By Alexis Mercer
Training for a marathon means a lot of time to myself. I consider this a blessing. Hours at a time to spend in the space in my own head.
Sometimes I am calculating pace, miles, distance, and heart rate vs. perceived effort. Other times I am planning out my week. Sometimes I am consciously enjoying the ability to not answer to anyone at all.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change anything about my life. I love teaching, coaching, being a wife, a mom to three children, writing for Near North Now, a photographer, and an outdoor enthusiast. But generally speaking, all those things means I always have questions to answer, schedules to arrange, curriculum to teach, meals to cook...the list goes on!
Training for a marathon is something that is just for me. I can try to answer my own questions, think my own thoughts, and choose what populates my head while I plod on down the road.
Sundays are designated for long runs. My training schedule had me running 8 to 9 miles today. I have about 18 weeks left of long runs on Sundays.
I always start my long run Sundays by listening to Mario Fraioli’s podcast called The Morning Shakeout. It’s something I look forward to immensely. His guests are always from a wide spectrum in the sport of running: providing me with interesting details to ponder about this sport I love so much and all it entails.
The Morning Shakeout never lasts more than an hour, however. So after that concludes, I switch to music. Even if I am not consciously listening to the music, it is nice to have something providing a beat to which I can move my feet.
This is where I am hoping the Near North Now readers can help me out. As I get into the longer runs, I won’t have enough music in my playlist to get me through to the end. I’m looking for suggestions.
Below is a list of some of the songs on my current playlist, entitled “Run on for a long time”. Some of them have been on my playlist for years, others are new within the last few months.
I’m open to any kind of music, though I really don’t enjoy rap unless it involves Lin Manuel Miranda. I enjoy anything with a good beat that will keep me moving!
Next week while I am running, I would enjoy having new tunes set as the background to wherever my mind chooses to wander.
“Run On For A Long Time” Playlist
My Shot - Lin Manuel Miranda
Ocean (Live) - John Butler Trio
Rise Up - Andra Day
Life in Technicolor ii - Coldplay
These Days - Rudimental
Springsteen - Eric Church
Parachute - Chris Stapleton
I Will Wait - Mumford & Sons
We Are Tonight - Billy Currington
Hey Brother - Avicii
Take Me Home - Darius Rucker
I Run to You - Lady Antebellum
God’s Gonna Cut You Down - Johnny Cash
Holdin’ Out - The Lumineers
Compass - Lady Antebellum
Shut Up and Dance - Straight No Chaser
Fire and the Flood - Vance Joy
Story of My Life - One Direction
How Far I’ll Go - Auli’i Cravalho
One Foot in Front of the Other - Carter Hulsey
The Champion - Carrie Underwood
Ed. Note: The group of writers who fill the pages of Near North gather regularly at the Riverstop Cafe for coffee, conversation, collaboration, critique and the occasional commentary on each others interests. The attendance varies as do the topics.
One could kind of feel something percolating when Alexis would talk about running.There was a 10k completed then later she took on the half marathon in GR. She seemed to be increasing her runs and dedicating time to logging in some heady miles.
N3 contributor and former distance runner Charles Chandler got it going a while back when he asked her when she was going to run a marathon. Alexis brushed aside the question with a smile and change the subject but the occasional query by Charles began being answered with more of a “We’ll see” rather than “Pretty doubtful”.
Then recently she threw down the gauntlet and decided in our pages for the world (well, at least our legions of readers) to see.....
She was going to do it.
And while training she was going to write about it.
The following week during our Riverstop rendezvous Charles reached in his shirt pocket and took out one of the medallions he received a few years back after completing one of his marathon runs, this one in Texas.
“Here, take a look at it,” he said. “You will be wearing one soon.”
And she smiled.