Three Things Thursday: Motivational Songs

Have you ever been running or walking down the street and the PERFECT song comes on your shuffle just when you needed it to? or

Have you spent hours the week night before the race trying to craft a playlist so spot on that you would want to sell it on the internet?

Yeah me neither. ;)

I've been working over the last year to run without music. Since I am trying to make the leap to triathlons and am training for that little race called the Pumpkinman Half Ironman in September 2014, I am tackling the mental exercise of running/swimming/biking sans music.

For those that don't know. music is not allowed during triathlons. That's right. I will need to come up with a way to entertain my head space for a good 6-7 hours during that Half Ironman so that I don't keep asking myself: "Are we there yet?"


NOW, that doesn't always work. If I am not running with Tedy's Team or a friend, I am NOT at the point where I can break out a half marathon or more without music. Especially if there isn't a crowd around to distract me. You all don't know how crucial those signs are along a course as entertainment and distraction.

So I still rock my iPod shuffle on many a long run and during the Dopey Challenge in Disney I had it at the ready for the stretches of course without a character stop or music playing (aka outside of the parks for the most part). I even had it stored in the back pocket of my capris during the Boston Marathon in 2013. Even though it never left that pocket, I felt comforted knowing it was there if I did.

Well, since it is three things Thursday and I have been dabbling in the music/playlist realm lately, I thought I would share my top 3 favorite motivational songs. These tunes have always come on the shuffle (aka I've hit 'forward' until I hit the song I want) in the big races this year.

1) "Go The Distance" - Hercules


This jam came on during Mile 10 of the Disney Marathon back in January. It was a magical moment. I was texting with Eric (aka @TheMochnacz) during the run and I think of Hercules whenever I talk to him. And then "Go The Distance" came on. I started belting it out loud. I'm sure the runners around me were staring at me like I had three heads and wishing I would slow it on down to be out of their ear shot. ;)

It was exactly what I needed to hear. I knew that I was going to make it through the marathon. I was going to finish the Dopey Challenge. I was going to go the distance and prove to myself and to others that I could.

I also made sure to listen to this song pre-race as a pump up. Especially the line - shown above - "I know every mile, will be worth my while." I anticipated the 48.6 miles of the Dopey Challenge to be more of a mental than a physical challenge. But I went into the race saying that I would enjoy every single mile and take it all in ... and I did. :)

2) "Defying Gravity" - Wicked


I've been talking about this song for ages. It has been a staple on my running playlist for a while now. I am ALL about belting this song out in the middle of a run ... and I have been known to do it.

Some non-theatre folks might be questioning the choice, but I am telling you - this song is for everyone. If you have ever been an underdog or have had anyone question you abilities, this song is for you. It truly encompasses my entire weight loss and fitness journey.

I'm through accepting limits 'cause someone says they're so Some things I cannot change But till I try, I'll never know! Too long I've been afraid of Losing love I guess I've lost Well, if that's love It comes at much too high a cost! I'd sooner buy Defying gravity Kiss me goodbye I'm defying gravity And you can't pull me down:

I mean how could you NOT have your spirits lifted when hearing that sung by the amazingly talented Idina Menzel (more on her later).

3) "Let It Go" - Frozen



I told you Idina Menzel would be back!

I'm not sure there is anyone that I know that hasn't seen Frozen yet. If you are one of those folks, run out and see it NOW!!! This is the title track in my opinion that has taken the world by storm (no pun intended).

This song can satisfy all of your moods: happy, sad, angry, lethargic, pumped, etc. It truly is one of the most versatile songs I know.

And one that has really resonated with me. For obvious reasons, this song was all over Disney during the Dopey Challenge in January, but it has been on my iPod since the day I saw Frozen in late 2013.

When it comes on the iPod during a run, I can't focus on anything else except the words. If there is pain, it is numbed. If there is sound, it is silenced. If my mental state is failing, it is rejuvenated. Plus, it always puts a little pep in my step.


I feel emotionally lighter after listening to all three of these songs. Now I know they are more Disney/Musical theatre themed than some people may like. But if you close your eyes and listen to the words and the music, the genre slips away ... and the emotions stay!


What is your top motivational song to listen to while running?

Defying Gravity...

Normally when running, I just sing along to the musica internally since well ... I can't sing to save my life. It is painful for the people around me so I usually allow the inner voice - which of course sounds like Jennifer Hudson - to belt it out. However, there are those rare times when the path is empty, I'm in either a really BAD or really GOOD mood and I let myself BELT the music out outside of my head.

This generally only occurs when I am in a particularly horrible mood ... which unfortunately has been happening a lot lately.

SO what happened?

Well, last week I was having one of those off days so I secured my X-1 Audio swimming headset contraption to the back of my Team REFUEL visor and set out for a run.


I've only put three albums (are they still called that?) on my iPod shuffle inside the X-1 headset so far: Wicked, P!nk and Adele. Can you tell I was emotional when I selected these? ;)

Midway through the run one of my favorite songs from Wicked came on - Defying Gravity!

The song came on, the path was clear and I started BELTING this song at the top of my lungs. If anyone drove by me, I apologize for the noise. ;) Especially since I had the headphones in so I had NO IDEA how loud I was probably singing. :P

No matter my mood this song empowers me and it worked its magic again that day.

I'm through with playing by the rules Of someone else's game Too late for second-guessing Too late to go back to sleep It's time to trust my instincts Close my eyes: and leap!

It's time to try Defying gravity I think I'll try Defying gravity And you can't pull me down!

THIS! 1,000 times this. Singing this out loud reminded me why I started this crazy journey four years ago. This journey of shedding the weight, trying new things, starting to run ... it was all to break the rules OF MY OWN GAME.

It was time to take the leap and try! It was time to prove people wrong - that I could lose the weight, that I could become a runner, that I could change my life.

So when these moments of self-doubt or self-hatred creep into my mind, this lyrics are on a constant loop inside my head. And as always I'm singing them just as well as Kristin Chenoweth - obviously!

But, for me. The main person I am singing to is not a social media hater or an unsupportive friend ... but myself! I am the one that is constantly doubting my abilities.

So if you care to find me Look to the western sky! As someone told me lately: "Ev'ryone deserves the chance to fly!" And if I'm flying solo At least I'm flying free To those who'd ground me Take a message back from me Tell them how I am Defying gravity I'm flying high Defying gravity

And the accomplishments I have started flooding through me: shedding 60+ lbs, completing 10 half marathons, running 3 marathons, trying classes like Hip Hop, Zumba or Yoga, putting myself out there through my blog, sharing experiences I never thought I would and constantly pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

So this week my goal is every time a negative thought about myself creeps in - I'm combating it with an accomplishment.

Nixing the negative baby!

I've made this promise before and attempt for awhile then fall back into old habits. But, the win is? At least I keep trying. At some point it has to stick, right?


Can you relate? Do you have an empowerment song?