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With COVID-19 impacting literally everything, including races, it's been a huge adjustment for me. When I first started my running and weight loss journeys, I always had something on the books. Whether it be a 5K or a half marathon, it was my way of sort of forcing myself to keep up with my training. There was one year where I even ran in an organized race event every single month! However, it's allowed me to shift gears and also shift my goals.
I've run a half marathon... six times. I don't have anything to prove to myself anymore in the regards of knowing I can go the distance (take that, sciatic nerve damage!). However, I do have something to prove to myself... I can go faster. I've been a huge fan of Jeff Galloway's run/walk/run program (it's been a literal lifesaver for my aforementioned nerve damage) and will always recommend it to people starting out or looking to change up their routine. But I want to go beyond my comfort zone and improve my time.
My ultimate goal is to run a 5K in 30 minutes or less. I'm in absolutely zero rush to get there, and not having a date for that goal is actually refreshing after years of constantly having something on the books. I'll get there when I get there, and likely blog a few more times about it along the way to hold myself accountable, but I want it to feel incredibly natural so I don't hurt myself or get disappointed if I'm not at a certain place by a certain day.
Music has always been such an important part of running for me. It really does make or break the experience! I've done a few different things: when I was first starting, I was really into the "Zombies, Run!" app and later, got really into listening to different soundtracks. I'd listen to the Star Wars OST when training for the inaugural Star Wars 10K or to Disney music when training for the Princess Half Marathon. It was really effective!
But now, I want to just vibe and go, so I've been turning a lot to K-pop and J-pop (music I've enjoyed listening to for years now). I speak only a little Japanese so while I may pick up a word or phrase here in there in songs, I don't really know what they're saying, and I don't speak any Korean at all. Having the music just be really fun songs that I don't know the words to has been a great way of making sure I don't get too distracted by the music.
One Korean girl group I really, really love is LOONA. Each member of the group has a few singles of their own, and there are a few subdivisions within the group. Their vibe is really fun, upbeat, and each girl/subdivision has a unique sound. Most, if not all, of their songs are - as far as my understanding goes - about love and/or girl power, so it makes for a really uplifting running experience. I've compiled a few of my favorite songs by LOONA in order for a warm up, run, and cool down that you can try for yourself whether you love K-Pop or are looking to expand your horizons. I even put them together in a Spotify playlist! Since Spotify is shuffle-only for free accounts, this is a great option if you're looking to go for a run/walk/run and want to let the music decide your intervals for you.
What do you like to listen to when you run or walk (or both)? Let me know in the comments!
Jessica is a huge Disney and Star Wars nerd who channeled that love into motivation to lose 75 lbs.