Turn Up the Lights

Ladies and Gentlemen, LETS GET READY TO RUMBLEEEEEEEE!!!!! Two ten-year old boys fly off the couch,  jumping up and down, flicking the lights on and off, screaming at the top of their lungs in unison with the announcer. This was the scene of my best friend and me at age 10. We would do this for hours, playing back Michael Buffer’s voice on our hip technology, the Yak Bak. If you don’t remember the Yak Bak, you probably didn’t grow up in the 90s (see below). This wonderful, highly advanced piece of technology could save 5 seconds of recorded audio.  We of course chose to use those 5 seconds for our favorite sports introduction.

The Legendary Yak Bak. - from OnceUponAWin

As long as I can recall, I have been a huge sports fan. However, my favorite part of any sporting event is surprisingly enough not the actual event. I think that my favorite part of any event is actually the pre-game. I love the anticipation, the excitement, and the fanfare. Whether it is the tunnel entrance, Lebron’s chalk toss, or simply having one’s name announced, I love it. At the New York City Marathon, being told “the world awaits you, the city awaits you” followed by Sinatra’s “New York New York” was magical to begin the race.

Unfortunately, not all road races or triathlons have quite the fanfare or excitement as the NYC marathon does. So, I create my own. I am a big sucker for music and making soundtracks for my life (further confirming my cheeseball-ness). I think it’s a great way to get amped up for a big race as runners deserve this just as much as any other sport. Here is a set of four songs that I play for my pre-race stretching and warmup routine to get me pscyhed up:

All of the Lights – Kanye West. This song is my favorite 1-2 weeks out from the race. This is when I truly begin my full mental prep for the race. I love the idea of the town I’m coming to prepping for the race and getting excited for the big event. I’m extremely excited to see what St. George has to offer as it is an amazingly beautiful place and their tourism board has been more than welcoming via Twitter and email!

Ironman St. George awaits on May 5th. - Photo from www.ironman.com

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble – Jock Jams. I love this song to get hyped up before the race! It’s a fantastic song to really start to get into the zone and get the adrenaline pumping. However, I don’t recommend it as the last song you listen to otherwise you might go out too fast.

The Blood of Cu Chulainn – Boondock Saints Theme. I’m of Scotch-Irish background and absolutely love this song and movie. It gets me ready to go and plays through my head many times during a race. I’m a big fan of instrumental music as I find I can more easily zone out to it as compared to music with lyrics. I’m also a big sucker for clapping, whistling, snare drums, and violins in instrumental pieces.

The Start – The Spirit of the Marathon. If one could compose a piece that captures exactly how one feels before the start of a race, this song would be it. I can almost feel the butterflies the music portrays, yet also get the “going to battle” feel of this song. This is the last song played on my iPod before heading towards the start.

Well there it is, my pre-game soundtrack. I hope to have one more post pre-race but for now, 5 days to go ’til Ironman. Turn up your lights St. George, we’re coming.

Beautiful St. George - from SeanWhiteley

Always in Stride,


Quote – “What distinguishes those of us at the starting line from those of us on the couch is that we learn through running to take what the days gives us, what our body will allow us, and what our will can tolerate.” – John Bingham

Songs – All of the Lights – Kanye West

Jock Jams – Let’s Get Ready to Rumble

The Blood of Cu Chulainn – Boondock Saints Movie

The Start – Spirit of the Marathon

Video – NYC Marathon Start 2011

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