in the G8 (according to the all-knowing and all-powerful Wiki) to not have a high-speed train service. Surely we could organize one between some of our cities.

2 My previous marathon took just over 4 hours 8 minutes to complete. Of course, I had to slow down after about kilometre 36 because my IT band decided to explode. Or at least that is how it felt.

3 And I question anyone’s judgement who chooses not to high-five these kids.

4 How can I not include a song about unicorns. Ha!

Amazeballs And Awesomesauce


As you are likely all aware, today was the day that I ran my first ever 30K Around the Bay in Hamilton. Not my longest run ever, but still a significant distance.

The run was fantastic, despite the fact that I am apparently really stupid when it comes to fuel. How so? Let me explain by first telling you what I learned today – which is, of course, a lesson that is filed under obvious to probably everyone1.

I learned that one should probably eat more than a granola bar and a coffee before they attempt to run 30 kilometres.

Profound, no? Clearly I wasn’t thinking this morning because that is how I chose to fuel my body for the run. I’m what you’d call not so smart. I’d like to blame this on a mixture of nerves and excitement, but this wasn’t my first ever long run. Clearly I should know better.

Anyway, the lack of fuel didn’t catch up to me until later in the race. Probably around the 25 or 26 kilometer point. And it happened really quickly. It was as if all the energy and life in my body and legs was zapped. Perhaps it was a Dementor? The last several kilometres were quite a challenge. It was also around this point that I lost Carolyn. See – she’s actually smart and had consumed appropriate levels of fuel before the run. And she royally kicked ass. Her chip time was 2:47:50. Freaking amazing!

Based on how I felt though, I thought for sure I had blown my 3 hour dream. Fortunately, right when I needed it I got a second (or third, or fourth, or fifth,…) wind. And as if predestined, Edge of Glory by Lady GaGa came on. I realize that not everyone is a fan of Lady GaGa, but I have to tell you, for running – her music is freaking fantastic. Combine the second wind, Edge of Glory, and the screaming crowds, you can imagine the runner’s high that I was experiencing. And if you can’t, I’ll tell you this – it was AMAZING. I couldn’t help but smile ear to ear. At that moment, I think I could have done anything. And this was all I needed to propel myself to the finish line. As I rounded the last turn – turning into Copps Coliseum – I could hear the cheers of the people in the stadium. I knew they weren’t cheering specifically for me, but that didn’t change the way they made me feel. What an incredible experience.

Elliot is verifying the authenticity of the medal. He's good like that.

And the icing on what could have been the crap-cake of an underfueled run?

The gun-time was still at 2:58. Despite everything I’d still managed to finish in under 3 hours. Holy crap I felt amazeballs and awesomesauce. Better than that even. Words can’t describe how great I felt. I had mentioned to Carolyn afterwards that I am not one to normally get emotional at the end of a race – but this was definitely an exception given how crappy I had felt. Don’t worry folks – I didn’t break down into some blubbering mess, but I did feel an intense wave of satisfaction, and euphoria, and gratitude, and I don’t even know what else. All I know is that the moment was perfect. Abso-freaking-lutely perfect.

And the cherry on top of the icing on what could have been the crap-cake of an underfueled run?

My splits were fantastic. I ended up running the first 10 kilometres in 1 hour 21 seconds2, the second 10 kilometres in 56 minutes 8 seconds, and the last 10 kilometres in 56 minutes and 43 seconds. That’s right – despite my craptacular loss of energy and despite the fact that the last 10 kilometres was quite hilly- my last split was only 35 seconds off the second, and still better than my first. Crazy freaking awesome.

And the chocolate sauce on top of the cherry on top of the icing on what could have been the crap-cake of an underfueled run?

My chip time was 2:53:12. Holy freaking crapshark! Talk about a huge bonus!

Anyway, today was a lot of fun, a little bit of pain, and a lot of awesome. Thanks so much Carolyn for sharing this run with me. You are a huge slice of awesome pie and I’m looking forward to our next races. Also, thank you to everyone for your comments on the blog, on Facebook, on RunKeeper, on Twitter, on Instagram, and via text message. Your support helped me get past the ugliness of the last few kilometres. And an extra special thanks to Jamie & Nigel who came out to support all the runners. Seeing your faces gave me such a huge boost. You two rock!

Now it’s time to get back to work. Because the Run for Retina Research Half Marathon is just 3 weeks away. Eeep!

1 Well, everyone but me that is.

2 The first part of the race is usually crammed with so many people that the going is typically slow.