smooth running

A friend of mine last week mentioned Barry White’s voice and that got me thinking about the essence of smooth. Then I thought about running and how I’m on a quest to make my running “Easy, Light, Smooth, and Fast”, Caballo Blanco style. I’m always on the lookout for new running music, especially for those long runs when I’m out there for hours on end and can use a little help finding my groove. A lot of times I instantly gravitate towards more up-tempo music when I think of running, because, well, it’s RUNNING! Really though, there’s all kinds of running just like there’s all kinds of music to go with it— especially during marathon training.

Much to my chagrin I don’t have any Barry White or anything similar. I used to have a good collection of Marvin Gaye, but that was stolen in Alaska. Who is that far-north bastard that stole my soul? In perusing the Barry White albums online I also came to a bunch of Al Green. I ended up purchasing Al Green’s Greatest Hits. I think I nailed it with this purchase, actually, with this whole genre of 70’s Soul Music. I’ll work on getting some Marvin Gaye back into my collection soon and probably some others.

» Tired of Being Alone by Al Green

During my long run Saturday morning (15 miles), Al Green came on my headphones after about a mile and kept me rolling along smoothly for the rest of the album. There’s no need to put any thought into relaxing my stride when Al Green is dropping soul in my ears. There’s no unnecessary exertion in running along in that situation, it’s just soul gravity pulling me where I need to go.

I doubt I look as smooth as I feel out there when I’m hitting my stride, but I’d like to think passers-by see me running on those country roads and think, “Hot damn, there goes GP again, floating along on his river of soul!”

some mornings before a long run

Some mornings you wake up and say, “Hey, let’s go.”
Some mornings you wake up hungry for a power pancake breakfast.

‘Cause there’ll be a long run today!

You roll out of bed with the lovely wife, rustle up the puppy and it’s on. Let puppy outside to give Chip a run for his life, get the coffee brewing, get the pancake batter mixing, get the blood pumping. Puppy gets fed, husband and wife get fed, all the while sun pours in through windows.

Later, breakfast finished, Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s “Down by the River” blasting. Let it wash over you…

Be on my side, I’ll be on your side, baby.
There is no reason for you to hide.
It’s so hard for me staying here all alone,
when you could be taking me for a ride.

Guitar, bass, and drums roll on…

This morning, we are Neil Young’s crazy horse. We will run far. Cool morning temps don’t hold us back, we will tear it up.

Soon out there on the run, maybe this same song playing, cranking along with the vigorous, yet smooth stride of a man on a mission— there are no worries, there is only the steady effort of forward propulsion. Miles of roads and trails, fresh air, that perfect balance of ease and dogged determination.

Run on, Crazy Horse Petitto, you’ve got a long way to go.

music for rainy days / soul hydration

For Christmas I was gifted a copy of The Antler’s Hospice. It’s taken awhile, but the album has grown to my liking so much that rarely a day goes by anymore where I don’t listen to at least a few songs. The subject matter is tough, supposedly the songs are an elegy to a dying friend of bandleader Peter Silberman. Most of the songs are somber, almost funereal, but don’t be fooled listener of lyrics and beats, there is profound acceptance through reflection woven into this album and it’s all quite awe-inspiring. Here’s “Bear”, which I can’t get enough of:

Here’s “Two”, another one of my favorites from the album: