Wednesday, November 20, 2013

In Her Words: The Soundtrack of My Run

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything”
~ Plato

A guest post by fellow runner & music fan Stephanie Surratt:

I am a 36 year old married mom of four. I have been running for about 18 years.  I have a full time job in sales and I am an avid runner.  I love it and it is definitely a passion of mine. I live in Nashville, Tennessee and I love it here. (I mean after all, we are known as The Music City) I recently partnered with a fantastic, locally owned sports store here, Sport Seasons, and I am doing a weekly blog on their site.  I found RunningWithMusic on Facebook and I loved the page and the blog as it was so in line with the passion I have for music and running.  Rebecca was kind enough to ask me to guest blog… here I am!

After I began having children I became competitive with myself and my race times.  I decided that I needed my own personal goals, both to keep me interested and to be a role model for my children. I have been known to start a very long run at 3:30 in the morning so I can make early soccer and basketball games for the kids. Through the last several years I slowly chipped away at my time and started placing or winning my age group. This year I ran my fastest full marathon (3:29 in the pouring down rain) and my fastest half marathon (1:32) ever. This April, after 3 qualifying times over the last 5 years, I will run my first Boston Marathon. It has been a long road to get there but I am finally doing it.  To say I am excited is an understatement! (Did I mention it will be my husband and I’s first trip with no children?!)

 I can tell you for certain that aside of course from the support of my husband, family, and friends, I would not be the runner I am today without music.  I have always loved music and I have always exercised with it.  From the Walkman to the Discman to the MP3 player and now to the fantastic iPhone (thank you Apple!), music has always been an essential part of my running.   Music became an even bigger part of my running after I had my children.  My schedule became more demanding and I wasn’t able to run as often with my friends.  I had to find motivation to still get out of bed on a day to day basis to run!  While nothing can ever replace the time I had (and still do sometimes get) to spend talking with my friends, music has become a close second. Those long talks with friends are therapeutic, but so is music.

Music is motivating, relaxing, inspiring, healing….I could go on and on. Some people say it’s the pace of the song or the beats per minute that stimulate a runner’s mind.  While I do believe that, I say it’s also about a chord that a song strikes deep within in an individual.  I try to find songs I associate the people in my life that make me want to be better, like my family and my friends. When you make that connection, your mind can take over and you can soar to new heights. Often my mood dictates the type of music that I play that day.  I have even been known to have an occasional KidzBop song on a playlist if it is a song I have enjoyed listening to with my kids. (We are no stranger to impromptu dance parties in the playroom!)

So what’s on my playlists? Well, that is what I love about music. I don’t have to pick just one genre.  I have a wide variety of songs that I favor. As I mentioned, I live in Nashville….so yep country is on there! I also love hip hop and R &B. (old school and new)  I love songs from movies as well, I am not ashamed to say that Footloose and Flashdance are two of my favorite movies and yep, the songs are proudly in my iTunes library. I mix all types of songs together to create the perfect, personal playlist for me.  Another thing I always do is create a new playlist with fresh, new music before any race.  When you are feeling tired, there is nothing that can pump energy into you like a good song. I saw this quote and it is forever etched in my mind:

“Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, a question of fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel. I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.”  ~ Hunter S. Thompson

I try to remember that quote when I feel I may be hitting a wall in a marathon or even a training run, and I know it is time to find that perfect song, that fuel.

Below is one of my favorite playlists.  As you will see it is a mix of things, but it is all music that moves me and motivates me in one way or another. It may surprise you that a few of the songs are not as up tempo as others.  As I mentioned earlier, for me, sometimes it’s more about how the song connects with me, how it makes me feel, and if it moves me.  I hope you enjoy it, and I am always interested to see other runner’s playlists.  A few new songs can make or break a race.  And, finally, thank you RWM! So many of us can learn and be inspired from your blog!

----> And thank you, Stephanie.  My feelings are mutual.  Rock on.

Fall 2013 Playlist  by Stephanie Surratt

Stronger - Kanye West
Moves Like JaggerMaroon 5
PayphoneMaroon 5
Wake Me Up –Avicii
We Were Us – Miranda Lambert & Keith Urban
Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
Applause – Lady Gaga
Marry the Night – Lady Gaga
Man in the Mirror – Michael Jackson
Holy Grail – Jay Z and Justin Timberlake 
P.Y.T – Michael Jackson
Cry Me A River – Justin Timberlake
Girl on Fire – Alicia Keys
Southern Comfort Zone – Brad Paisley
DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love – Usher
Roar – Katy Perry
Drink a Beer – Luke Bryan
I Drive Your Truck – Lee Brice
Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke
Mama’s Broken Heart – Miranda Lambert
Wrecking Ball – Miley Cyrus
Done – The Band Perry
Scream and Shout – Britney Spears and Will I Am
I Want Crazy – Hunter Hayes
Fire Burning – Kidz Bop
Hold On We’re Going Home – Drake
She Wouldn’t Be Gone – Blake Shelton
Super Bass – Nicki Manaj
As Long As You Love Me – Justin Beiber
Dancing in the Dark – Bruce Springsteen
My Wish – Rascal Flatts
Diamonds – Rihanna
Night Train – Jason Aldean
Before He Cheats – Carrie Underwood
Footloose – Kenny Loggins
Flashdance – Irene Cara and DJ Bobo
What About Now – Daughtry

Note: Find Stephanie at Sports Seasons Blog.  She is also on Twitter @stephsurratt.  You can also  'Like' Sport Seasons Facebook page to get updates on blog entries.  

******************Stay inspired!  Music only makes people stronger!******************


  1. I love so many of the songs on your playlist! Lady Gaga's Do What U Want has been my go to song lately- I may have listened to it on repeat during a recent run...