So What’s Going On? (Playlist update included)

SO just a quick update here. It’s race day! Again. hah. Yes, at this point I’m running 25 (probably more) races this year, so it seems like every other weekend is race day! TODAY is a fun one –

Pace To A Pint! This’ll just be a quick update (quick compared to some of my other posts…) about what’s been going on, why I haven’t been writing much, and how CRAZY life is about to get.

So THIS is new ground…
Considering I only started running at the end of last March, and my first 5K ever was last May…I’ve obviously never run a St. Patrick’s day race before! This should be interesting! I’ll give more details in the post-race recap (probably tomorrow) but for basics, it’s a 5K race right at the Plymouth, MA waterfront! The race starts and ends right near Plymouth Rock, so there should be some great scenery along Plymouth’s historic downtown area and waterfront. After the race there’s a big post-race party – 9 pubs are participating! They really know how to get down with the get down at this race! Each runner gets a ticket for one free Harpoon beer, to be used at their choice of bar (figures they’re not giving away tons of freebies on a St. Pat’s race, huh?). more on that later.

I’ve been a busy little bee lately…

And as such, my posting has suffered! Life is crazy – volunteering for my college fraternity (Delta Chi), work, running, wedding planning…lions and tigers and bears OH MY! So, naturally, things fall by the wayside…including, unfortunately, my posting. That should be changing soon – and it simply HAS to…because I have lots of BIG updates to share!

Oh, and a playlist update!

So, I’ve updated my running playlist – I’d like to repeat my disclaimer: Just because it’s on my running playlist DOES NOT mean I actually listen to it in real life. I’m sure you’ll figure out which songs I mean. As has been the case before, everything 146 BPM and faster is also on a special “sprint” playlist for 5K’s and maybe 10K’s. Check out the additions and let me know what you think! Some of them might not stick…just kinda tryin’ it out. We shall see. You can see the full, updated playlist sorted by BPM here.

110 BPM – The All-American Rejects – Night Drive
126 BPM – Demi Lovato – Neon Lights
127 BPM – Nicki Minaj – Va Va Voom
128 BPM – Martin Garrix – Animals (Original Mix) 
128 BPM – Avicii – Hey Brother (Syn Cole Remix)
136 BPM – Vengaboys – Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!! 
136 BPM – Vengaboys – We Like To Party
138 BPM – Miley Cyrus – See You Again 
139 BPM – The Killers – Somebody Told Me 
140 BPM – 3OH!3 ft. Katy Perry – Starstrukk 
140 BPM – Cascada – Just Like A Pill 
140 BPM – Crazy Frog – Axel F
142 BPM – System Of A Down – Violent Pornography 
148 BPM – Basshunter – Now You’re Gone 
158 BPM – Metallica – Ain’t My Bitch 
180 BPM – Cascada – Sk8er Boi

So that’s all for now.

I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures today and give a thorough update tomorrow. Are YOU running today? Get out there and GET IT! 

Playlist Update – Go The Distance

Finally updated the running playlist. Learned a lot in the past couple months about running, my pace, etc, and I’ve made some changes and additions to the playlist to go along with that. Finishing that half-marathon taught me a lot, too! Read on to check out the changes, and why I made them. Check out the running playlist here!

You’ll notice there’s a lot of slower songs – around 130 bpm – that were added – I’m still in the process of feeling those out on distance runs. They encourage me to keep a pace I can maintain over the course of 13 miles. I’ll have to do a few more long runs to say whether they’re keepers or not, but so far they’re working for me.

ADDITIONALLY – as of right now…everything 146 BPM and faster is part of a second, separate playlist for “sprints” – 5K’s, maybe 10K’s…shorter runs with a much faster pace! Right now I don’t have the endurance, I don’t think, to maintain my 5K pace over much more than a 10K pace…we’ll see what happens.

Newly added:
128 BPM – Selena Gomez – Slow Down 
128 BPM – Justin Bieber ft. Nicki Minaj – Beauty & A Beat 
128 BPM – Ke$ha – Warrior
128 BPM – Ke$ha – Die Young
130 BPM – Selena Gomez – Come & Get It (Dave Aude Club Remix)
130 BPM – Alexandra Stan – Mr. Saxobeat 
130 BPM – Pitbull ft. Ke$ha – Timber 
132 BPM – Rage Against The Machine – Sleep Now In The Fire
133 BPM – The Offspring – Hit That
140 BPM – Lady Gaga – Applause 
143 BPM – The Offspring – (Can’t Get My) Head Around You 
160 BPM – Metallica – Ain’t My Bitch

Back on the list:
139 BPM – Britney Spears – Toxic (Armand Van Helden Remix) 

Cut From The List:
123 BPM – Shiny Toy Guns – Le Disko (too slow)
215 BPM – Good Charlotte – Lifestyles of The Rich And The Famous (too fast)

Again…let’s not forget that disclaimer…just because I’d run to it…doesn’t necessarily mean I’d listen to it in real life.

Check out the running playlist here! 

And Then I Ran… | Falmouth Road Race

I lost 107 lbs. I trained for 140 miles. I raised $2,520 for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (so far). I spent one year of my life turning around my health and fitness. I re-learned how to think about nutrition and what I put in my mouth. I got in tune with my body. I gave it my all. And then I ran… 

All I can say is…wow. What an experience! No wonder so many people want to run the Falmouth Road Race! I had heard that it was the second most popular race in New England, the most desirable race in the country, etc…but I had no idea what an incredible
experience it would be! As you can see from the Runkeeper screenshot above (check out my Runkeeper profile and road race activity), I got the time I was shooting for! Runkeeper reported 1:10:13 and my “unofficial” chip time was 1:10:04.

For the non-runners out there – there are two different “times” many timed races will report – “Gun Time” and “Chip Time” (sometimes called “Net Time”). Gun Time is
the time from when the gun goes off and the race starts to when you cross the finish line. Chip Time (or Net Time) is the time from when you actually cross the starting line to when you cross the finish.  You may think these times would be the same, but if you’re in a large race you might actually cross the starting line one, two, five or even ten+ minutes after the gun goes off. Yesterday in the Falmouth Road Race I didn’t cross the starting line until more than 20 minutes after the gun went off. They call it “Chip Time” because it’s the time when your timing chip crosses the start and finish. They call it “Net Time” because it’s the gun time minus the time it takes for you to get to the starting line (in this case, “Net” is a math term).

In terms of performance and results – Yes, I got the time I wanted. I was pretty steady in my pace and stayed under 9:46 per mile the entire race. Once I got up the big hill in Falmouth Heights (the last challenge where lots of runners drop) I turned it on and zipped to the end on a mission. I felt great, due I’m sure in part to a number of things including proper sleep the night before, being hydrated, good pre-race nutrition, my intra-workout drink during the race and a clear head with a positive attitude. Know what helped? It was like I was the only person out there. Nobody else mattered. I was doing my thing and the other 12,799 people were just…there. People zipped ahead of me early on and I smiled to myself thinking “I’ll see you around mile 5” and I passed people walking from mile 3 onward thinking “I was you during the Finish at the 50 10K”. I learned a lot and it paid off!

There are two things I want to put out there for those of you who don’t know: 1. I ran this race as a part of Team Lanzoni – the 99 Restaurants team. Team Lanzoni is a part of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute running program. 2. I am a Freemason, and so was my grandfather Peter. What do these two things have in common?
Last July my grandfather passed away. During his battle with cancer, he was taken care of in the Dana-Farber center at Faulkner in Boston. They took great care of him, were incredibly compassionate, and were there for my family when we needed them. They took the time to make sure they did everything they could and to make sure we were OK when we ran out of options. I wanted to be able to do something for them – help to give someone else a fighting chance. I ran this race for him, and I carried him with me the whole 7.4 miles (or maybe it was him that carried me).

Speaking of Team Lanzoni…
One of the guys in corral 5 with me was an interesting character. His name is Eric Parent, otherwise known as TheSmoothBear

This guy is a part of Team Lanzoni too. He’s got a vlog (video blog, check it out here) where (among other things) he chronicles his running thing. I checked out some of his videos and he’s pretty entertaining. In one of his videos RFTF: Orange Is The New Black he literally talks about the Netflix show OITNB while running. I mean, I know some runners can just have a conversation like its no big deal while they cruise along, but I guess I was kind of expecting that from those toothpicks in running shoes…TheSmoothBear (no offense buddy) is a big dude, not your typical running toothpick, so I was surprised. I know I sure as hell can’t have a conversation like that while running, so kudos to you on that! As far as content – he just kinda tells it like it is, which I like. It’s always good to see a big guy (read beasty, not fat) rockin’ out in fitness world, so more kudos to you on that! Keep on keepin’ on. Hopefully I see this guy again in next year’s Falmouth Road Race. Be sure to check out his vlog and his Facebook – let him know Darrell sent you from “So THIS Is Fitness…”!

But Perhaps The Best Part Of Yesterday…

We may not have run next to each other, but being out there with my fiancee Megan was great! She’s been right there next to me since day 1 of P90X when this whole thing started, and it was a great feeling to be out there with her for our biggest challenge yet. I’m so proud of her and how far she’s come. Despite knee issues (and no uber-knee brace like I have) and a history of debilitating cramps every time we run she achieved her best pace to date and smashed the time she expected to get, coming in at 1:21:48. Sounds like she plans on being a part of Team Lanzoni with me next year for this race, and in the more immediate future…hopefully she’ll be a part of my next undertaking…more on that soon.

Oh, By The Way:
My Playlist did me a lot of good. I find it ironic that Chelsea Dagger never came on through the whole run, but I did have Lift Me Up on for that last hill climb in Falmouth Heights, and let me tell you it felt pretty badass climbing that hill and flying to the finish rockin’ out to that.

So, Overall?
The Falmouth Road Race was an incredible experience, I performed better than I could’ve expected, felt great and I’m looking forward to next year where hopefully I’ll get a lower number and a better corral.
Just think – if I can do this, anyone can do it. Get out there and get to it.

Primed And Ready – Falmouth Road Race (w/ playlist update)

So here we are. Tomorrow is the big day. Race day. I keep hearing that the Falmouth Road Race is the biggest, most popular race in New England second only to the Boston Marathon itself. All things considered, I believe it. I’ve been preparing for this for months, and I feel like I was preparing for it before I even knew I was doing it. I’ve logged over 140 miles training for this which, frankly, isn’t
as much as I would’ve liked. I suppose it was about the best i could do considering I’ve been doing a bodybuilding program for the past 8 weeks…cardio and heavy iron aren’t usually best friends…

Anyway – in preparation for the race I gave special attention to my playlist. Some songs were ditched and some added. This was a painstaking process and believe it or not I did “road test” most of the songs I was considering…kind of the only sure way to know you can run to it.

First – additions:

A couple of these are actually kind of working as Power Songs for me
135 BPM – Slipknot – Psychosocial
140 BPM – La Roux – Bulletproof (Chrispy Dubstep Mix)
145 BPM – Slipknot – Duality
148 BPM – Florida Georgia Line – Cruise
150 BPM – Five Finger Death Punch – Lift Me Up
152 BPM – Five Finger Death Punch – Under And Over It
152 BPM – Five Finger Death Punch – Back For More

Next up – cut from the team:
These songs were just really throwing off my rhythm. Overall they were too slow and I was trying to move too fast to them – ended up off-sync and with a weird stride.
108 BPM – The Ting Tings – Shut Up And Let Me Go
120 BPM – Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines (feat. T.I. and Pharrel)
120 BPM – Cobra Starship – Hot Mess
120 BPM – Karmin – Brokenhearted (R3hab Remix)
125 BPM – Rammstein – Du Hast

Last – tried and failed:
I really wanted to be able to run to these songs, but you just can’t force it. Instead of my running playlist I’ll have to be satisfied with having these on in the car or something. Maybe when I do a cycling playlist I can revisit these (cadence and pace is different)
120 BPM – Robin Thicke ft. T.I. – Blurred Lines (too slow of a beat, couldn’t match the rhythm to my stride)
138 BPM – The Vines – Get Free (beat just wasn’t quite right…almost)
150 BPM – Imagine Dragons – Radioactive (song is kinda slow and draggy. Beat would be good but its a sluggish kinda song – not energetic enough for running)

One thing is for sure – I. Am. Pumped. I feel like I’ve trained and have gotten myself to a point where I can not only finish, but finish strong with a time I can be proud of. I’ve run the course once for practice so I know what to expect and I’ve re-tooled my playlist. Just think – if in one year I can do what I’ve done…anyone can.

At this point, there’s nothing to it but to do it. See you at the finish.

Running on Rocket Fuel – Anatomy of a Power Song

So you’re running along, you’re doggin’ it, life sucks, and all of a sudden a song comes on that just hits you the right way. Your stride picks up, your breathing straightens out, there’s a bounce in your step and you’re running like you just got a power-up in a video game. Ladies and gentlemen – your playlist just gave you a Power Song! We’re back in this thing!


The Falmouth Road Race is 8 days away
and I’m going on my last long run pre-race today…probably a 5 or 6 miler. I’m going through my music to make sure my playlist is up to date (there will be a playlist update article soon) and the thought struck me that there might be some people out there that don’t know what a Power Song is. Power Songs are like the secret weapon to success in the running / workout world (as far as I’m concerned)! I mean, aside from proper nutrition, stretching and hydration of course.

I searched the internet and I really couldn’t find much about “Power Songs”, which was disappointing. So, I suppose we’ll start with the obvious question…

What IS a Power Song?

A power song pumps. you. UP. You can be slowing down, losing steam, feeling like you want to stop – it’s just TOO much…and then a Power Song comes on and you feel recharged. Refueled. Ready to take ON THE WORLD. A Power Song doesn’t just bring you a second wind – it brings you a HURRICANE. If you’re already cruising along? You cruise along harder. Faster. Stronger. Each step is effortless. Each rep is lighter than the last. A power song is like Super Mario’s Invincibility Star. Every time a power song comes on I feel as amped up as the Powerthirst video, or the guy in the Old Spice commercials.

Seriously, it’s tough to put a hard definition on it, but basically a Power Song is like a turbo-shot of GO. And it will get you through the worst parts of your workout or run like you just started out and will leave you feeling fresh as a daisy. The beat is perfect, you sync up just right, you get your stride right, you get pumped up and super-motivated and you just go. It’s a great feeling. So, naturally, you’d like to know how to find the most awesome power song out there right?

You can’t.

Sorry, Charlie. That’s not how it works. You can’t force a Power Song – you can’t choose it. It chooses you. I know, it sounds strange, but it’s true…it just happens. You’ll be listening to the radio and just start jamming out, feeling everything I just talked about. You can be at the gym and it comes on. You might even have thrown one in your own playlist and not even have realized it. But when it hits you, you’ll know. It can be from any genre, it can be any length. It can literally be ANY song…and it’s different for everyone. SOMEHOW, one of my fiancee’s power songs is 160 BPM – Selena Gomez – Come And Get It. I can’t understand it. But it works for her. That’s just how it is. My FAVORITE power song right now is 154 BPM – The Fratellis – Chelsea Dagger. Every single time I hear that song I get amped up and want to run.

That doesn’t always happen.

There are some songs that I love that WERE Power Songs but just don’t get me as amped up as they used to. They’re still great to run to and work well on my playlist, but they somehow just aren’t Power Songs anymore. Sometimes it works for me, sometimes it’s just a regular running song. Go figure. While I do try to load myself up with songs that have Power Song potential…

You can’t just make a playlist entirely of power songs

Really, it won’t end well. Either you’ll stop getting amped up to many of them, as happened to me, or EVEN WORSE – you’ll gas yourself (run yourself out of gas). The whole point of a Power Song is that it amps you up and puts you into overdrive…but you can’t run like that for your entire run! Maybe if you’re on a 5K you can, but anything more than that you’ll regret it. 

So, keep your ears open and give a listen – you might be surprised what songs you find yourself air-drumming or dancing in the car to. When you feel that adrenaline hit – write it down or Shazaam it and put it in your playlist! Give it a go, and if it works out as well as you think, congratulations – you just permanently increased your playlist by 1. And climbed a mountain later on.