See Jess Run: Volume 4

Sometimes when I run or walk, or do whatever it is that I do for exercise, I like to slow it down a bit. And I don’t mean actually slow it down – although, yes, sometimes that as well. I mean, I like to scroll to the playlist that has the slow stuff. The stuff that makes me breathe a little deeper and be a little more present in whatever I’m doing.

Since I haven’t shared a playlist in a while, and because I need a little inspiration to get back out there on the road, I put together this playlist of songs that, while not your traditional workout music, is actually a really awesome companion to whatever your workout routine is. It just digs a little bit deeper than Britney (who I love!).

Hey, we all need a little reminder to slow it down every once in a while, right?

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Do you prefer to run to fast music or slow? Any recommendations for tracks to add to my playlist? Talk to me in the comments! 

The Need For Speed

I try not to pay attention to my pace. No, really. I try. My primary focus is adding to my mileage, and I know that I’m not setting a PR at Wine and Dine or any other races I’m doing this year. After taking a year off to have a baby, I’m just not there yet. And I’m okay with that. Mostly. It’s not easy to see the numbers on my garmin and know that I can do better. A lot better. For that reason, it’s just better for me if I don’t pay too much attention to it.

Typically, I run with a garmin, but I don’t check my pace until I finish. I log it into Daily Mile and that’s about it. (Okay, I also text my husband if I’ve had a really good run. Gotta celebrate the little things, you know?)

My treadmill running is a completely different story. I have to pay attention to my pace- it’s right there, after all. There’s also the urge to finish my run as quickly as possible, now that I’m running longer distances- who wants to be on the treadmill for over an hour? (I can’t believe that I once ran 12 miles on the ‘mill. There aren’t enough My Drunk Kitchen episodes in the world for me to do that now.)

Lately, I’ve been doing at least one treadmill run a week. Sara and I are both in half-marathon training, but we also have a five miler coming up soon, and for that, we have a time goal. Hooray! Treadmill days are speed days.

Speedy runs require fast beats. I danced for most of my childhood, and later taught aerobics, so my internal metronome still tick, tick, ticks to most sounds. I can’t help but try to match my feet to the beat! I also dig faster tunes on the ‘mill because it motivates me to run faster more naturally, instead of just keeping up with whatever pace I’ve selected.

My current favorite run-faster song (there are times I will listen to it twice during a run) is Church by T-Pain featuring Teddy Verseti. (I’ve said it before, but the Step Up 2 soundtrack is king.)

There are websites that list songs for a specific pace, but what’s the point of having running buddies (and blog readers) if you can’t ask them for advice? I turned to some members of Team Scoot A Doot to find out their speed jam recommendations.

B.O.B. – Outkast
Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes
American Girl – Tom Petty


Let’s Go – Neyo
Applause – Lady Gaga (even though I am not a Gaga fan)
Where The Streets Have No Name – U2


Eye of the Tiger – Survivor. Because it’s hard not to run fast when the music is telling you to be like Rocky.
Stronger – Kelly Clarkson. Self-explanatory.
Applause – Lady Gaga. This one is new and since I still really like it (and it hasn’t been played to death on the radio) I get excited when it comes on and I always go a little faster.


Dog Days are Over – Florence and the Machine
Red Hands – Walk off the Earth
Little Talks – Of Monsters and Men
Cruise (Remix) – Florida Georgia Line, featuring Nelly
Some Nights – Fun
The Idea of You (Live) – Dave Matthews Band
SexyBack – Justin Timberlake (featuring Timbaland)
More – Usher
Sexy and I Know It – LMFAO (yeah, what can I say…)
The Truth about Love – P!nk (featuring Nate Ruess)
I Will Wait – Mumford and Sons
I Know You Want Me – Pitbull
Stronger – Kanye West
Let it Rock – Kevin Rudolf

I didn’t ask Vic, because she runs sans music, but I did get to pick her brain about pace plans for upcoming races over breakfast yesterday. She’s in my ‘hood for the Disney Tower of Terror 10 miler, and she skipped a morning at Magic Kingdom to hang with me and my little dude. That’s real friendship, y’all.

Vic and Brooke

I’m ready to hit up iTunes, so please share your speed jams with me! Are you racing this weekend? Good luck!

Chick Chat: What Moves You?

As I’ve mentioned before, I love to jam. If I’m awake, I’m either singing to myself or listening to the professionals on my iPod (they sound better). Sometimes I sing-talk. And by sometimes I mean all the time and mostly at work. My co-workers love me!

When it was my turn to host the chick chat post, of course I wanted to talk about music. Some of us jam to rock. Some of us to hip hop (hoorayyyy, ho, hey, ho). Some of us move to our own internal beat. We like to mix it up.

So, if you’re looking for music to move your tush to when you’re working up a sweat, or if you’re just curious what’s on our iPods, we’re sharing a few of our favorite songs to run to. Read on, friends!


1. Club Can’t Handle Me – Flo Rida featuring David Guetta

Because it really can’t. I take it TO THE STREETS (with my crew, Jess and Cam).

2. You’re So Damn Hot – Ok Go

Because I am. So damn hot. And it’s nice to be reminded of that while running.

3. Kodachrome – Paul Simon

Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away! I kick it old school with this one and it always reminds me of my Icelandic friend, Bylgja!

4. Feel This Moment – Pitbull and Christina

I feel like Pitbull needs to be on every running list. Including my top five. (errrr, six)

5.  Titanium – David Guetta featuring Sia

Firstly, this song reminds me of Pitch Perfect, which was a fantastic movie. Secondly, I love the build of this song. It makes me feel invincible.

6. Harder Than You Think – Public Enemy

I first heard this song on last year’s UK Paralympics commercial last year. It stirred such a reaction within me, both the advertisement (go PR people!) and the song; it had to be mine.


I don’t listen to music as I run. It’s just the way I roll. I’d rather take the time to decompress, particularly after a busy or stressful day, which are par for the course in my line of work.

As I run, I replay my day, let my mind wander and focus on each breath. And that is music of a different sort.


1. Dog Days Are Over- Florence and the Machine

Well, it’s about running, right? Not really. Or maybe? It says “run” a lot, anyway. It also has a good beat and I love Florence.

2. Be My Thrill- The Weepies

This song makes me want to run FAST. Awesome beat.

3. The Thong Song- Sisqo

Seriously. It’s just fun and funny and if you’re hitting a wall during a race, or getting bored on the treadmill, it will completely distract you.

4. 369- Cupid featuring B.O.B.

Another song for fast running. And really, the entire Step Up 2: The Streets album is the jam.

5. What’s Your Fantasy- Ludicris

Haha, well, this has a great beat for running. It also makes me laugh and I know (and usually sing) all the words.


1. International Love – Pitbull

This song just has this kind of groove to it that makes me want to run. Or dance. Or dancerun. Don’t judge.

2. Gonna Fly Now – DeEtta Little and Nelson Pigford

If you don’t recognize it by name, this is the Rocky ‘steps’ song. Yes, I’m aware this is sort of corny. But I’m telling you, put this in your running playlist and when it pops up, it will make you smile and make you push a little harder.

3. Ride on Time – Black Box

If it were not for the cinematic genius that is 1992’s The Cutting Edge, I don’t think I would even know this song. But it rocks. “Gotta get up, gotta get up…” Awesome running jam.

4. She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult (What, I liked Moira Kelly movies in the early 90s. Sue me.)

Probably far from most people’s traditional running fare, this has been on every exercise playlist I’ve ever had.

5. Crazy B*#ch – Buckcherry or SuperMassive Black Hole – Muse

Yeah, I added two. But for a reason. You know those moments in a run when it’s really hard and you feel like you want to stop and the whole thing kind of feels like a big,  fat failure but you’ve only got a few minutes less and you really want to push through. Either or these songs will get you through the last four and a half minutes of any bad run.


1. Feed the Animals or All Day – Girl Talk

Hours of continuous music that includes every song I’ve ever loved ever?  YES PLEASE!  I like that it has a variant of speeds.  I can time my rests with the mix and anticipate when I’m going to make a big push for speed.  Mostly, this is what I run to always.  I only resort to the following when I’m feeling restless.

2. In Ghost Colours – Cut Copy

It’s just so happy!  It makes me feel magical and giddy, which is exactly how I want to feel when my legs feel like they’re trying to murder me.

3. Business Casual – Chromeo

This album makes me want to dance.  It’s one of the best distractions because all I can think about when I listen is shaking my booty.

4. Greatest Hits – Notorious B.I.G.

I know all the words.  It’s also awesome when I can’t help but rap out loud and someone ahead of glances back to see what all the gangsta is about.  Yeah, it’s about this bitch right here.

5. Funhouse or The Truth About Love – P!nk

This is my I am Woman, Hear me Roar music.  I feel like kicking ass and taking names when I run to P!nk.  It sets a great pace, and pushes me to run a little faster than my norm.


1. Sweet Disposition – The Temper Trap

I love warming up to this when I’m running outside. It feels like the pulse of the city is moving through me.

2. Move Bitch – Ludacris

This is one of the few songs that can get me up the crazy hills of San Francisco. I’m moving, Luda, stop yelling at me!

3. Power – Kanye West

Kanye has some sick beats and this song in particular makes me feel like I could take on an army and come out triumphant. The world is ours, Yeezy.

4. Devil Town – Tony Lucca

Clear eyes, full hearts. This song makes me think of Coach Taylor and Friday nights and, of course, that dreamy Tim Riggins. I don’t know why it motivates me to keep running, but it’s one of my favorites to run to. Could be that sweet-spot mid-tempo beat. Or it could be because I’m so distracted daydreaming about being a part of the Friday Night Lights cast.

5. (You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman – Aretha Franklin

My go-to cool down song. And oh, but I do feel like a Natural Woman when I’m done with a run: sweaty, out of breath, but also strong. No one sings the strong woman’s song better than Aretha.

What say you, peeps? Does music get you going? Or are you more in tune with your own internal soundtrack? Got any great new tunes for us? Come talk to us in the comments!