Tuesday, July 22, 2008

maybe I should have donated money to NPR

I don't want to be a drama queen but the worst thing that could happen to me while training for a marathon has happened. Like for reals people, I don't know how I'm supposed to finish training now.

No, it's not an injury, although my knee is pretty banged up right now. Falling off a curb onto Market St and landing on your hands and knees will do that to you. I think if someone had videoed the fall, and we watched it in slow motion, we would see that when the light turned green the top of my body went, but my legs didn't. Whitney witnessed it and I don't know how she kept from laughing because I know I looked like an idiot.

But no, that's not why my training has gone out the window. It is something much more tragic: The only podcast I listen to while running has been cancelled. CANCELLED.

The problem is that I can't listen to music while I run unless it's a short run (4 miles or less). Knowing that most songs last 3 to 4 minutes makes me really aware of how long I've been running, which is not a good thing. "oh, 5 songs have gone by. I've run 15 minutes. Wait, just 15 minutes?!? You mean I have another hour of movement ahead of me?!? Holy crap, I'm going to die. I'm going to have to throw myself in front of a truck so I have a reason to just be still." So yeah, music just doesn't work for me.

My beloved podcast is the Byrant Park Project from NPR. I loved that it gave me a breakdown of current events as well as off beat topics and discussions. I looked forward to the Tuesday new music discussions and the Friday movie reviews. I love the Ramble and the Most. And I love that Alison Stewart was the host (Remember when MTV had vjs that weren't all young and scary? Although I think Alison was part of the MTV news team and not technically a vj. And maybe the vjs just look young and scary to me now because I am old and cranky). Oh my god NPR, why do you want me to quit my training plan?

So now I'm being forced to shop around for a new podcast. I'm thinking that Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me might be a good option, but it only comes one once a week. Maybe the Onion's podcast would be good, but is it funny? It has to be, right? But is it maybe too funny? Will I be trying to laugh while I run and then keel over from lack of oxygen? What about This American Life? Is that show's content ever depressing? I'm thinking depressing might not make good running entertainment. Does NPR have any music based shows? Not ones that play music, but maybe discuss music? Is there some other podcast, not from NPR, that I don't know about? Please help me or else, in two weeks when I'm running across the Golden Gate Bridge, I might just jump.


  1. So I'm the type that needs music to run, but I do like something in the ears while I work on the house. These have all kept me sane:

    1. This American Life
    Best show on the radio. The podcast is great, but be sure to visit their website for their archives, particularly "Giant Pool of Money", "Notes from Camp" and "Fiasco". Has its bittersweet moments, but they usually throw in some David Sedaris or Sarah Vowel to keep things light.

    2. Radiolab
    A bit more cerebral than TAL...think 3-2-1 Contact for grownups, on the radio. Be careful, tho, this might have a limited run, but there are several hours to churn through. Start with "Earworms", "Sleep", or "War of the Worlds".

    3. Car Talk
    Yeah, they're obnoxious, but you might enjoy some Tom & Ray in the last mile or so when your brain goes mush. I keep these around as a reserve.

  2. I love Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me. I saw it here in Chicago.

    Also, I would have laughed at you falling. People falling is funny. Always.

  3. wait, wait is great (ooh a rhyme)

    i love fresh air, usually

    definitely this american life

    slate's spoiler specials

    hmm, that's all i got for now...

  4. Okay so I married a geek and I own an MP3 player but I have NO CLUE how to use it beyond listening to the music I've asked Adam to upload to it....
    that being said my suggestions maybe totally useless.

    Anyhow what about books on tape that aren't really on tape but are still recorded and can be listened to on your Ipod? Whenever we go for long drives, (long like to Canada) we listen to books on tape on CD because listening to music just drives home to me how much further we have.
    So that's my contribution, books on tape, get fit and literary!

  5. Definitely get Wait, Wait. Might just be once a week but c'mon, it's awesome! Also have to agree with the commenter that suggested Car Talk. I love that show so much and I couldn't care less about cars.

    There's this fantastic talk music show that plays on NPR down south and I've been trying to find it for ages now. If I can find it, I'll let you know. It's genius.

  6. I agree with the others; WWDTM is great! I'm not a fan of electronic music, but I often play it while I'm working because I tend to sing along to songs I actually like; perhaps that'll work with your runs too?

    I also enjoy "This American Life" and "American Routes with Nick Spitzer". Spitzer is a professor at UNO. Unfortunately, American Routes doesn't have a podcast because of expense of copyrights for all those songs, so I'll probably donate some cash to the Electronic Frontier Foundation to make myself feel better.

  7. Agreed on WWDTM - HILARIOUS! I exercise to it and you don't know that 45 minutes have passed. As for TAL - WATCH OUT. Seriously - it can be super entertaining or it can leave you so depressed and crying while running down the street.