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My First 5K Playlist

by Jason Stone

Many of you have asked what my playlist was for my first 5K last week.
Here is the running order with comments and links to hear them. It’s not for everyone. But this was actually artfully crafted by me for it’s length, it’s order and it’s meaning.
The total time is 30 minutes. The first two songs totaled 11 minutes so I knew after two songs I was at least more than a third done. The goal was to reach the finish line as “Born to Run” was playing so I knew that meant I beat 30 minutes. I finished across the line just as the song started! What a feeling!
(Feel free to leave comments for anything you liked if you listen. I love to turn people on to new music!)

1. Grown Ocean • Fleet Foxes

This was chosen because the song represents a new day to me. I see a sun just rising when I hear it and the first touch of feeling heat. It was a great way to get me going. The “ohhhhh oh” parts at 2:25 and 3:52 just gives me warm fuzzies!

2. The Suburbs • Arcade Fire

Just a beautiful song that gets better the more you hear it. The video for the song is a Spike Jonez film about these kids bored in the suburbs. I was running near a neighborhood by a school. Seemed fitting. That rolling piano kept me going at a steady pace.

3. Ladyflash • The Go! Team

I always have to defend this song. Not one person I have ever played it for has liked it and has told me to list it as a “guilty pleasure” if anybody asks because it sucks. Sorry, I disagree. Makes me feel great and I think I will always have at least one Go! Team song on all my races!

4. C’mere • Interpol

Just love the imagery of “two lovers walk a lakeside mile.” Isn’t the trouble always that the one you want is “in love with someone else.” The video even has runners in snow! Great live band!

5. Up the Dosage • Paul Weller

I just love Paul Weller. This is a rolling rocker from what I think was the best CD of 2010, “Wake Up the Nation” Honestly, I was so locked in I don’t even remember hearing this during the race. Weird.

6. Catch the Sun • Doves

Just perfect. Sun hit me in the face during this song and how can a song this happy not make you feel good!

7. Born to Run • Bruce Springsteen

Maybe the single best rock song in history. It’s debatable. Put no doubt the best song I could have picked to finish my first race to!


It’s Official: I’m a Runner

by Jason Stone

If that moment of knowing I was a runner didn’t click really in during that last training run, it certainly happened today.
Anybody who thinks they can’t do it, know it’s total crap.
EVERYBODY CAN DO THIS!! It’s all mental and I know that now.
I was hoping for a good race, but never did I expect this. I finished with a time of 26:06, a mark not even reached in training. I beat that by FOUR MINUTES!!
I won my age group (35-39) and picked up my first medal in my first race. Believe it or not, this is the first athletic award I have ever received in my life and at 38 that’s pretty sad.
The 26 minutes went by in a blur. It felt like maybe 5.
I had a song list planned out to set my pace. I knew that if by chance the opening bars of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” kicked in and I was near the finish line I would be on an amazing pace. That’s exactly what happened.
In that final stretch there was a man in front of me who appeared maybe to be my age. I decided to focus on him just in case I could at least maybe have a higher age group finish.
I had already decided that during the song before “Born the Run,” which was “Catch the Sun” by Doves that I would move my legs faster anyway. The song came on, was perfect as the rising son hit my face and inspired me further. My legs started moving faster and I slowly started slipping by the guy on the left.
I fully expected him to move up faster and try to retake me. I didn’t want to look back. I looked to the side and didn’t see his shadow. He was nowhere to be found. I later found out I beat him by 23 seconds to take first in my age because he ended up being my age.
And let me tell you about crossing the finish line. As a sports reporter I had been on the other side of the rope more times than I could count. And I ALWAYS though, “why in the hell are these people doing this.”
That was answered emphatically when I reached the alley between the ropes, and I could feel the vibrations of the cheers from the spectators. Because I had “Born to Run” blasting loudly in my ears, I couldn’t hear much cheering, but I definitely felt it and saw all the hands waving.
Now I know why we run … And now I wonder why I ever tried anything else and waited this long. …
Get me back on the course! I’m so ready to keep going.


Open Letter to Runner’s World Magazine

by Jason Stone

I will always know where I was when I realized that I am a runner.
It happened making a right turn at Reems and Mountain View roads about a mile into my run. I reached down at my watch to hit the lap timer button like I always do when turning that bend.
It was then I realized, it was the first moment of the entire run that I had THOUGHT about running.
Tonight I was on auto pilot. Tonight my legs did not hurt. Tonight my mind was not cluttered and fighting me. Tonight my body did not feel over-heated. Tonight I could breathe steady. Tonight my running stride was smooth, if not the fastest. Tonight I could have gone many, many, many more miles but only stopped because of my training.
Tonight I felt like a real runner.
I now see no end to what I can accomplish with this. There is a different drive in me now. I have been feeling so much love and support that it carried me through my run tonight. I was happy. I was at peace. I was content. I was GIDDY! When I pulled up to my house I think I may have laughed out loud in the dark with nobody around.
Here is what I have accomplished in three short months of running:
  • JULY: Walked the treadmill 5 times a week to help with weight loss. I have reached my original goal weight and set the bar higher (or lower in this case). Unofficially my loss is at 30 pounds with today’s weigh in but it was at night and my “official” weigh in comes in the morning, so we’ll confirm it tomorrow.
  • AUGUST: Interval training on treadmill. I listened to music and would do one song running, one song walking for 30-45 minutes 3-4 times a week.
  • SEPTEMBER:Hit the road for the first time Sept. 1. In almost one month I have gone from doing 2-mile walk/run intervals to 3-mile runs with a walk in the middle, to 3-miles nonstop, to 3.5-miles nonstop, to 4-miles nonstop tonight!!
My body feels great. But more importantly my MIND has never felt fitter. It feels more confident. It feels smarter. It feels more balanced. It feels the love.
For all my running MFP friends, I have envisions of being at the finish line or crossing it with you for some major race, and just the thought of that is inspirational to keep me going.
Thanks for supporting me and help picking me up and I promise to spread the love back because we all deserve to be the best we can!


Run, Forrest, Run

by Jason Stone

Because I haven’t blogged in a while, I needed to copy something I wrote in a forum that I wanted to save because it is a snapshot of my thoughts on running from last week…
I have been running for about a month now, training for my first 5K on October 1st. In my training, I felt I was accelerating greatly with the C25K program so one day I just decided to run as long as I could mentally take it before stopping.
I went to the track at the nearby high school before school one day so I could have an accurate measurement of time and distance and figure out my pace. After about two laps I was already hating it and wanted to stop, figuring maybe a half-mile is my limit.
But I started playing games in my head and distracting myself with math of all things since I was on a school campus. I kept thinking what fraction of a 5K I would have completed after I finished each lap.
Unbelievably I did AN ENTIRE 5K!!
And since then I have done it all four times I have tried it! I still have two weeks to go before my race and I am ready to go. My goal was also to break 30 minutes for the first one and I’m doing it in about 28 minutes during the training. I hope the adrenaline of race day and actually running along other humans will make it faster…..
Really I have FAR exceeded any of my own expectations. I’m doing it for myself too, which is the most amazing part. Nobody is making me run. Nobody is putting me on that track at 6 a.m. And I HATE IT so much when I’m running, but it feels so AMAZING afterward that I just imagine that feeling in my head as I’m running!


Interval Training, HRM, Zinc Oxide & You …

by Jason Stone

Training has officially started.
I found a 9-week training program for people running their first 5K, so I decided to step it up a bit on the treadmill today.  I jogged 2 miles in about 26 minutes. That would put me on a 5K pace of just under 40 minutes. I have no idea if that is good for a first-timer but I want to try to get it closer to 35 in the training and maybe 30.
The good news is I did 2 miles with not too much effort, although the heart was going and sweat was pouring. I think I would be ready for a 5K way earlier than 9 weeks, so maybe I can start training for a specific time.
I can’t believe I’m actually setting goals and possibly reaching them. I usually just quit and say F-it by now.
So I picked up a HRM monitor at Walmart. Couldn’t wait to save up for the cool Polar that comes highly recommended, so I got what I could because I can’t wait to use it. I think I want to start using the high school track in the mornings to work on some interval training and an HRM is definitely needed.
I have to say, walking out of that gym and feeling the hot Arizona sun on me is amazing and energizing. I don’t like the sun at all in the summer here, but at 8-9 a.m. when i’m just drenched in sweat, it feels great!!
I have also lost 16 pounds in five weeks today. I’m still pretty sure most of that is loss of soda weight plus the workouts but I’m still amazed I could do that. I don’t feel hungry during the day usually, my problem is just avoiding the usual sweet/bad carb cravings.  I don’t notice too much difference even though its 16 pounds, but I don’t care because I feel a million times better inside and I’m actually proud of myself…It’s weird for me to even write it. I have always felt like I don’t deserve to be proud about anything.
Thank you to everybody for your support. When the trainer I met with at the gym suggested this site five weeks ago today, I thought i would just be logging my food. Who knew inspiration would be so much greater to keep this going for the long haul? I’m glad the support is now a habit and not a phase.
Oh and got my own new goggles!!! LET’S PLAY RACQUETBALL!!!