This is a running mixtape that’s meant to capture what I experience when I’m on a solo run. I’m not a particularly fast or competitive runner. I run because it’s a fulfilling meditative experience for me. It gives me a break from reality and motivates me to focus my thoughts on something other than all of the tasks I need to undertake throughout the week. I like to think of it as a mental reset that doubles as an exercise ritual.
I chose exclusively upbeat electronic music because that type of music best captures the progression to runner’s high that I experience whenever I’m on a run.
In the beginning of my runs, I’m very present in the moment. I pay close attention to the rhythm of my steps, the impact of my feet against the sidewalk, and the sun heating up the back my neck. I chose “Same” to capture the simplistic and mechanical nature of the warm-up portion of the run. The steady beat and progressive rhythm of the first couple tracks don’t interfere with my train of thought but also remind me to pick up the pace with the occasional spikes in complexity.
The warm up slowly transitions into the actual run when I start feeling a surge of energy. “Changes” was picked to convey the period where the effects of the endorphin rush kick in and the focus shifts. When I feel it, I think of unusual positive scenarios, such as me networking extremely efficiently or answering every question on an exam with absolute confidence. I alternate between observing my surroundings and having these thoughts as the rhythm of feet speeds up. These thoughts intensify as I reach the middle of the run, denoted by the song “Apex”. Around the middle of the run, I focus solely on maintaining a high speed for as long as possible, and become super focused on breathing consistently and pushing my limits.
After the middle of the run, I continue to run at a consistent, quick pace and start thinking about whatever has been on my mind. Whenever I’ve been stressed out over relationships or exams, this is the phase in which I start to think about solutions. I chose to leave the vocal songs towards the end to denote this return to reality, where my thoughts become slightly more outwardly focused. The remix of “Help my Lose my Mind” and the rest of the songs during this segment are still high energy because I still maintain a quick heart rate and fast pace that doesn’t quite revert to normal until awhile after my cool down.
A lot of people find outlets to help them relax and reorient their thoughts, and for me, that outlet is running. It’s a very intimate yet high-energy experience that is very distinct from any other aspect of my life.
Original Picture credit: Transformer18