Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Five Strings and Shoe Strings

The Viper doesn't run with music. Chalk it up to wanting to experience my surroundings. Or chalk it to my cheapskate tendencies that keep me from buying an MP3 player.

But in no way does my preference to run without ear buds mean I don't like music.

Quite the contrary. If ever you've checked my profile, you've seen my musical tastes are all over the map, the sign of a true canorous connoisseur. You'd also see that I'm a newly minted banjo picker, the sign of a truly annoying neighbor.

I've been playing since mid-March -- well, if you can describe the way I abuse my five-string as "playing." So far I've learned two songs pretty well and two not so well. Now, it probably goes without saying (unless you're a Class A Dolt) that I like banjo music. The rapid staccato of plunky eighth notes really tickles my ears.

Perhaps going along with the June Runner's World article on running tunes, the online RW Daily links to a banjo playlist by well-known picker and absolutely anonymous runner, Mary Z. Cox. Of course, since I don't have an iPod, I don't use iTunes and therefore can't actually view the playlist linked to in that Banjo Hangout forum. So, in typical Viper fashion, I might be advising you to do something you'll hate me for later.

But come on! The fast-tempo of banjo picking and running are a perfect marriage. If you can match your footfalls to Earl Scruggs's "Foggy Mountain Breakdown," you'll be passing Robert Cheruiyot at your next Boston Marathon. You'll feel like Bonnie and Clyde making a fast getaway!

On a Local Note
Case Wester Reserve University in studying the effects of music and running on competitive runners. Case speedster Esther Erb, who won the NCAA Division III 10,000 meter championship in May, conducted the study and found that music does not lower the perceived exertion levels of competitive runners.

On a More Local Note
I tried my hand at mixing running and music (it's even banjo music) in one of my first posts here at team HQ, but I ditched the idea because it's enough of a challenge mixing running and boozing. However, I have no problem linking you to such musical treats as Squirrel vs. Penguin dueling banjos.

On a Tangential Note
Runner's World saved you from a vituperate rant. Remember when I finally subscribed? Well, I was about to go ape-shit and call them up when I saw that they had cashed my check on June 9, but I hadn't received my first issue yet. I kept waiting and waiting and waiting ... and getting pissed! But then it arrived on Saturday. So, end result: no rant.

Run well and drink well.


Ian said...

+1 for "canorous connoisseur" because it has a nice ring to it and forced me to go look up canorous.

C said...

You don't need an ipod to download iTunes. You obviously will be limited to listening to those songs on your computer til you fork over the cash for an MP3 player though. In my dept in the US, we would download songs on the computer in the grad office all the time so we could listen to tunes while we were marking exams. Helped pass the time.

chia said...

So far this week I've seen squirrels having a go at procreation, I've hosed ones carcass off my soiled undercarriage, and now I've seen one play a banjo with a penguin.

I think it's safe to say I've gone full circle.

Speaking of which, have you tried Full Circle by New Holland Brewery? Filtered wheat krolsh style beer - quite tasty but really light. Had a couple last night followed up with a Magic Hat #9 and a Stella. Which probably explains why I'm laying here sucking down smoothie and water instead of outside rustling vermon love nests.

Marcy said...

You're right. I hate you for that vid LMAO!