January in Minnesota is one of those times and places that humans imprisoned therein come up with all sorts of shenanigans 1 to maintain our white-knuckled grip on sanity and keep at bay the voices whispering that we should just walk out across the frozen lake at 2 am in -10F in our skivvies and never look back.
For those in pursuit of a running life2 who are stuck in the frostier northern climes, our choices are a) get your brass knuckles and switch-blade ready to cut a bitch to get at that treadmill at the YW after work or b) shruggy-guy and get your run on out in the damn cold and snow already. We’ve gone with the latter. And it’s really not terrible. No really, we’re not just ice-cream-headache delirious from the breath-frost clinging to that invisible peach fuzz part of our unibrow.
There’s something weirdly magical and compelling about running in sub-zero temps when erryone within 300 miles is staving off death in the warm confines of cars or houses, the air is so dry that your lungs are living their best life of your life, and against all reason (so long as most all your exposed bits un-exposed) you stay comically warm as long as you KEEP RUNNING.
Frankly the main occupational hazard in winter running isn’t the cold – it’s keeping from falling on your head due to the army of stealth ice patches lying in wait to murder you. Don’t think we haven’t considered running with our bike helmet on; if at some point you come across some nutter out slip-sliding the sidewalks of Minneapolis sporting an ecto green helmet, give a friendly honk! Which we won’t hear anyway because we’ll be too busy running while rocking out to this month’s running playlist.
Shoutout to our editor-in-chief for making our job a smidge easier this month due to our poaching a few tracks from her Top 50 Songs of 2015. Other tracks sourced from Spotify’s weekly New Music playlists from the past couple months, plus – well we’re still weeping at regular intervals over the loss of the incomparable David Bowie.
As always – BPMs are roughly 80×2 or 160 – with a couple < 80/160 (good for some longer stride running – but watch that ice yo!) and a few > 85/175 (great for short quick steps that help keep your feet under you instead of flying up over your head sitcom style). And as always, a prayer of gratitude to Sort Your Music, without which we would probably just say F- this whole running endeavor.
A few favorite tracks this month:
- “The Blacker The Berry” – Kendrick Lamar: there’s nothing I can say except this track murders everything in its path.
- Tom Petty’s “Up In Mississippi Tonight”: listen, I don’t even LIKE Tom Petty; Tom Petty was nothing but Boresville to me from the 80s straight through the 90s. I didn’t get what the big deal was. Now I get it. That doesn’t nix a hell of a lot of boring Tom Petty in the 80s & 90s, but damn – this track.
- “Stars” by Demi Lovato: you’ll have had a shitty day, then come home and you’ll pile on your layers on, throw your headphones in and take off to run, suddenly this track will roll up and make you feel like a million bucks.
Finally, before sending you off into the tundra with this month’s playlist, a gift of Bowie doing “Young Americans” with Luther Vandross singing background vocals.