Because #35K4SMA And Zombies

After my Ugly Sweater Run in December. I gave up running for a bit…accidentally. It just got so cold and then the holidays that I thought, well, once things warm up a bit I’ll get back in the habit. But as many of you realize, this was the winter that only ended like, last week, even here in Jersey, so my running hiatus lasted much, MUCH longer than I anticipated.

However, 35K For SMA must go on! Because if you don’t stick by the crazy commitments you make on your blog, what can you be counted on for?

So I managed to start back up with runs about a month ago and my first spring 5K is this weekend in my hometown of Lancaster PA. I’ll be running (combined with  intermittent jags of cursing and cramps) alongside family, and to the cheers of my kids, should they choose to get up early and come with me. (No promises have been made.)

With only a few weeks to get prepared, I knew I needed to get serious about training. I was basically back to square one, with only four weeks to get back on track. Unfortunately there is not a ‘Couch to 5K Right the Hell Now’ Ap. Then I stumbled across some running websites that mentioned selecting music based on beats per minute (BPM) to reach a target pace and the heavens opened and the angels smiled on me. Or maybe it was just chickens hovering around my ankles clucking for leftovers….whatever…

I’d heard of many people running to music, but what I didn’t know was how you could select your target pace (for me a sluggish ten minute mile) and then select songs of a certain BPM (150 BPM for a ten minute mile) fill up you playlist and, viola, you’re training in the zone without any fancy equipment, just your favorite music.

Now granted, I didn’t jump right into my ideal speed out of the gate. I mixed in some music with a slower BPM pace and even  warm up and cool down songs.  It was awesome! Before, I always tried to enjoy the quiet of the mornings and say some prayers, however, I was constantly looking down in order to stay focused and not lose my spot in my rosary. Plus, I had no idea how fast I was running. Chugging along with Fall Out Boy at 153 beats per minute, I know that’s what the ideal pace feels like, and my running posture is improved. Even when I need to stop and walk a bit, the upbeat tempo keeps me from slipping down to a snail’s pace. Plus, I get my whole body into the workout with constant air guitar and drum solos interspersed throughout my run. (Thankfully, no one else is awake at 5;30 a.m. to witness my antics.) My current playlist (don’t judge me!):

Madonna, Jump 119 BPM, brisk warm up walk
Mumford & Sons, Little Lion Man, 139 BPM
Fall Out Boy, Thanks Fr Th Mmrs, 153 BPM
Paramore, That’s What You Get, 131 BPM
Florence + The Machine, Dog Days Are Over, 150 BPM
John Mayer, Shadow Days, 147 BPM
Florence + The Machine, No Light, No Light, 132 BPM
Keane, This Is The Last Time, 132 BPM
Busta Rhymes, Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See, cool down (I have no idea the BPM I just like ending my run with this song because it’s AWESOME.)

As you can see, most of my songs hover around  11 or 12 minute mile pace, about 130 BPM. But after while, I hope to replace more of those songs with those in the 150 BPM range and even start including songs that will push me towards a nine (or even eight!?) minute mile pace. There is hope for me yet in the event of a zombie apocalypse!

The last four weeks of training have probably been my most productive, and have definitely boosted my attitude towards running. My spring and summer are already crammed full of weekend activities and with two more runs still to schedule, I forsee lots of training in my future. To help update my playlists I’ll be using which allows you to search by song, artist or BPM range. You can also listen to playlists created by other runners. I’ve also been using song bpm to find the BPM of my favorite tunes.

So if you’re a runner, or walker, seeking motivation consider a BPM targeted playlist. Or is everyone already doing this? Sometimes I feel like the last to know. And then…

SMA Logo_tshirt FRONT

DONATE! (You knew it was coming.) So far, each of the four charities selected will receive $500. My goal is to raise an additional $2000 so I can give each organization $1,000 so they can help other families overwhelmed by the cost of raising a child, or children, with SMA. If y’all are generous, maybe I can post a video of me jogging a la rock star style? Or is that a deterrent? I mean, I’ve got some great moves for my cool down song.


    1. There are, but since zombie scare me I don’t feel the need to participate. I was to avoid a zombie apocalypse, even one with fake blood!

  1. I keep thinking I should do the BPM thing for running. And then I remember I’m lazy and fill my iPod shuffle with bluegrass and alternative music and hope it’s enough motivation.
    Relatedly, it took me years (yes, years) to make it to the point where a 10minute mile is comfortable. So I’m happy for you that “sluggish” is an appropriate adjective, because for me it’d be more like “gasping-out-of-breath-everything-hurts 10 minute mile”.

    Have fun! Run your heart out! 🙂

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